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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Audiobook

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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Publisher's Summary

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, great explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies, Beatles memorabilia, miniature cacti and coral. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, his inward journey towards some kind of peace takes him on an odyssey through the five boroughs of New York, as he attempts to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet....

©2005 Jonathan Safran Foer (P)2005 Recorded Books LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (6 )
5 star
 (5)
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4.6 (5 )
5 star
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Story
4.8 (5 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michelle Falzon 27/03/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredibly hard to read but ultimately rewarding."

    It is never defined or discussed but I assumed the main character Oscar is autistic or perhaps has Aspergers disease. I found this condition made relating to his world and ultimately the story challenging, in his profound grief we are subjected to his unfiltered, often repetitive thoughts, which for me stopped the flow of the narrative. This made the book very hard to get into as a majority of the story is in the first person. I also couldn't stop thinking how completely unrealistic it was to let a very young boy travel around a post 9/11 New York, no matter how therapeutic or lightly chaperoned.
    I felt the author should have introduced his other characters and their perspectives earlier as I imagine many people would have given up before their importance is realised. Once these parallel stories start filtering through, the full scope really begins to develop and you can appreciate how cleverly he has woven all the threads of past and present culminating in this time and place. His writing is very evocative so if you can drown out the loud and extremely close sections you are left with wonderful concepts like history repeating its self and the ripple effect of our actions flowing outwards .. all of which became apparent towards the end of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    askjohn 01/08/2015
    askjohn 01/08/2015 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening."

    A great story told very well. I was completely taken away for the duration. Be prepared to lose sleep as you listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Elisabeth
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    20/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing narration and story but massive techerror"
    Where does Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?

    -


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    -


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    There is a massive technical error in one of the last chapters which resulted in, that I actually was unable to hear a part of this chapter. I would like my money back!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ewa
    Santa Cruz, CA
    17/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I just finished it and am falling apart.wonderful"

    Brilliant, wise, emotional, funny and increadibly sad at the same time. Perfect narrators made it very vivid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Early 30s Girl
    Kensington, Australia
    29/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "top 10 books"
    Where does Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    the narration is excellent and added another dimension to a book that I already loved


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Cheryl
    Raglan, United Kingdom
    20/07/12
    Overall
    "breaks your heart and strengthens your soul"

    Like many people, 9-11 was a watershed for me and still causes me pain to think about that terrible day and the way it changed the world. So I hesitated watch the movie based on this book. I did see it and later decided to listen to the audible book. I am so glad that I did. The book is far richer and deeper than the movie. It tells how families can wish for the best things but still get things terribly wrong - it talks about guilt but it also talks about courage. Oscar is a super hero in my mind. He is so brave yet so vulnerable - and he brings such poignant joy to the people he meets on his journey towards his dad and his family. His mom has a small but crucial role in how she gave Oscar space to deal with the loss of his father while she had her own devils. I want to read the book again - and again - and again -- I believe that each time this book is read is another revelation - and an affirmation of life and love - even beyond the grave

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • brendan421
    11/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an essay on tragic loss. But too long and tedious"

    I never warmed too this book. A large part was made up of first person accounts by the 9 year old (?) Oscar and his two grandparents. Most of these I found long and tedious.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Creative Butterfly
    Ilford, United Kingdom
    9/09/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You can smile through the sad parts"

    It took me a while to get into this book as it jumps a bit, but once you understand it is going to do that you can relax into the story. It is about a young boy, Oskar, who is trying to cope with the loss of his father and starts a journey. In the background we hear from other family members and from people he meets. It is weird as you can smile though some sad parts, definitively worth a listen or a read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Bath, United Kingdom
    29/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely good"

    I'd seen the film of Everything is Illuminated, so wanted to give this a listen. Because there are a few different narratives in it, and they are played out by different actors I did wonder if there was a mistake and chapter two was from a different book, however I was wrong and the alternate chapter narrations worked amazingly well.

    There are loads of upsides to this story, particularly the interwoven sub plots, the only negative thing is the narrative from Oskar is definitely not from the mind of a nine year old boy, but once I'd got over that that it sounded like the mind of an odd thirty year old I loved it.


    Great Audiobook, and perfectly narrated, to it's credit it is well worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Hitchin, United Kingdom
    28/03/12
    Overall
    "Absolutely Awful"

    Well, I've made it to chapter 6. I simply can't listen to it anymore.

    I don't see how a 9 year old boy would be allowed to wander around New York City on his own. The character is just not as a 9 year old would be. I just don't get the story at all.

    I'm pretty sure that if my grand-parents had written me a letter (as they had written to the boy in this story) describing their first sexual experience, it would most probably have made me vomit!

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Ben Cole
    U.K.
    16/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing idea, well written, weak story."

    Nice idea but a bit rambling and ultimately unsatisfying. Oscar the protagonist is an interesting character and you certainly feel his loss but his mission comes to a end in a bit of a whimper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. London
    London
    12/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Character voices confusing and not consistent"

    The voices were not consistent. This lead to it being confusing at times. There should have been more clarity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maxine
    1/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self-conscious whimsy"
    Would you try another book written by Jonathan Safran Foer or narrated by the narrators?

    Another book by Jonathan Safran Foer - no.

    Narrated by the narrators - maybe. I might be being too hard on them because of the book they're reading. But I don't feel I can give more stars for a book I'm disliking so much.


    What will your next listen be?

    Kazuo Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Maybe the basic idea. Before it was written.


    Any additional comments?

    Is this book really less than 12 hours long? I'm about 3/4 of the way through and feel like I've been listening to it for months. I'm probably being too cynical but I'm finding it a self-conscious treatment of a bundle of knee-jerk emotional themes such as:

    - child with some sort of unusual psychology like Aspergers or Autism (unclear)

    - famous tragic incident engraved in the American psyche

    - lonely elderly characters

    - a variety of relationships revolving around dead or otherwise absent fathers/husbands/sons.

    These are portrayed through a series of fanciful situations. To be fair, I don't like whimsy. If you do and you can take as much as the author dishes out, then I suppose that's simply down to personal taste.

    Still, the timeline jumps in a way that I don't think works at all. I have no idea why we have to listen to the old lady droning the phrase "Planes crashing into buildings" dozens of times. I'm not sure if (and if so, why) we're supposed to have sympathy for the couple who put themselves through a complicated, eccentric, tortuous and ultimately unbearable relationship for no apparent reason or need.

    For me, this book is a mixture of formula, cliche and self-indulgence. I always feel a bit cheated when I've invested time listening to a book that I don't finish. But I have to say I'd feel a bit more cheated giving further time to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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