Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Summer 2006

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is novel that tracks a young boy’s attempts to make sense of the bombings of 9/11, a day on which he has lost his father. Though not as strongly written as Safran-Foer’s first novel, Everything is Illuminated, this is still an engaging and searching attempt to create some semblance of meaning from an act that in many ways defies simple categorization.

Without delving too far into plot intricacies, the simplest thing to note is that Jonathan Safran-Foer is a tremendous writer, one of the better young American ones out there, and if you’ve got the time and inclination you won’t do wrong by reading this book. To view his talent through another lens: the really fascinating – and, depending on the day’s mood, frustrating – thing abut his abilities is that he wrote the initial draft of his first book, Everything is Illuminated, at the age of 19. It took him all of three weeks to complete.

This is the first, and to date only, book review that I’ve done. Simply put, this is because reviewing a book is exponentially more time-consuming than reviewing a film, and when you’re doing it gratis that fact can become equally as taxing as time-consuming.

If you’d like to see what I thought about the book’s qualities and why, a copy of my thoughts can be downloaded for your enjoyment here.

[This review was originally published on the website TheOtherJournal.com]

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