Thursday, 14 January 2016

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

'The more I found, the less I understood'. 

This is our first book review of 2016 yippee!!! Happy New Year! I'm glad this is the first review because I really liked the book. I feel as though this book has made an impact on me- most of the time after I finish reading, I write a review, forget about the story soon after and move on to the next book. I actually finished reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close a couple of weeks ago, but decided to watch the movie before writing the review (and also because I lacked the motivation to write it as soon as I finished reading it). A picture of the book's cover is on the left, and the movie's cover is below.I hope you all have a good day and have very light boots :) 

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is about a young boy, called Oskar, who lost his dad in the 9/11 attack. The story takes place about a year after his father's death, when Oskar finds a key in a vase in his dad's closet. They used to do scavenger hunts, and Oskar thinks the key is part of a scavenger hunt. So he goes looking for the lock that it opens, thinking that it will open something important and meaningful. He meets many people along the way and hears their stories.... until he finds the lock (or does he?).

Lets start from the beginning- the first few pages are very weird. He lists numerous ideas, inventions, and memories without any connection. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, this is my favourite part of the first chapter: 'Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I'd train it to say, "Wasn't me!" every time I made an incredibly bad fart.' Also, notice how those sentences have the words 'extremely' and 'incredibly'. Those words appear a lot in the book (since they are in the title, they always stood out to me)- they must be the author's favourite words! Although the first chapter was very entertaining, I was scared the entire book would be like this because it wouldn't make any sense- but don't worry, it's not! I found the structure of the book confusing, so I may read it again to understand everything that was going on. It isn't a hard book to understand, it's just that sometimes I get distracted when I read, and miss out on a few parts of the book. So if you aren't like me, you shouldn't have a problem to understand it! Of course, some things are supposed to be a mystery until the end, and there are many sections of the book you have to connect for them to make sense in the end.

Since I both read and watched the story, I'll make a quick book and movie comparison. As always, the book is more in depth and has a lot of things that the movie misses out on. After reading the book, the movie was a bit of a disappointment. Lots of scenes were not included, and one character which seemed pretty significant to me (the neighbour) was not even included in the movie! If you do not have time to read the book, then the movie is great, but the book is way better! I found the movie a good recap, but it was definitely missing a lot of things! You do not really see the relationships between the characters in the movie. Another thing that the movie is lacking is the grandpa's story- and I found it very interesting. I will not spoil the ending of the book, do not fear! but the endings are different in the movie and book. I like the movie's ending more! Comment below which one you prefer :)

Apart from the first chapter and a few bits and pieces throughout the book, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an extremely&incredibly depressing story. Although Oskar was not based on a real person (as far as I know), unfortunately the 9/11 attack was real. While reading the book, you see the pain and grief that Oskar and his mum are going through. Oskar is only nine years old, but is already going through so many problems. He becomes obsessed with finding the lock- it seems that his life depends on it, even though he doesn't even know if it opens something important. It might just open an empty gym locker after all! Oskar often describes his feeling as having 'heavy boots'. I wasn't sure if this was an expression I was unfamiliar with or if the author made this up. But I got what it means- if you are wearing heavy boots, it would feel like something is dragging you down, making going through everyday life more difficult. I searched the meaning and it turns out that it's unique to the book. Urban Dictionary defines it as 'From the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The narrator uses this phrase frequently to describe something making him feel sad, bummed out, or otherwise distressed.' 

I hope you all have a good day and have very light boots :)

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