EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonathan Saffran Foer, (2005). This is Johnathan Foer’s second novel, I have never read any of his books before, although I watched the movie EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED on TV, which was quite quirky also about a Jewish boy who’s also searching for something. This is the story of Oskar Schell, a 9 year old who’s on an urgent secret mission that takes him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the one of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11th. It’s supposed to be a hilarious and exhilarating journey that is healing for the boy. FOER is supposed to be some “New sort of literary warrior- a visionary, ingenious, hilarious, and heartbreaking.” according to Village Voice. Even Oprah Magazine recommends the book and I trust Oprah’s taste in books 80% of the time.. Well folks, I’ll have to let you know what I think. I enjoyed that quirky movie of his first book so I assume I’ll like this one.
NOTE: I must say I can see why anyone would get confused watching the movie now! The story goes from the present to the past, to Oskar’s grandfather’s life, and the grandmother’s life and his dead father’s life. The quirky characters are real unusual you know? But I’m going to read the whole book!
NOTE: Well I just finished the book this morning. It was a really good book you know? Unusual and quirky to be sure with the added photos and creative typing. Did it end the way I predicted? No, but that’s okay. It was mildly boring in some of the rambling chapters, but I do look forward to see how the movie follows the book.
BEE SEASON by Myla Goldberg (2000), is a novel about a little 9 year old Jewish girl named Eliza who becomes the apple of her father Saul’s eye after she is the top winner of her school districts spelling bees. There after her father transfers his attention from her older brother Aaron and lavishes his attention on Eliza, leaving Aaron to go on his spiritual quest alone. Miriam, Eliza’s mom has some sort of secret life which I look forward to reading about.. This is a Jewish coming of age story, and I’m really enjoying the book.
NOTE: As you know this book was made into a movie with Richard Gere playing the father Saul. I would love to watch it myself someday.
NOTE: Well.. it seems the mother is a closet shoplifter from way back! It IS a good book and I’m glad I’m reading it before I watch the movie!
NOTE: I’m nearly finished with the book.. The whole family is lost to themselves and each other.. The mother in a mental hospital, the son Aaron joined the Hare Krishna’s, the daughter is into Jewish Letter mysticism that started with the spelling bee practice with her father. It really was a weird ending, not what I expected at all! I REALLY want to see what they did with the movie! The surprise ending I will not reveal!
Myla Goldberg also wrote:
CATCHING THE MOON
THE FALSE FRIEND
TIME’S MAGPIE: A Walk Through Prague