The majority of the book is told through the eyes of Oksar, a precocious nine-year-old boy, whose father was killed in the attack of September 11. Oksar finds a mysterious key in his father’s closet and thinking it’s one of their scavenger hunts, he goes around the boroughs of New York searching for the lock.
At times, the story will jump to a narration from Oksar’s grandmother and estranged grandfather from when they were younger living in Germany to their marriage and ultimately to their reconcilement. These were the parts that I enjoyed the most.
The book is scattered with pictures, one sentence pages and even completely blank pages, but it’s that unique form that makes this book so engaging. You feel like you’re apart of this journey that’s mixed with adventure, mystery, tragedy, hope, forgiveness, longing and love.
I honestly found Oskar to be quite annoying in the beginning, but he eventually grew on me. Even though he struggled with his father’s death, I couldn’t really care about Oksar. I wanted this lonely little boy to succeed in his search, but I think it was his know-it-all attitude that overshadowed it. Him being able to walk from borough to borough without being stopped was so unbelievable that I wanted to stop reading at that point.
Foer’s way of telling this story (and the story itself) was interesting enough for me to finish, but can’t say I was impressed by it.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Rating: 3.5/5 stars