Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Intro: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

"What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle  pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad's voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles  that sings the chorus of "Yellow Submarine," which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology is one of my raisons d'etre, which is a French expression that I know. Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I could train it to say, "wasn't me!" every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, "Ce n'etais pas moi!"
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 should be the perfect time to read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a book that seems to garner nothing but praise. Obviously it's told from the point-of-view of a child but, after reading the first paragraph, I'm not so sure it's for me.

Will it be similar to Room I loved the audio, but don't think I would have appreciated the print version. Maybe it's just too soon for me to read another novel told from a child's perspective. I'll start a new book today, but can't decide whether this will be the one.

Have you read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close? What did you think?

Tuesday Intro is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea.


  1. This is one of my very favorite books. I haven't read Room so I can't say whether or not it will read with a similar tone, but I would guess they are much different. I think you'll enjoy this one and you're right, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a good time to read it.

  2. This is the perfect time for this book! It kind of reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Not so much Room. It's definitely a very different perspective!

  3. I'd probably read it more from recommendations that reading the first paragraph.

  4. I read it when it first came out and really liked it. I'm about to re-read it for an IRL book club.

  5. That first paragraph intrigues me but I'm not sure I want to read this book. It's never really interested me, I'm not sure why. It's been compared by several critics to his wife, Nicola Krauss' book, The History of Love because there are some major similarities in the two books, e.g, The History of Love has a child narrator (although there's more than one narrator in that book). I haven't reviewed that book yet, maybe this week, but I thought it was wonderful.

  6. I really enjoyed this one. I haven't read Room so I can't compare. I thought it was a worthwhile read though.

  7. This is one of those books that I keep intending to read, but never getting around to. Trish at Love, Laughter and Insanity loves it, and I love Trish, so it's high on my list. The anniversary of 9/11 would be a good time to do it. But that first paragraph doesn't inspire me so much.

  8. Give it some time JoAnn. I don't think it's a book for everyone, but even saying that everyone who I've recommended it to has loved it except for my stepmom who found it depressing (it is in many ways). But it does take a while to get into the groove of Oskar's narrative and once you get the hang of it then the perspective switches. Don't give up on it quite yet...

    And can't wait to hear what you think!!

  9. I actually like this opening, but I read a previous book by this author and wasn't crazy about it. The other book also was about 9/11, so I would give this one a pass.

  10. This author has so many fans, but I haven't tried one of his books yet. I love seeing the different reactions to him though!

  11. this book literally socked me in the gut. It was an emotional read and there's always one part that sticks with me to this day. I'll wait until you're done to share it with you!!

  12. I read this one a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it. I thought it was moving and well written. I wasn't really a fan of Room and until you mentioned it I had never even compared the two - I would say they are very different books in tone and style despite both being narrated by a child.

  13. Brenna - I'm so glad to read your comments. Still struggling to decide whether I should continue, but this does seem to be the perfect time to read the book.

    Reviewsbylola - That's good to know! I loved reading Curious Incident... thanks.

    Nise' - Exactly! So many positive recommendations, but I'm not quite sold yet.

    Amy - The fact that you're willing to reread says a lot. Thanks.

    Amy - It hasn't really interested me, either. My daughter and several bloggers I trust loved it, so I figured this would be the time to try. The audio version of The HIstory of Love was amazing.

    Linda - Good to know, thanks.

    Lisa - LOL, Trish is one of my inspirations!

    Trish - I read a bit more today. Not giving up, but still not hooked. You and my daughter continue to encourage...

    Paulita - Another 20+ pages and I'm still not enjoying it. I'll give it a few more though...

    Rhapsodyinbooks - Never felt drawn to this author, but my daughter and several bloggers have encouraged me. We'll see...

    Staci - Now that is an intriguing comment! I really want to continue, but am still not hooked.

    Karen - I'm kind of glad the comparison hadn't occurred to you... it gives me hope that I may be able to read this after all.

  14. I read the print version when it was first released,and although I liked it, I didn't love it I recall. It is the perfect time to read it though.

  15. I'm interested in being socked in the gut actually. I like that sensation of having my feet pulled out from under me. I loved Room. I can't wait to hear about it.

  16. I love this book. Actually, I abandoned it on my first reading because of the writing so you do have to plunge on and get used to his style. It's truly a beautiful novel actually like a work of art really.

    I reviewed it a few months back.

  17. Diane - After reading another 20+ pages, I'm still not sure... maybe this isn't the right time for me.

    Sandy - I love it when a book can do that, too. We'll see about this one...

    Mrs. B. - This may be a second chance book for me, too. I remember your review... it helped convince me to give the book a try!

  18. I loved this book, but if you don't love books from children's perspectives (especially precocious ones), you may not love this book. There are a couple of other narrators, but the kid features prominently. I read it with Reading Buddies a few months back, though, and just loved it.

  19. Erin - Thanks so much for your input! Precocious child narrators are generally not my thing, but I did love the audio version of ROOM when I listened earlier this summer. I may need to let a little more time elapse before tackling EL&IC, but I will definitely give it another try. BTW, I though of you today when we visited The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza... spent the weekend in Albany celebrating my mother's birthday and that's always one of our stops!

  20. i haven't read "room," but i loved el&ic to pieaces. the writing is meander-y and you feel the boy growing as you read. the perspective does shift, so it may not be as constantly focused as i hear "room" is.

    it's well worth a read, but it may be an emotionally difficult one.

  21. luxehours - Thanks for the input! Your comments sound encouraging, but now may not be the best time for me to read this.


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