Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is written by Jonathan Safran Foer. An American writer also known by the books ‘Everything Is Illuminated’ and ‘Tree of Codes’. He was raised in  Washington, D.C.  As a kid he was very sensitive, and had a nervous breakdown for three years as a result of a chemical accident. At the age of 18 he took a writing course with writer Joyce Carol Oates where he discovered that he wanted to write more seriously. And he did, because this book is very well-known and translated in several languages.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is Foer’s second novel. The book is about a boy, Oskar Schell who lives in New York with his mother. His father died in the accident of 9/11. His grandma lives on the other side of the street. Oskar is a different boy than other boys of his age. He was tested for Asperger’s Syndrome but that turned out negative. He used to solve puzzles his dad would make up. Now that his dad has died he doesn’t do that anymore. At one day, he sniffs around in his father’s closet and finds a camera. When he tries to grab it, a vase falls off the closet and breaks. Inside the vase there is an envelope. On that envelope someone wrote ‘Black’. In the envelope there is a key. Oskar immediately thinks his father has left it there as a puzzle for Oskar. He decides to find out where the key fits on. He does this by looking for every person with the last name ‘Black’ in New York. At his grandma’s house there is a renter, who can’t speak. Together they try to solve te mystery. Through the book there is another story about the renter and his history. The way in wich you find out who he is well written.

The reason I wanted to read this book is because it is very well-known and I heard positive opinions about it. And I agree, the book is very well written and the language isn’t very difficult. Mainly because it’s written in the perspective of a nine-year-old boy. But the story itself is kind of difficult for someone who is not a native English speaker. The story is exciting even though nothing really exciting happens. I kept on reading because I found it intriguing that this little boy was so resolute about finding the lock the key fit on. Also the layout of the book fits well with the mindset of Oskar, when he’s excited, there aren’t any blank lines or indentions and thereby you start reading a lot faster aswell.

I found that in 2011 the movie of this book was released. The film stars great actors such as Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and John Goodman. I haven’t seen it yet but I will because the book was great, so the movie will probably be great too.


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