Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

 What would you do if you lose your father because some guy decides to fly two planes into the highest buildings of New York?

Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is a fictional story based on the terrible events of the ninth of September 2001. It tells the story of a young boy whose life and family was destroyed through the events of 9/11. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the second novel out of the four novels he has written. It was published in 2005 and was also turned into a film in January 2012.

The story is mainly told through the eyes of the very curious, intelligent and creative Oskar Schell. He constantly gives you facts, examples and clues so you can think along with him. Sometimes this made it very irritating for me to read, because his way of thinking is quite confusing. On the other hand it made the story interesting as well, because it was exiting to read. What is very noticeable in Oskar’s story are the mood changes. At one point he’s funny and exited, while a bit later he can be sad and uninterested.

Between the adventures of Oskar there are stories written by Oskar’s grandparents. Some of them to their grandson, others about World War II and their experiences during the bombardments in Europe. Sometimes I didn’t see the needs of these stories which made me uninterested and thereby made it hard to read. Foer manages to switch between both informal and formal writing as short and detailed writing. He also varies between the “daybooks”, the letters and Oskar’s personal story.

Oskar Schell is a nine year old boy who lives in New York. His father died in the World trade Center on 9/11 and he was the last one who has heard his voice. Sometime later he discovers an envelope in a blue vase and inside that envelope he finds a key. Knowing that his father would have wanted him to find out what it’s for, he starts a journey through New York searching for the person whose last name was written on the envelope. Mostly by foot he visits everyone whose last name is “Black” and asks them if they know anything about the key or his father. One of the people he meets is an old man called Mr Black and he decides to help Oskar on his journey. Who is hoping that one of the “Blacks” can help him find the owner of the key and the lock which the key belongs to.

What Oskar does after he lost his father is not letting him go, but going on an adventure with him instead. Only this time not in physical presence of his father, but in mental presence in order not to forget about him.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is an impressing story written in an unusual way. The three different writing styles and the different characters make me recommend the novel to those who love a lot of variation.


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