Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Review #6

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I was a little boy I often asked my parents to tell me bedtime stories. My favorite was a series by mother called, "Sam and Jackson Monkey." Sam and Jackson Monkey were monkey-brothers who loved peanut butter and bananas on toast, just like me.

I haven't told many people about my mother's stories for a couple of reasons, but the most important is that I felt ownership over those stories. They were created just for me, and they represent something so good that I've wanted to keep them sacred and protect them. Simply, they were too perfect to share.

I feel that this is the only possible reason someone has not recommend this book to me until just a few weeks ago, five years after its publication. I think every reader must be a little scared that something so good exists and they must also feel that same fear to share, the feeling that this novel had been written just for them.

Simply put Jonathan Safran Foer has crafted an utter masterpiece, filled with love, anguish, beautiful stories, characters, and interesting experiments. It is the best art I have seen come out of the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. It is nearly modern fantasy, and yet it rings miraculously true. It is an affirmation of the power of life, imagination, family, and writing in the most difficult of times. It is easily the greatest novel I have read published in the last ten years.

Part of me wants to clutch it to myself and not admit to anyone that I know it's out there. Of course it's a bestseller and many people have read it, but it's so deeply intimate that I feel as though it were written just for me.

But it's just too good. If you follow my reviews on Goodreads you know that they're infrequent. I read on average a few books a month, but I rarely feel compelled to review them unless they are very good or disappointing. This book is not very good, it is the best, and if you take one of my recommendations, this should be it.

It may not immediately become one of your favorite books, but I'm certain you'll have a thoughtful read with moments and ideas that will resonate for a long while.

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