Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer
When I first picked it up and read the description on the dust jacket, I wasn't so sure. Post-9/11 story? Do I really want to read this? Is it a bit soon, even seven years later?
But I picked it up, and am glad I did. The main character is a 9-year-old boy who is precocious, obnoxious, inventive, and vulnerable. Of course I loved him. But it turns out it's not just his story—it's the story of his family and what he finds as he searches for the father that he lost. And like any story about family, this one begins to span more than just one tragic incident, and the relationships of just one boy with his father.
Now that I wrote that, it may seem stupid, but I promise, it's a beautiful book.
It's a little on the experimental side, but not in any way that detracts from the story, and definitely not in a way that's obnoxious (I HATE Pynchon. There, I said it). This book is perfectly natural.
The only thing that irks me about the story at all is that it is so brilliant, and it's written by a kid who's younger than me. (I may be a little jealous.) This is one I think I might be buying sometime soon (and for me, that means I really, really liked it).