Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Movie Tie-In): A Novel

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Movie Tie-In): A Novel

4.3 41
by Jonathan Safran Foer

ISBN-10: 0547735022

ISBN-13: 2900547735022

Pub. Date: 11/01/2011

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"Jonathan Safran Foer confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination." "Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, and pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find…  See more details below


"Jonathan Safran Foer confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination." "Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, and pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11." An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Movie Tie-in Edition

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 249 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I do feel that this is my favorite novel. It touched me. Sometimes I cried, sometimes I laughed out loud. Foer is on his way to becoming one of the greatest writters of his generation. I feel that this book showed so much improvement and growth from the author since his last novel. I loved Everything Is Illuminated, but I had to bump it down a notch and add this one to the top. Osker is the sweetest character and his connection to everyone is so special.
chrisk511 More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book! A touching and relevant story about a boy who lost his father in the 9/11 attacks. He is left with a mystery to solve that is both thrilling and fun. The book will keep you on your toes and the characters will keep you smiling and laughing. This is truly one of my favorite reads that I will continue to keep on my bookshelf to re-read time and time again. I have also given this book as a gift on several occasions, and it has always been positively received. Jonathan Safron Foer is a genius who will make you laugh, make you cry and most importantly will make you think.
Patton-Athenae More than 1 year ago
This book is by far one of the best books I've ever read, hands down. I've never laughed and cried over a story as much as I have reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. If you're the type of person who hates waiting for a story to pique your interest, then this is the book for you. I was hooked on this book from the very first page. It is definitely unique and quirky and subsequently may not be for everybody. But I can't imagine someone who couldn't relate to at least one aspect of this beautifully crafted novel. It is full of powerful and resounding material that takes you on an emotional journey unlike any other. The only small issue I had with this book was the way certain dialogue passages were written. It wasn't bad, it just got confusing at times because the format was different (in places) from the majority of what we read. Furthermore, it's almost impossible to describe this book to anyone. If I mentioned that it had to do with September 11, that made it sound too grim and depressing; If I tried to describe the characters, it became impossible to really put them into words; If I tried to discuss the plot, I found myself giving away all of the intricate details that make this book so fascinating. So the best thing to do, is to read the book and see for yourself. Not only is it moving and graphic and wise and insanely clever, but it is full of quotable one-liners and is truly deep at so many points throughout. Plus...this book has pictures...what can be better than that?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell asleep on the train countless times while trying to read this book. I live in New York and I found no connection to this kid. He was actually annoying in my opinion. I found myself quite uninterested in his grandparent's story (that was the most boring part of the entire book) and I found myself wishing the story was more just about him on his journey. The book was just one big let down. At the end I found myself saying.......that's it? UGH!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book seems, in style, to be an attempted repeat of Foer's first book. Rather than explore new ideas (or any important idea at all), the author resorts to tired visual gimmicks that distract from the story. It's also just not that funny (and rather forced). If you bought the first book because of its humor, you won't like this one. Another part of the book's problem is that it's about 9/11, a very real and recent tragedy, but there is so much decontextualized fantasy on every page (not to mention an utterly implausible main character) that the whole tale is abstractly removed from an authentic experience of tragedy. To that extent, the book is really rather exploitative of, and insulting to, actual 9/11 victims. It isn't about 9/11 at all -- one feels that Foer added it as a marketing gimmick, and he admits as much in an interview I saw where he says the book went through 35 drafts and 3500 discarded pages, and only at the end was 9/11 added to the mix. There are some nice turns of phrase and interesting thoughts here and there, but these don't redeem the basic lack of compelling characters, moral narrative, and believable writing. I would recommend A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time instead, in which the author did actual research about his subject matter (autism) prior to putting pen to paper. The result there was quite striking, and authentic. Enough with this veneer of postmodernism with its blank pages and typesetting tomfoolery -- where are the real novels?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading is for entainment, to learn, or to enlighten. Reading "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" did not entertain, didn't teach, and certainly didn't enlighten. Mr. Foer is probably a talented writer but could use some coaching in how to tell a good story.
E_M_13423 More than 1 year ago
Oskar Schell, a young boy living in Manhattan, whose father died at the World Trade Center site on the tragic day of 9/11 finds a mysterious key in an envelope in his father's closet. This is a touching and incredible journey that we readers are privy to share, about things we are confused about, loss, extreme loneliness, fear, sadness, anger, love, safety….This book is endearing and captures the heart and acts as a somewhat cathartic lesson in life. This will do the reader good.
