Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Book cover of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Book description



From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11

'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving...…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A precocious and inquisitive child Oskar goes on a treasure hunt around New York to solve a mystery left behind by his father who had died on 9/11.

In his quest, you see a child seeking to stay close to his father a little while longer. In his streams of consciousness and hyperactive imagination, you feel him trying to fill the void left behind by a supportive father figure.

With the sheer weight of his innocence, he gets strangers to open up to him, let him into their lives, and add to their life stories. In a moving manner, the…

Oskar Shell is the 9-year-old narrator living in New York City at the time of 9/11. His father has just died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th,  2001. He describes his feeling of depression at the loss of his father “as wearing heavy boots.” Shortly afterwards, in his father's closet, Oskar finds a key in an envelope inside a vase that he accidentally broke; in the key shop, he finds the name Black and thinks this has something to do with the key. He sets out to contact every person in New York City with…

The structure of this incredibly emotional post-9/11 novel is unique, featuring photography, pen scribbles, red-lined and circled words, and pages wherein the words of the anxious narrator close in on each other until ultimately creating a jumbled block of unreadable text; some of the pages when flipped even animate a body falling upward into one of the buildings. It’s a lesson on experimental form. Beautiful prose and an incredible story make this novel special. After finding a key in a vase a year after his father’s death from the terrorist attacks, a nine-year-old boy named Oskar sets out on a…

From Michael's list on immersing readers through poetic prose.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close lead me into the world of grief-stricken Oskar, a boy who lost his dad in the 9/11 attacks. Oskar finds a key in an envelope labeled “Black” inside a vase belonging to his father. He resolves to find all the people named “Black” in NYC, looking for a connection to his dad associated with the key. Like most people, 9/11 left me grappling for understanding. While adults deal with their grief and anger, they sometimes neglect to notice the effects tragedies have on children. This novel opened my eyes to the depths to which children…

From Corrina's list on reading from a child’s perspective.

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