Gracie, January 23, 2011
(view all comments by Gracie)
Jonathan Safran Foer has done something extremely difficult and incredibly beautiful with his sophomore novel. He's made it better than his first book. It's a richer, more complete story, and following protagonist Oskar Schell, whose business card lists myriad unusual occupations for a nine-year-old that barely scratch at the surface of who Oskar is, is an amazing journey.
Inventor, Jewelry Designer, Jewelry Fabricator, Amateur Entomologist, Francophile, Vegan, Origamist, Pacifist, Percussionist, Amateur Astronomer, Computer Consultant, Amateur Archaeologist, Collector of: rare coins, butterflies that died natural deaths, miniature cacti, Beatles memorabilia, semiprecious stones, and other things.
This precocious, imaginative child has more to deal with than most children his age—more than most people in general. His father died on 9/11, and in trying to cope with that loss and find a way to be closer to his father, Oskar opens his life to the reader. The book is insightful, wise, poignant, and moving while at the same time using humor and tenderness to great effect. It's emotionally and psychologically remarkable, avoiding the trite pitfalls of writing about sensitive topics.