Thursday, March 25, 2010

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I picked up this book again because I couldn’t remember its details. I could remember the pictures - Laurence Olivier holding poor Yorick’s skull, the man falling from the twin towers, the elephant’s eye. I could remember the use of blank pages, the use of color, the use of spacing (how often do publishers willing put only one sentence on multiple pages?), but I couldn’t remember much about who the characters were and how the language was crafted. And oddly enough, I felt like I needed to know.

I talk about this book all the time. When I read it nearly two years ago, it was a shock to my senses and written about an event that changed everything. 9/11 changed me, and in turn, this book altered the way I look at life, look at people, and look at what it means to really live and love.

Rereading the book was still a shock to my senses. The story was even sadder the second time around. The characters’ loss and despair clung to me in a way that was almost too real. That said, I would still recommend this book. It is brilliant. Foer’s ability to be creative while still telling a powerful and challenging story is incredible. This is not a story for everyone – you won’t feel blissful at the end because the tragedy is real. We watched the footage of the towers falling. We saw the posters taped to every surface in Manhattan looking for lost loved ones. Foer doesn’t shy away from the pain. He embraces it and shows us that life does go on. He shows us that the real tragedy is not living after losing – a lesson I think we need to keep learning. We need to as President Hinckley once said, seek more fully the sunlight and stop seeking out the storms. The storms and the sadness will come – Foer’s novel assures us of that, but the sunlight is still there. We just have to look up--

1 comment:

Shelly Meron said...

I started this book and just couldn't get into it... Maybe I should give it another chance?