bookLOVEr6JR More than 1 year ago
holy god. that book was amazing. i was so moved. it was amazing. i am speechless. the way the story was woven it only left you guessing. i LOVED THIS book and i will recommend it to anyone who had a brain, and heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Decided to purchase this book after seeing the movie preview. The book is usually better than the movie. Cannot even begin to imagine. Unless you have time (or money) to waste, do yourself a favor & do NOT read this book! I can honestly say this is the worse book I have ever read. I kept reading till the end in the slight chance it would get better. NEVER HAPPENED :-( This was my first from this author & I will not be reading another. Definitely would NOT recommend this for book club discussions!!!
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
Wow, I have been reading some of the one star reviews and am surprised. So I thought I might as well add my opinion. This book jumps around as far as a time line is concerned. If you have a problem with that, you will have a problem with this book. The author uses photos because the main character uses photos (you'll have to read it to understand). The author inserts blank pages to "illustrate" a point. He uses different formats. Some reviewers have criticized these techniques. I loved them. I read Pulitzer Prize books. I read Nobel Prize authors. I enjoy those books. Every author does not have to be a prize winner to be good. This is an amazing book and easily is one of my top 5. The characters are amazing. I think the author developed them so well that I want to meet them in person. I have met people like the ones in this book. Some are eccentric. That does not mean they are unrealistic. What was most important to me about the characters is that I cared about them. As far as I am concerned, that is all that matters. For me, this book is about love. There were so many beautiful parts to this book. Some parts were beautiful because of the pure simplicity of them. I won't give a synopsis because you can read other reviews to get that. There are so many wonderful parts of the book. My favorite is too long to explain but I will leave you with my second favorite: "You're sure?" "Pretty sure." "Are you more or less than seventy-five-percent sure?" "More." "Ninety-nine percent?" "Less." "Ninety percent?" "About that." "That's a lot of percent."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful. It isn't as popular as Everything is Illuminated because it isn't a funny novel. It has a sad tone to it that can't be taken away, because it is about Oskar, who lost his father in 9/11. More importantly, Oskar represents every son, daughter, sister,brother, wife, husband, nephew and niece and etc who lost someone in 9/11. It is a powerful story of dealing with grief. Foer does a wonderful job helping the reader see through the eyes of a young and sad child, who might just have a hint of autism or aspergers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The is the most horribly written book I have ever read. I quit reading half way throught because it was so bad.The style of the text is schizophrenic stream of consciosness that wanders to no where. The grammar and sentence structure adds to this aimless wandering. It really has no plot and no purpose. It is simply weird and bizarre for no real purpose. Those who like the book have simply bought in to the bizarrenes of the book without really understaning the pointlessness of the book.
LG_321 More than 1 year ago
This is one time when I think the movie will be better than the book. It would be hard not to be better b/c the book is awful. The 9 year old main character is completely unbelievable, the grandparent's story is jumbled, the concept is good but the execution of the plot is poor. I agree with other reviewers that this is not a good choice for the NOOK at all. I would not recommend this book and I would not read another novel from this author again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I was a little confused because the book is written from several points of view. However, once I realized this, I became emotionally attached to Oskar. Yes, there are several 9/11 books out there, but this is the first I've read from a child's perspective. This book is raw, mulit-layered, and extremely gripping. I'd highly recommend it. I only rated it four stars instead of five because as other reviewers have noted, some of the pages on my nook were very hard to navigate because the typewritten/handwritten pages were illustrations and therefore difficult to read. I hope the movie does this book justice.
R_T_Louise More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic! It is very unique and touching to the reader. The way the author writes stands him out of a crowd, his style is what makes the book so special. At times, it can be confusing for some readers which is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. The characters were well-rounded and the storyline was extremely beautiful. Writing in different character's prospectives was a smart decision that the author made. Overall, this book can be confusing, but is an amazing read! I loved this book and recommend it to anyone! Also, those who are complaining of reading the book on the NOOK, I have the NOOK version as well, and I didn't see the problems others did. It was pretty straightforward for me, but it may be different for their NOOKs? If you were worried about it on your NOOK, it was easy to read, but you can also read it on the computer software for your NOOK. That's my recommendation.
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
The character of Oscar Schell deserves a 10 Star Rating. This character was meaningful, captivating, and touchable. The story wrapped around this wonderful character falls completely flat. Oscar Schell is as exciting as a roller coaster ride, the story makes you get off the ride.
