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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

July 9, 2009 - Meg Alexander
"The Trial" can wait, I decided. It just didn't seem like much of a summer read anyway, so instead I'm diving into "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," a book strongly recommended by my stepdaughter after I bought it for her for a Christmas gift based on the recommendation of another friend, as well as critics galore.

The author takes a postmodern approach, which has the reader following the intelligent/ bizarre/almost stream-of-conscious thoughts of the preteen narrator as he scours the city of New York to find out more about a mysterious key left behind by his father, who was killed in the September 11 terrorist attack.

The writing is so beautiful it makes the narrator seem almost unbelievable since most 11-year-olds I know don't express things like: “The meaning of my thoughts started to float away from me, like leaves that fall from a tree into a river, I was the tree, the world was the river.”

But Oskar is a strange kid in a refreshing, lovable, blunt, beautiful kind of way. Thus far, I adore his voice and can't wait to read what crazy/logical invention his hyperactive mind will think up next. To feel such affection for a fictional character and be able to escape into their world is the beauty of a good story.

To quote Oskar in regards to his father: “Being with him made my brain quiet. I didn’t have to invent a thing.”


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