March 22, 2007
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Posted by Gordon Smith

Elaic_2 This is the story of a precocious young boy, Oskar Schell, who lost his beloved father in the WTC attacks. I listened to the Recorded Books version, which was narrated by three actors, one playing Oskar and two others playing his paternal grandparents. As I have noted before, listening to books is quite a different experience from reading them, especially when the readers are talented actors, as here. I am not sure whether I would love to read this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. (Apparently, the book includes photos, and I missed those.)

The underlying story is convoluted and, at times, surrealistic. Indeed, listening to this book evoked the same sorts of emotions that I have when visiting a museum of modern art. Some passages left me completely mystified, while others made me laugh or cry. By the end, however, I was completely immersed in Oskar. It's hard to ask any more than that from a novel.

P.S. The reviews at Amazon are decidedly mixed, as I would expect with a book like this.

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