This book is told through the eyes of an extremely smart and funny nine-year-old who is also the narrator, Jonathan Safran Foer. He tells a story of the effects of his fathers tragic death, in the 9/11 terrorist attack, on his father, Oskar Schell, and his family as a whole. Oskar’s father not only endured the pain of being trapped in the towers, but was killed due to not being able to escape. To add to the stories allready tragic story line, Oskar’s grandparents had also witnessed terrorist attacks, like that of 9/11, during World War II and this brings back their old memories. The peoples horrible deaths in the attack, change the emotions of the main characters in similar, yet different ways depending on their past experiences. To add to the main, staking process, of dismissing memories of his father, Oscar finds close that only make him dig deeper into his fathers old life. This not only makes it harder to get over his dads death, but also leaves many doors open for possibilities on what his father hid from the rest of his family when he was alive. Was it just something for work, or more?
“Just because you’re an atheist, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t love for things to have reasons for why they are.” (13) Commentary #1
This was one of my favorite quotes out of the entire book because I question religion all the time so, it was very easy to relate to. I’m not an atheist and will never be able to completely deny something so powerful, but this quote seemed to wrap up my entire belief on life, everything here has something it was made to do, and everything and everyone is here for some reason, not just by accident. Although I am not atheist, I believe the atheists can have vivid imaginations, some may even be more vivid then religious people. Passage #2
“I shook my tambourine the whole time, because it helped me remember that even though I was going through different neighborhoods, I was still me” (88) Commentary #2
This is one of my absolute favorites because I actually used to things like this when i was a little kid (except I had a whistle….funny, I know). This is an important quote to the overall meaning of the book because it shows how Oscar created almost all of his identity in life from things at his house and with things that he was familiar with. In his journey to find the lock for his key that he had found in his dads stuff, he is forced out of his normal comfort zone into meeting people with different stories for him to hear, and it makes him fell like he isn’t alone. It’s a way for Oscar to mature and to find new qualities in himself, in “new” parts of his city he had never chosen to explore before. Passage #3
”Feeling pain is still better than not feeling, isn’t it?” (245) Commentary #3
I chose this quote because I realized how wonderfully this quote is true in real life. In life we tend to underestimate the importance of physical feelings, that’s because we tend to be so wrapped up in how we feel mentally about things that we forget about the physical stuff. We always want to feel happy…and how stupid and selfish is that? On top of that, we tend to overlook how important pain is to our lives. It not only is essential, but also somewhat wanted. We tend to forget how physical pain can heal in a short manner, but mental pain can last forever. This quote just goes to remind us that pain lets us know that we are still living. It’s doesn’t put it in the sweetest words as possible, but it’s get across the message. 4)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a really good book. It was really a joy reading it and experiencing the tolls of the tragedies on the narrator as I read. However, it was a very sad and moving story that would have you crying at parts and laughing out loud at others. I would suggest this book to anyone, as long as they enjoy books that might make them a bit emotional. Overall, I thought this was one of the best books I have ever read, just the story line was truly fantastic. 5)
If you enjoyed reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close , you will definitely enjoy reading Everything Is Illuminated by the same author, Jonathan Safran Foer.