Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by Jonathan Safran Foer


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Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618329700
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/04/2005
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 466,784
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER is the author of the novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and a work of nonfiction, Eating Animals. His books have won numerous awards and have been translated into 36 languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

February 21, 1977

Place of Birth:

Washington, D.C.


B.A. in Philosophy, Princeton University, 1999

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1856 reviews.
eeyore27 More than 1 year ago
To all those reading this book on your NOOK, there come a point in the orignal book where the author intentionally makes the print very small then the words are on top of each other then black pages. This is the writers intentions in this book. The author has a very unique way of writing he did this with he previous book Everything Illuminated.. I am currently reading the paperback of this book because of all the reviews about the NOOK problems. I now realize it was intentional. Hope this helps.
nisull01 More than 1 year ago
The actual book was great- intriguing, sad, uplifting all at the right parts. I would ask recommend buying the actual printed version of the book instead of the nook book. The author included sequences of pictures and pages that were "handwritten" throughout the book. Harder to navigate on the nook and I found myself hitting the next button again and again to get back to a normal page. These type of pages would have had a lot more impact in the printed edition.
Jillian Santella More than 1 year ago
I've really been enjoying this, and even thought the illustrations looked good on my Nook Color. However, about halfway though, I've run across a chapter where the illustrations are text. It doesn't fit properly on the screen, and therefore I'm essentially missing a chapter. For the first time since purchasing my Nook, I am disappointed and wish I had this book on paper or some other format.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I do feel that this is my favorite novel. It touched me. Sometimes I cried, sometimes I laughed out loud. Foer is on his way to becoming one of the greatest writters of his generation. I feel that this book showed so much improvement and growth from the author since his last novel. I loved Everything Is Illuminated, but I had to bump it down a notch and add this one to the top. Osker is the sweetest character and his connection to everyone is so special.
chrisk511 More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book! A touching and relevant story about a boy who lost his father in the 9/11 attacks. He is left with a mystery to solve that is both thrilling and fun. The book will keep you on your toes and the characters will keep you smiling and laughing. This is truly one of my favorite reads that I will continue to keep on my bookshelf to re-read time and time again. I have also given this book as a gift on several occasions, and it has always been positively received. Jonathan Safron Foer is a genius who will make you laugh, make you cry and most importantly will make you think.
Patton-Athenae More than 1 year ago
This book is by far one of the best books I've ever read, hands down. I've never laughed and cried over a story as much as I have reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. If you're the type of person who hates waiting for a story to pique your interest, then this is the book for you. I was hooked on this book from the very first page. It is definitely unique and quirky and subsequently may not be for everybody. But I can't imagine someone who couldn't relate to at least one aspect of this beautifully crafted novel. It is full of powerful and resounding material that takes you on an emotional journey unlike any other. The only small issue I had with this book was the way certain dialogue passages were written. It wasn't bad, it just got confusing at times because the format was different (in places) from the majority of what we read. Furthermore, it's almost impossible to describe this book to anyone. If I mentioned that it had to do with September 11, that made it sound too grim and depressing; If I tried to describe the characters, it became impossible to really put them into words; If I tried to discuss the plot, I found myself giving away all of the intricate details that make this book so fascinating. So the best thing to do, is to read the book and see for yourself. Not only is it moving and graphic and wise and insanely clever, but it is full of quotable one-liners and is truly deep at so many points throughout. Plus...this book has pictures...what can be better than that?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coudn't finish. Tried, wanted to, needed to finish, but continually kept putting the book down. Glad it was a lendme book and not a purchase. The story felt fragmented, scattered, and simply failed to grab and hold my attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, there is a movie and it comes out on the 21st of January. ...The book can be confusing, as it obviously wasnt written to be read on the nook. The movie, however was the bedt thing iveever seen. Emotional andheartrending yet funny and awe-inspiring. GO SEE THE MOVIE? IT WILL BE THE BEST CHOICE YOUVE EVER MADE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very dragged out. Jumps all over the place and had difficulty staying focused.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be totally inappropriate for the subject. The young man, Oskar, is far beyond his years in understanding adult subjects yet when confronted with normal everday words he doesn't know their meaning. The author was trying so hard to be artsy he sounded like a mentally ill person trying to write a novel. People who say they liked this book are just trying to look as though they are literary. Hopefully the movie will do a better job of defining Oskar's need to understand how his dad died. No grandmoother in her right mind would write sexually explicit things to her grandchild let alone make it personal. Go ahead and read the book. The only way to see what i'm saying. But don't join the bandwagon and say its good just to make yourself feel like you are with the In-crowd. Bleh!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell asleep on the train countless times while trying to read this book. I live in New York and I found no connection to this kid. He was actually annoying in my opinion. I found myself quite uninterested in his grandparent's story (that was the most boring part of the entire book) and I found myself wishing the story was more just about him on his journey. The book was just one big let down. At the end I found myself saying.......that's it? UGH!