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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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by Jonathan Safran Foer

Imaginative. Heart-wrenching. Gimmicky. The bestseller from the author of the cult hit Everything Is Illuminated is hard to put your finger on – it's all of these things and more. It is the story of a young boy named Oskar Schell who comes home from school on the morning of September 11th to find four messages on his family's answering machine from his father who was at a meeting at Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center.

The plot is beautiful, and it's told in pictures as well as words. It weaves the story of Oskar and Oskar's grandparents together in such a compelling way as the brilliant boy goes on a search to find the lock that matches a key his father left behind.

The novel reminded me very much of the bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in its voice – the voice of a child. This is at once interesting and fatiguing for the reader. There were times, I admit, during the novel when it felt like a gimmick and I longed to hear from an adult, but perhaps that is part of the point.

If you've been in the summer doldrums of predictable thrillers and crime dramas, this will definitely shake you out of your slumber. The latest bestseller from the young acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I'm Amanda Dickson.

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