A monumental new novel from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”
How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years—a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home—and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.
Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of our most important writers.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like one of those elaborate engravings on a grain of sand, Jonathan Safran Foer’s much anticipated third novel is a marvel. It charts the breakdown of a marriage alongside cataclysmic developments in the Middle East, exploring hefty issues of Jewish identity, emotional dysfunction, communication, and miscommunication. But Here I Am is so much warmer and so much funnier than that sounds—Safran Foer’s dialogue is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud, and his portraits of adolescence and parenting are a shot to the heart. It’s a long book, but it flies by.
Foer's novel requires a very talented narrator and it got one. The prose is fast, forceful, funny, and friendly, and actor Fliakos handles it all superbly. He distinguishes children of different ages as well as fathers, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. He catches the nuances and emotional intricacies of each character's thoughts and conversations, while his diction is perfect but not intrusive. He's especially good at highlighting the gentle humor and major absurdities of the novel. The only difficulty for the listener is that Foer constantly raises thought-provoking questions about the meaning of friendship, marriage, family, country, religion, happiness, and angst, forcing the listener to stop the audio from time to time to mull over these issues. Listeners will find themselves hitting the pause button to think things through, but will remain eager to resume Fliakos's wonderful performance. A Farrar, Straus and Giroux hardcover.
SAVE. YOUR. MONEY.
One of the worst books I have ever read. Nonsensical stream of consciousness masquerading as intellectualism. Foer is no James Joyce. And, at best, a pseudo-intellectual. The plot rambles, the characters are unbelievable and unlikable and Foer strikes a preachy tone throughout. Foer and the publisher should be ashamed of themselves for putting out such drivel. We should all be refunded our money. At the very least, the publisher should stop printing hard copies-- what a waste of trees!
Here I Am
Not worth the money. Poorly developed plot. Boring!