Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the kind of book that would make you feel sad or even cry if you’re a little like me 🙂 It’s a great story of how a 9 year old boy, Oskar, copes with his father’s death in the 9/11 tragedy, with his mother having a new friend, with getting standardized letters from famous people, in a word, with life.
It’s an incredible story of how things can go wrong, on how cruelty, war and terrorism can affect lives long after they take place and about how people help each other get through such horrible times. Oskar, his mother, his grandparents, they’ve all experienced tragedy, be it war, being left by the ones they love, a terrorist attack that shook the entire world. They are all looking for a way to accept what happened, deal with it somehow and go on.
Most of the other less prominent characters that Oskar runs into in his journey to solve a mystery related to his father are some how affected by personal physical or psychical tragedies. A man in a wheel chair, another who filled his bed with over 9000 nails measuring the time since his wife had died, a woman on the verge of a divorce, they all face life’s challenges, much like the little boy and each member of his family.
The feeling I was left with when finishing Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is hard to distinguish. It’s not hope, it’s definitely not dispair, it is closer to realizing that no matter what personal or general tragedy we face, there is a way out, a way to move forward. It’s not always the best way, it’s quite often not the worst, but as the world never ends or stops for you unless you die, and as it movers along with or without you, it’s better to get back on your feet and embrace what’s to come next.
I read Jonathan Safran Foer is a quite debated writer, some praise him, the rest criticize him. I for one love his style and would like to know what you think.