eakamine More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my junior year of high school. I LOVED it and and I usually hated every required reading book. I thought it had a very moving and touching story line while incorporating brilliant literary devices. I loved that the author had each character telling the same story from their perspective, but I thought the best part was that Foer used a different writing style to match each character. This helped the audience understand more about each one in a much more tangible way because as you read the book, you read it in the way the character would talk or think. It does not surprise me that it was made into a movie, but I also refused to see the movie because I knew it would never do the book justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I wasn't very impressed by this book. Maybe my expectations were too high. I had seen previews for the movie and I saw that the book was on The New York Times bestseller list, so I decided to read it. As of this moment, I still haven't seen the movie. I think I'll eventually watch it, but the book was only mediocre to me. Initially I was confused when the author switched between Oskar, the grandmother, and the grandfather. I figured that by the end of the book everything would fit into place. However, I was just as confused at the end as I was at the beginning. I think there were a ton of unanswered questions throughout the book, but maybe that was Foer's intention. I don't believe the author writes in a way that is particularly difficult to understand, but the style of the book confused me. Switching between the characters was sometimes irritating because I never knew whose point of view I was reading from. I've read other books that switch between characters frequently. For example, I've read the first two books in George R. R. Martin's series "A Song of Ice and Fire." I have no difficulty comprehending these books, but Foer's book confused the heck out of me. Overall, it was an interesting book, but it didn't do anything for me. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone. I would only say that it's an okay book...
Cherry5 More than 1 year ago
For the most part I was bored. I could not connect with any of the characters on any level. These people all seem to have some very deep rooted mental problems. Maybe instead of running off too support groups and leaving her child alone all the time, this women should have gotten him some therapy. The whole book was one uncomfortable disturbing mess. All these people all needed some major help. I thought it was a book about people dealing with loss. Not already mentally ill people dealing with loss....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plowing thru this book. It is so boring, so tedious, so disconnected, conversions are tiresome. I really dislike adults trying to write as children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Everything is Illuminated and liked it. I liked this book too, but like some have said, it doesn't break any new ground. The visual gimmicks are new, but an advertising executive would probably be able to come up with the same things. But not bad, just not worth the hype. Not only does it rehash some of Everything is Illuminated, but it rehashes the well-worn story of the precocious kid in NY. The problem is, this kid is just a little too precious. Though the age ranges are different, I much prefered the characters in The Fortress of Solitude and Kavalier and Clay, just to name a couple of recent books. Oskar just didn't strike me as a real person, more of a character in a sitcom, like Webster or Arnold Jackson. What kid in 2003 calls their cat a pussy anyway? It's no wonder he doesn't have any friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WARNING: Possible Spoilers While I did enjoy reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I did find it somewhat of a difficult read. The concept of switching from present day narrative to dated letters was confusing, as I had to wrap my head around the different voices of characters different generations (Oskar and the grandfather, respectively). Oskar, himself, was well developed as a character throughout the novel, and his narrative gave me fresh insight into the mind of a child in an adult's world. Likewise, the grandfather's letters included many details and suppressed emotions that allowed me to better understand his decisions. Together, however, the mix of Oskar's everyday point of view and his grandfather's voice proved to be too chaotic. Evidently, my brain is terrible at separating the two worlds of past and present, but compartmentalizing the different time periods could be an effective way to keep the worlds apart, yet entwined. The most interesting part of this novel was its ability to toy with my emotions- I had a complete change of heart regarding Oskar's mom, transitioning from utter distaste to quiet respect and admiration. Where I used to criticize her lack of presence in Oskar's daily like (like letting him go "out" without further explanation), I now understand her unique way of guidance. Unfortunately, this newfound understanding ruined the book for me. Perhaps I am too much of an adult in my thinking, but knowing that Oskar's journey did not entirely stem from his own thought processes made his desperate search seem trivial, much like how adults will humor a young child's whims. Though this can be seen as a metaphor of man's ephemeral and unimportant actions in the grand scheme of things, I can't help but to feel cheated. The fact that much of the novel was based off of false perceptions left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Oh, and the ending was entirely unsatisfying.
Sar147 More than 1 year ago
