Monday, November 10, 2014

"Maybe it's true that you can use up all of your tears"

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
"Nothing is beautiful and true"
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) by Washington-born writer Jonathan Safran Foer is one of those books that stares directly into my soul every time I find myself in a bookstore. At long last I decided to buy it a couple of weeks ago, rushing through it in a few days when I finally found time for it. I must admit that said "rushing", however, happened with reluctance. Extremely Loud, I quickly figured out, is something truly special, and I wanted to savour the New York Times Bestesteller for as long as I could. Unfortunately for me, I wanted to find out what would happen even more.

By the way, it turns out that Foer was married for seven years to Nicole Krauss, who happened to write The History of Love (2005), another one of those "stare into my soul" books. Small world I guess.

Here goes for the plot:

The life of nine-year-old Oskar Schell has been in shambles ever since his father died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. When he one days discovers a key in a blue vase that belonged to his father, Oskar's overwhelming and bittersweet odyssey - finding out which of New York's 162 million locks it opens - commences. His only clue? The word "Black". As Oskar sets out to contact every person in NYC with the last name Black, other narratives, like, for example, the story of Oskar's grandparents, converge with that of Oskar. 

cry a lot meme

You should definitely read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close if you hadn't already. Foer's wonderful storytelling scheme and experimental writing style, ingeniously interspersed with pictures, empty pages and oneliners, is guaranteed to move you, and you will quickly find yourself rooting for Oskar, whose determination to stay close to his father is nothing less than heartbreaking.  What Extremely Loud showed me, above anything, is that losing a loved one is never easy, and that there is no wrong way of dealing with the pain of your loss, even if it means hanging on to a straw. 

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