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book seems, in style, to be an attempted repeat of Foer's first book. Rather than explore new ideas (or any important idea at all), the author resorts to tired visual gimmicks that distract from the story. It's also just not that funny (and rather forced). If you bought the first book because of its humor, you won't like this one. Another part of the book's problem is that it's about 9/11, a very real and recent tragedy, but there is so much decontextualized fantasy on every page (not to mention an utterly implausible main character) that the whole tale is abstractly removed from an authentic experience of tragedy. To that extent, the book is really rather exploitative of, and insulting to, actual 9/11 victims. It isn't about 9/11 at all -- one feels that Foer added it as a marketing gimmick, and he admits as much in an interview I saw where he says the book went through 35 drafts and 3500 discarded pages, and only at the end was 9/11 added to the mix. There are some nice turns of phrase and interesting thoughts here and there, but these don't redeem the basic lack of compelling characters, moral narrative, and believable writing. I would recommend A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time instead, in which the author did actual research about his subject matter (autism) prior to putting pen to paper. The result there was quite striking, and authentic. Enough with this veneer of postmodernism with its blank pages and typesetting tomfoolery -- where are the real novels?
elmwood43 More than 1 year ago
Extremely awful and incredibly boring. I was determined to finish it but I couldn't read more than 10 pages at a time without falling asleep. It seems to be one of those books that you either love or hate. Guess you know how I feel about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was really looking forward to reading this book after seeing the previews for the movie. Since books are almost always better than the movie, I knew I had to give it a chance. Well...that was the theme with this book. I kept hanging on hoping it would eventually get better, but it never did. It covered so much ground with each character that I was completely lost by the time the main point of the story rolled back around. I understand that it is written in the perspective of an autistic child, but I found the "rants" and thought-hopping to go on for far too long. The movie; however, was great. Had Foer cut out the unnecessary depth of each character like the movie, the book would have been great too. Skip the book and see the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading is for entainment, to learn, or to enlighten. Reading "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" did not entertain, didn't teach, and certainly didn't enlighten. Mr. Foer is probably a talented writer but could use some coaching in how to tell a good story.
E_M_13423 More than 1 year ago
Oskar Schell, a young boy living in Manhattan, whose father died at the World Trade Center site on the tragic day of 9/11 finds a mysterious key in an envelope in his father's closet. This is a touching and incredible journey that we readers are privy to share, about things we are confused about, loss, extreme loneliness, fear, sadness, anger, love, safety….This book is endearing and captures the heart and acts as a somewhat cathartic lesson in life. This will do the reader good.
bookLOVEr6JR More than 1 year ago
holy god. that book was amazing. i was so moved. it was amazing. i am speechless. the way the story was woven it only left you guessing. i LOVED THIS book and i will recommend it to anyone who had a brain, and heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Decided to purchase this book after seeing the movie preview. The book is usually better than the movie. Cannot even begin to imagine. Unless you have time (or money) to waste, do yourself a favor & do NOT read this book! I can honestly say this is the worse book I have ever read. I kept reading till the end in the slight chance it would get better. NEVER HAPPENED :-( This was my first from this author & I will not be reading another. Definitely would NOT recommend this for book club discussions!!!
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
Wow, I have been reading some of the one star reviews and am surprised. So I thought I might as well add my opinion. This book jumps around as far as a time line is concerned. If you have a problem with that, you will have a problem with this book. The author uses photos because the main character uses photos (you'll have to read it to understand). The author inserts blank pages to "illustrate" a point. He uses different formats. Some reviewers have criticized these techniques. I loved them. I read Pulitzer Prize books. I read Nobel Prize authors. I enjoy those books. Every author does not have to be a prize winner to be good. This is an amazing book and easily is one of my top 5. The characters are amazing. I think the author developed them so well that I want to meet them in person. I have met people like the ones in this book. Some are eccentric. That does not mean they are unrealistic. What was most important to me about the characters is that I cared about them. As far as I am concerned, that is all that matters. For me, this book is about love. There were so many beautiful parts to this book. Some parts were beautiful because of the pure simplicity of them. I won't give a synopsis because you can read other reviews to get that. There are so many wonderful parts of the book. My favorite is too long to explain but I will leave you with my second favorite: "You're sure?" "Pretty sure." "Are you more or less than seventy-five-percent sure?" "More." "Ninety-nine percent?" "Less." "Ninety percent?" "About that." "That's a lot of percent."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it twice before i truly understood who the first person was each time. Not my favorite book. Expect to be confused.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book only when you have the time to really focus. If you dont you can get lost. I really enjoyed this book. I just made sure when I sat down to read there were no distractions around me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hated this book. From a high school English teacher, that is pretty bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Such a powerful and unique story. This book isn't about 9/11 or a quirky little boy. It's about love in every form, the tragicness of life, the simple things that are so deep you can't that put them into words. I cried through most of this book, I was so touched.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful. It isn't as popular as Everything is Illuminated because it isn't a funny novel. It has a sad tone to it that can't be taken away, because it is about Oskar, who lost his father in 9/11. More importantly, Oskar represents every son, daughter, sister,brother, wife, husband, nephew and niece and etc who lost someone in 9/11. It is a powerful story of dealing with grief. Foer does a wonderful job helping the reader see through the eyes of a young and sad child, who might just have a hint of autism or aspergers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, though it was a bit tough to follow at times when "conversations" were happening between Oscar and other people. It was good on relationship development, though this is not a "feel good" book afterwards. It was worth reading.