Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is one of a kind for me. I personally haven’t read any book that attempts to tell the story like this. It is a book, after all, limiting the range of forms of communication it can adopt in the first place. The illustrations, pictures and unconventional usage of ‘letters’ was quite new and affected me very strongly.
The part that made my shed tears, close my eyes and try to grab at my chest upon where the heart is supposed to be was the letter the father wrote to the son. Overlapping letters, pages full of tangled, unrecognisable words were perfectly fit to make me finally understand what the grandfather would have felt.
would be the word of my choice, if I were to describe what it was like to read it. There is no single person in this book who is not hurt, has not undergone a great feeling of loss. Yet the author did not convey this feeling of loss and sadness through big words that usually has an emphasising impact. Heavy boots. Love. – these were more than quite enough.
I would like to share the parts of the book that I copied to my notebook in this post.
I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone…
Shyness is when you turn your head away from something that you want.
Shame is when you turn your head away from something that you do not want.
For eight months I followed him and talked to the people he talked to, I tried to learn about him as he tried to learn about you, he was trying to find you, just as you’d tried to find me, it broke my heart into more pieces than my heart was made of, why can’t people say what they mean at the time?
I started to cry, and squeezed her as tightly as I could. Her shoulder was getting wet and I thought, Maybe it’s true that you can use up all of your tears. Maybe Grandma’s right about that. It was nice to think about, because what I wanted was to be empty.