Is extremely loud and incredibly close a good book
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran FoerHoughton Mifflin Company. ITS title is "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," but it will also be known, inevitably, perhaps primarily, and surely intentionally, as that new Sept. Does a novel with such a high-concept visual kicker and sensational book-club conversation starter even need a title at all? Besides containing a wealth of other photographs and attention-grabbing graphic elements, Jonathan Safran Foer's second novel his first was "Everything Is Illuminated" positively teems with text -- most, but not all, of which takes the form of prose. There's a distinction, of course, and Foer is just the sort of brainy, playful young writer, his critical faculties honed by the academy and his multimedia sensibilities shaped by the Internet and heaven knows what else, for whom this arcane distinction is second nature and a perfect excuse for fun and games.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Review and Analysis
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Just as the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center instantly epitomised the clash between Islamic fundamentalism and capitalist hubris, the writing of Jonathan Safran Foer has divided readers into vehemently opposed factions. One side has given him a rapturous reception: confetti-showers of praise, numerous prizes including the Guardian First Book award for Everything Is Illuminated, published when he was only 25 and, for this new novel, a fervent endorsement from Salman Rushdie "ambitious, pyrotechnic, riddling, and above all In the opposite camp, Foer's fiction triggers violently allergic reactions. Dissenters dismiss him as an adolescent chatterbox, all artifice and no substance, all cuteness and no grit. I would have preferred not to take sides. But, looking back at my jottings in the margins of Foer's new book, I can't deny how frequently and furiously I've scribbled "Aaaarrghh!
A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review. Oskar Schell, hero of this brilliant follow-up to Foer's bestselling Everything Is Illuminated , is a nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player and pacifist. Foer embellishes the narrative with evocative graphics, including photographs, colored highlights and passages of illegibly overwritten text, and takes his unique flair for the poetry of miscommunication to occasionally gimmicky lengths, like a two-page soliloquy written entirely in numerical code. Although not quite the comic tour de force that Illuminated was, the novel is replete with hilarious and appalling passages, as when, during show-and-tell, Oskar plays a harrowing recording by a Hiroshima survivor and then launches into a Poindexterish disquisition on the bomb's "charring effect. Unafraid to show his traumatized characters' constant groping for emotional catharsis, Foer demonstrates once again that he is one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk sentimentalism in order to address great questions of truth, love and beauty.
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