Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Book Summary - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Book explained in key points

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close summary

Brief summary

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a heart-wrenching novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. It follows Oskar, a young boy who embarks on a scavenger hunt through New York City, searching for connections to his father who died in the 9/11 attacks.

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    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Summary of key ideas

    A Journey Into a Mind-Bending Reality

    In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, nine-year-old Oskar Schell embarks on a surreal and remarkable journey to decipher a cryptic message left behind by his father, who died in the 9/11 attacks. With a heavy key found in his father's possessions and a name 'Black' to go off, Oskar becomes a relentless detective, scouring New York City for clues and meeting a diverse range of people along the way.

    The adventure leads Oskar to prominent spots in the city, meeting a diverse array of people, each 'Black' contributing new, though often irrelevant, clues to his mission. Oskar encounters tender realizations about grief, courage, and connection, often through situations that mock adult pompousness and reveal powerful stories of love, death, and survival.

    Interweaving Narratives

    As Oskar's narrative unfolds within the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Foer utilizes an intricate narrative technique that interweaves Oskar's story with his grandparents' experiences during the bombing in Dresden. These narratives collide in uncanny ways, and yet, Foer masterfully maintains their individual uniqueness and emotional intensity.

    Through a series of letters written by Oskar's grandfather to his unborn son, we dive deep into a heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and regrets. Each letter reveals more of his life, his struggles with speech, his relentless love for Oskar's grandmother, and adds a different dimension to the plot, fuelling anticipation for how things may come together.

    Unfolding Stories and Secrets

    An unexpected twist is introduced halfway into the journey. Oskar, on his quest, discovers a man living in his grandmother's apartment who is, in fact, his grandfather. There's a sense of mystery surrounding this character who chooses not to speak, communicating with Oskar through note writing. This encounter dramatically intensifies the narrative, shedding light onto the multi-layered storyline of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

    In a surprising turn of events, Oskar's grandfather discloses that he had returned for Oskar's mother and him. He also reveals that he was thoroughly aware of Oskar's exploration all along, accompanying him unnoticed on his quests and serving as his silent guardian. This unexpected revelation, though shocking, instills a profound sense of love and belonging in Oskar, making his journey more meaningful.

    A Life-Changing Journey

    In the end, Oskar's journey, sparked by a painful loss, transpires to be a transformative experience that not only helps him cope with his father's death but also changes his perspective of the world. In his quest to unlock his father's message, Oskar unlocks, within himself, an ability to live again, embrace his vulnerabilities, and eventually, he discovers a life beyond his grief.

    In conclusion, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a layered narrative about memory, loss, and deep human connections. Foer successfully shows that even amidst despair, there are things like love, faith, and unexpected kindness that can help us survive. He takes us on a heartrending yet beautiful adventure and gently reminds us that it's okay to be extremely loud and incredibly close.

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    What is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close about?

    This novel tells the story of a young boy named Oskar Schell who embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets of his father's death in the 9/11 attacks. Through a series of letters, photographs, and encounters with strangers, Oskar learns about love, loss, and the power of human connection. The book explores themes of grief, resilience, and the search for meaning in the face of tragedy.

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Review

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) takes readers on a poignant journey of a young boy coping with the loss of his father in the 9/11 attacks. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through the eyes of the protagonist, we are treated to emotional depth that allows us to explore grief, resilience, and the power of human connection.
    • The book effortlessly weaves together narratives from different perspectives, adding layers of complexity and offering a panoramic view of the impact of tragedy.
    • With its innovative storytelling and inclusion of visual elements, the book is an immersive experience that provokes empathy and challenges conventional storytelling.

    Who should read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

    • People who enjoy unconventional storytelling and unique narrative formats
    • Readers interested in exploring themes of grief, loss, and resilience
    • Individuals curious about the effects of historical events on personal and collective memory

    About the Author

    Jonathan Safran Foer is an American author known for his unique storytelling style. He has written several critically acclaimed books, including "Everything Is Illuminated" and "Eating Animals." "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is one of his most notable works, exploring the impact of 9/11 through the eyes of a young boy. Foer's writing often delves into themes of memory, trauma, and the human experience. His distinctive blend of fiction and non-fiction has earned him a dedicated following in the literary world.

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    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close FAQs 

    What is the main message of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

    The main message of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the healing power of human connection and the importance of finding meaning in our lives.

    How long does it take to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

    The reading time for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close varies from reader to reader. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a poignant and thought-provoking book that explores themes of loss, grief, and resilience. It is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

    Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

    What to read after Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    • Simply Complexity by Neil F. Johnson
    • Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday
    • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
    • The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz