THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
ADAPTED INTO A FEATURE FILM WITH TOM HANKS
From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11
'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving... A heartbreaker' Spectator
'The most incredible fictional nine-year-old ever created... a funny, heart-rending portrayal of a child coping with disaster. It will have you biting back the tears' Glamour
'Pulsates with dazzling ideas' Times Literary Supplement
'It's a miracle... So impeccably imagined, so courageously executed, so everlastingly moving' Baltimore Sun
'Jonathan Safran Foer is a writer of considerable brilliance' Observer
In a vase in a closet, a couple of years after his father died in 9/11, nine-year-old Oskar discovers a key...
The key belonged to his father, he's sure of that. But which of New York's 162 million locks does it open?
So begins a quest that takes Oskar - inventor, letter-writer and amateur detective - across New York's five boroughs and into the jumbled lives of friends, relatives and complete strangers. He gets heavy boots, he gives himself little bruises and he inches ever nearer to the heart of a family mystery that stretches back fifty years. But will it take him any closer to, or even further from, his lost father?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Disaster has a way of bringing out the frightened little kid inside all of us. In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the aftermath of 9/11 is recounted by Oskar Schell, a precocious and sensitive nine-year-old whose father was killed when the Twin Towers collapsed. As Oskar embarks on a quixotic quest to solve the mystery of a key his dad hid in a vase, his guileless, achingly vivid and delightfully offbeat observations—about loss and his wide-ranging fascinations—will resonate with anyone who’s grappled to make sense of senseless tragedy.
A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review.EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSEJonathan Safran Foer. Houghton Mifflin, (368p) Oskar Schell, hero of this brilliant follow-up to Foer's bestselling Everything Is Illuminated, is a nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player and pacifist. Like the second-language narrator of Illuminated, Oskar turns his na vely precocious vocabulary to the understanding of historical tragedy, as he searches New York for the lock that matches a mysterious key left by his father when he was killed in the September 11 attacks, a quest that intertwines with the story of his grandparents, whose lives were blighted by the firebombing of Dresden. Foer embellishes the narrative with evocative graphics, including photographs, colored highlights and passages of illegibly overwritten text, and takes his unique flair for the poetry of miscommunication to occasionally gimmicky lengths, like a two-page soliloquy written entirely in numerical code. Although not quite the comic tour de force that Illuminated was, the novel is replete with hilarious and appalling passages, as when, during show-and-tell, Oskar plays a harrowing recording by a Hiroshima survivor and then launches into a Poindexterish disquisition on the bomb's "charring effect." It's more of a challenge to play in the same way with the very recent collapse of the towers, but Foer gambles on the power of his protagonist's voice to transform the cataclysm from raw current event to a tragedy at once visceral and mythical. Unafraid to show his traumatized characters' constant groping for emotional catharsis, Foer demonstrates once again that he is one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk sentimentalism in order to address great questions of truth, love and beauty.