Monday, November 2, 2009

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

It wasn’t unusual for me to run out of blank pages before the end of the day, so should I have to say something to someone on the street or in the bakery or at the bus stop, the best I could do was flip back through the daybook and find the most fitting page to recycle, if someone asked me, “How are you feeling?” it might be that my best response was to point at, “The regular, please,” or perhaps, “And I wouldn’t say no to something sweet,” when my only friend, Mr. Richter, suggested, “What if you tried to make a sculpture again? What’s the worst thing that could happen?” I shuffled halfway into the filled book: “I’m not sure, but it’s late.”

-Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I finished reading this book a few months ago, and loved it. Safran Foer, for those who don't know, also wrote Everything is Illuminated, which I also recommend. This one was fun and quirky but also poignant and sad. Safran Foer is really good at getting the balance between emotions. He also does some cool things with the formatting of the book: there are some different colors, some character spacing stuff, and some of the story is told through photos. I think it’s also got a kind of universal appeal: I can’t think of anyone (except maybe someone who is incredibly pretentious about literature) who wouldn’t enjoy it. Definitely check it out if you get a chance.


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