Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer ★★★☆☆
Genre: Literary Fiction
Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.
At it’s core, this is a wonderfully heart warming story of a young boy who has lost his father and just wants to feel close to him. The tone was very reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The World According to Alex Woods and See You In the Cosmos.
I loved Oskar’s story, and it was great seeing the world from his perspective. And we saw a brilliant cast of characters from all over New York.
However, alongside Oskar’s chapters we got chapters from two other people. I won’t spoil the novel by saying any more, but those chapters took me out of the story and I found myself just wanting to get back to Oskar.