Tag Archives: Johnathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathon Safron Foer

Synopsis (from amazon)

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies.

When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.


After loving Everything is Illuminated I had high hopes for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, maybe that’s why I was a little unimpressed. It took me a while to really get going, and it really didn’t have the emotion that I expected. I expected Oscar’s Dad’s death to be a major theme but it was more of a trigger point for the rest of the story.

There was a certain amount of emotion, but I’m pretty sure Oscar was autistic, or at least he didn’t show emotion in the ways most people would. It just didn’t hit me like I expected.

Reading on a kindle didn’t help either, there are pictures in the book, which were in the kindle version, but they were never very well displayed, whether that is just a kindle thing I’m not 100% sure, but I think it probably was.

In the end I did sort of enjoy it, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone


Buy it:

Kindle (£4.99)

Paperback (£8.99)

Other reviews:

Knitting and Sundries

The Perpetual Page Turner

Lit and Life




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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, YA

Everything is Illuminated- Johnathan Safran Foer

Everything Is Illuminated

Image via Wikipedia

This book was read for the Rory Challenge

Synopsis (from Amazon)

A young man arrives in the Ukraine, clutching in his hand a tattered photograph. He is searching for the woman who fifty years ago saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Unfortunately, he is aided in his quest by Alex, a translator with an uncanny ability to mangle English into bizarre new forms; a “blind” old man haunted by memories of the war; and an undersexed guide dog named Sammy Davis Jr, Jr. What they are looking for seems elusive — a truth hidden behind veils of time, language and the horrors of war. What they find turns all their worlds upside down.


“I used to think that humor was the only way to appreciate how wonderful and terrible the world is, to celebrate how big life is. But now I think the opposite. Humor is a way of shrinking from that wonderful and terrible world.”

I really loved this book. It was somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster, immensely funny and immensely sad. Some sections had me laughing out loud (especially the sections ‘written’ by Alex). The way Alex used language was part of it, it was so wonderfully strange. Some of it was also what he talked about. Everything is Illuminated in incredibly quotable because of this. In parts the writing was beautiful, in other parts it bordered on crude but somehow these changes in style seemed to fit what was going on.

I loved Alex’s sections almost instantly, it took me a little longer to get into Johnathan’s story, although by the end it all just ran together. It seemed strange to have the author as a character, it gave the story a reality and makes me wonder how much is based on reality.

I really think Safran Foer could become a new favourite author



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review