Nine year old Oskar Schell finds a key among his dead father's things and embarks on a quest to find the lock it fits. Will Oskar Schell's quest give him the answers he's looking for?
Quite some time ago, I watched a fragment of the movie based on this book on a rainy day before deciding I wanted to read the book. Now that I've read it, I'm not sure it was the right choice.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the story of Oskar Schell, a nine year old possible genius with issues whose father died in the World Trade Center collapse. After discovering a mysterious key, he wanders New York's five boroughs, meeting people and drawing closer to the end of his quest.
I loved the Oskar Schell character, a smart boy who has trouble fitting in, and I loved the idea of a boy on quest. Oskar's relationship with his deceased father was very well done, as was his anger with his mother. However, I found the book to be on the gimmicky side with all the photographs and typographical razzmatazz. Also, I found the elder Thomas Schell to be an unsympathetic character. He ran out on his family. Why is Foer so bent on making us feel sorry for him?
As much as I loved the idea of a nine year old attempting to solve the mysteries behind his father's death, I found the execution far=fetched, but not as far-fetched as the ending. The ending denied the book an entire star for me.
Even so, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was not without its charm. It was an engaging read and had some poignant moments. Three out of five stars.