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[simpleazon-link asin=”0618711651″ locale=”us”]Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close[/simpleazon-link]
My review: 4 of 5 stars
As a rule, I’m not a big fan of post-modern literature. I prefer the good old-fashioned novel. But if you want to meet some remarkable people and are willing to grieve with them too, then you should read this book. The off-the-charts imagination made me interested in Oskar Schell, the nine-year-old main character. He blew my mind with his ideas and his brilliance. I absolutely fell in love with this kid. To see the world from his eyes was both hilarious and painful. This is not a plot driven book. In fact, the main event, the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, is a year old at the onset of this story. This book is about grieving people from all over New York who find solace in each other and in Oskar. Fascinating and intense with nothing resolved . But isn’t that the way with the events of 9/11. An open wound with no answers. No real closure. A horror that will never leave our collective souls no matter how much we, and Oskar, may want it to. But as Oskar tries in his naive nine-year-old way to make sense of the senseless, we come to love him for it.
“Parents are always more knowledgeable than their children, and children are always smarter than their parents” (p. 7).
“…sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all of the lives I’m not living” (p. 113).
“…it’s a shame that we have to live, but it’s a tragedy that we get to live only one life” (p. 133).
“That’s the difference between heaven and hell! In hell we starve! In heaven we feed each other!” (p. 164)
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness” (p. 180).
ALA Notable Books for Adults (2006)