I have to admit, when I picked up Foer's first novel, Everything is Illuminated, I was maddened by his writing style. It was ridiculous, all over the place, and I couldn't stand reading it. Needless to say, I was hesitant about picking up his latest book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but I am sure glad I did.
The novel details the life of young Oskar Schell following the tragedy of his father's death in 9/11. This is the first book that I've read that really tried to grasp this date, and I found Foer to be incredibly successful. The main plot of the story focuses on Oskar's mission to find a door that belongs to a mysterious black key that he finds in his dad's closet shortly after his death. Oskar feels that finding the lock that the key opens will somehow help him feel comforted, or at least more at ease, with the loss of his father.
Throughout Oskar's journey, the reader get's an array of observations about the world through Oskar's eyes. He must have been a fun character to write -- Oskar's quirks and obsessive tendencies are hilarious and sweet, tragic and hopeful, and altogether unique.
The writing style of this novel is completely captivating. It's artistic, fresh, and unexpected. Within the novel, photographs are interspersed that Oskar collects. There are chapters written by Oskar's grandmother that capture a whole other generation in the novel. Her chapters are beautiful and rambling and honestly work through the difficulties of immigrating to America and figuring out what it means to be married, have a family, and make a life in New York City.
In this review, I really feel at a loss for words. There aren't simple statements to wrap up the grandeur of this breathtaking novel. It is by far one of my favorite books of all time. GO GET IT!!