*Had to Write A Review For English Class* The novel “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” By Jonathan Safran Foer was truly an amazing and powerful book. In my opinion people should read this book because, the way Foer’s styles his writing, how you really feel for the characters, and the mystery of the story. In the beginning of the book you meet a young boy named Oskar whose father died in the attack on 9/11.Since his fathers death it took a hard toll on Oskar. One day Oskar was in his father’s room and he found a key in a blue vase. Ever since he found the key he was eager to find out what the key led him to-hopefully a connection to his father. Oskar set out onto a journey to find the lock; He went to the key shop and an art shop. And that began his mission. Jonathan Safran Foer’s style of writing was different then usual authors. In my opinion I liked his style because, he added pictures that connected with the book, and how he would write just one word on a page, to show that it was part of the journal entry. I agree with Chris5k11 that this book was truly a powerful and touching story about a determined little nine year old boy. By how Chris5k11 says that the author keeps you on your toes is SO true. The suspense of this book want you to keep reading the book. You really connected with the characters in the novel they showed how they felt with the loss of Tomas Shell. Oskar’s grandmother was writing Oskar a long letter thru out the book. That’s how she showed how much she missed her son and told Oskar her life story. She never told people that she loved them as much as she would like, and that hurt her everyday. And the point she was trying to get by was that she loved her grandson Oskar   The true mystery/Suspense that kept you reading was what did that key led too. And how was a nine-year old boy going to find the lock. Oskar spent many months to find that lock. He met many amazing and different kinds of people on his journey. And they all connected in some way. Also another mystery was who was the “realtor”, that was living with Oskar’s grandmother. When you finally met the realtor, he never talked he used writing to communicate with people.  In this novel my favorite character was Oskar because, he was different then the normal nine-year old that you typically know. He was so determined to figured out what the lock to the key was. He wanted to connect with his father, he spent 8 whole months searching and searching. He knew how to talk to people, for example Mr.Black who never left his house for years since his wife’s death. Oskar brought him out and showed him the world that he’s been missing. Oskar dealt with things that grown ups can’t even deal with. Everyday Oskar would write a letter to his favorite author Stephen Hawking, and he would never get a real reply, but that never stopped him. He told him his problems, and what was happening in his life. Hoping that one day Stephen Hawking would give him a true reply. The most powerful quote for me was “Message two 9:12 A.M  it’s me again are you there? Hello? Sorry if. It’s getting a bit.Smokey. I was hoping you would.Be.Home.I don’t know if you’ve heard about what happened.But.I. Just wanted you to know that I’m OK.Everything.Is Fine. When you get this, give Grandma a call. Let her know that I’m OK. I’ll  call again in a few minutes. Hopefully the firemen will be up. Up here by then. I’ll call” (Safran Foer,69). This is my favorite quote because, this was the last time Oskar ever heard his dad’s voice.It shows how Oskar’s dad cared so much for his dad.To Conclude this was an Amazing book I give it 5 Stars. After reading this book, it really got me thinking about life I thought about this book for a few days.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not like at all. The book was too sexualized to be told from a 9 year old boy. It also went back and forth in time. I thought the book was going to by a puzzle book that allowed a son closer to his father that did during 9-11. Unfortunately the book was about his disfunctional grandparents and how no-one in this family has a decent relationship and should be medicated. Buyer beware...
Mannadonn More than 1 year ago
Before I begin my review of this book...I need you to know that I read this book MONTHS ago. Like, back in February kind of months ago. But I have not been able to discuss it until now because I cry every time I try. That's how heart wrenching and touching this book is. But it's not one of those books that I cried the entire time I read it. Just when I was finished. Actually, the night I finished this book, I closed it, breathed deeply and hugged it to my chest. The Hubble looked at me and said I looked teary-eyed. All I could do was nod, lay my head on his chest and just...cry. It's also not a book I actively thought about. It's not one where you think "I have to go read because that book is so incredible!" No...it's more like when you pick it up you lose yourself and the next thing you know it's 2am and you only meant to read a chapter. To say that this book was amazing would be doing it a grave injustice. This book was soul changing. It starts off a bit confusing because there are two stories involved. One told by a man from Germany about his story. The other told from Oskar's perspective. Each chapter changes the narrator and you have to remain aware of who is telling the story. The question of how these two narrator's are involved in the same story that seems completely different is a prominent question. But all is revealed by the end of the book. I am honestly trying to find the words to describe this book. But no words in the English language can begin to explain how this book affected me. Oskar is a brilliant boy. He reminds me a lot of my younger brother who has Asperger's Syndrome. While Oskar is traipsing around NY I found myself concerned for him. And angry at his mother for allowing her 9 year old son to travel throughout NY unattended. Who does that? But again, by the end of the book, questions are answered. The people Oskar meets are eccentric and lovable. Each and every person has their own story, their own struggles. But Oskar's determination to find the lock that fits his dad's key is what keeps the reader turning the pages. And his unending desire to know EXACTLY how his father died. Did he die of smoke inhalation? Did he know what was happening? Was he alive as the towers fell? He has so many questions. Oskar also takes pictures. He keeps them in a book. Scattered throughout the pages of this novel are Oskar's pictures so not only do you have your imagination, but also visual aides to help you move along with the story. This book is not your normal 9/11 story. This book does not deal with the tragedy that happened inside the tower that day. But instead gives insight into the aftermath. The struggles this one family faces years after that fateful day. Though I know Oskar is a fictional character, I can't help but feel as though his thoughts and feelings are shared by many who lost a loved one that day. Oskar has stayed with me since I read this book and I don't expect him to be going anywhere for a very long time. He is a part of me now. If you never read another book about 9/11...I highly recommend you read this one. You will never be the same again.