I read Foer’s Everything’s Illuminated last year and wasn’t a big fan. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a much better listen. I know this is a post-modernist book in its presentation, but since I listened to it as an audiobook, the story flowed much more smoothly than it would in print.
This is a story about a child (nine years old, but like most children written by adults, unbearably precocious) who loses his father in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and then embarks on a quest to find… whatever legacy his dad might have left him. The story is good, and there are many moments when Oscar is believably childlike. There were many moments when I cried, though of course that’s in part due to my own emotional baggage left over from that fateful date. There were also moments when I said “Oh!” because something truly surprised me in the storyline.
Overall, I’d recommend this one. Foer isn’t a great storyteller, but he crafts a good character-centered narrative here.
Victorian-era romance novel. The heroine is the hero’s great-uncle’s widow, a former commoner with a dark secret. It’s a good story, but some of the “my character is a flawed ice queen” moments felt bludgeoning.
I read this in preparation for embarking on my own novel. I strongly recommend it to anyone considering writing their first romance novel. I doubt it would help an experienced romance novelist, but you never know.