Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take 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 World Trade Center on the morning of September 11.... read more
Oskar Schell is a nine-year-old boy who lost his father in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. After finding a mysterious key in his father's closet, Oskar goes on a search to find the matching lock. His journey takes him to unusual places in the city for a nine-year-old... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Oskar Schell is a nine-year-old boy who lost his father in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. After finding a mysterious key in his father's closet, Oskar goes on a search to find the matching lock. His journey takes him to unusual places in the city for a nine-year-old boy, and he meets many other people who also have experienced loss. The book offers many points of view, and is told across different times. The dominant theme is recovering from a loss.
Opening with the honest wondering, What about a teakettle?, Jonathan Safran Foer’s second novel is told through the wonderfully imaginative stream of consciousness of Oskar Schell, an extraordinarily aware nine-year-old inventor who searches New York for the meaning of a mysterious key that belonged to his father whom he lost in the September 11 attacks. What begins as an impossible feat becomes a compellingly layered story that reaches back to Oskar’s grandparents, deeply affected by the WWII bombings of Dresden. In addition to Foer’s quirky yet sensitive prose, there are occasional pages filled with photographs, images of handwritten inscriptions, illegibly overtyped text and passages proofmarked with red ink, all leading up to Foer’s beautiful finale. Innovative and refreshing, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close should not be overlooked. The combination of a brilliant child protagonist and the poignant, real-life truths he realizes makes Foer’s engaging novel unforgettable.
“Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my unhappiness wasn't the world, it wasn't the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don't know, but it's painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”
“Deja mi-e dor de tine Oskar.Mi-era dor chiar si atunci cand eram cu tine.Asta a fost mereu problema mea.Mi-e dor de ceea ce am deja si ma inconjor de lucruri care-mi lispesc.”
“What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.”
“We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren't on our lists, people we've never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.”
“Why didn't I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”
“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all of the lives I’m not living.”
“If I’d been someone else in a different world I’d have done something different, but I was myself and the world was the world, so I was silent.”
“When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calender that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from the chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
“I cried some more. I wanted to tell her all of the lies that I'd told her. And then I wanted her to tell that it was OK, because sometimes you have to do something bad to do something good.”Oskar Schell
“If I had been alone, I would have given myself the biggest bruise of my life. I would have turned myself into one big bruise.”Oskar Schell
“Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn´t, because there aren´t enough skulls!”Oskar Schell
“I watched the fireflires of his thoughts orbit his head. He said, "We exist because we exist." "What the?" "We could imagine all sorts of universes unlike this one, but this is the one that happened."I understood what he meant, and I didn't disagree with him, but I didn't agree with him either. Just because you're an atheist, that doesn't mean you wouldn't love for things to have reasons for why they are.”Oskar and his father
“"Do you have any coffee?" I asked. "Coffee!" "It stunts my growth, and I'm afraid of death." He slapped the table and said, "My boy, I have some coffee from Honduras that's got your name on it!" "But you don't even know my name."”Oskar and Mr. Black
“I did not feel that he owed it to me. And I did not feel that I owed it to him. We owed it to each other, which is something different.”Grandma
“It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all.”Grandfather
“The books had been buried, so I hid this time behind a group of trees, I imagined their roots wrapped around books, pulling nourishment from the pages, I imagined rings of letters in their trunks”Grandfather
“That secret was a hole in the middle of me that every happy thing fell into.”Oskar Schell about the hidden answering machine
“Everything that's born has to die, which means our lives our like skyscrapers. The smoke rises at different speeds, but they're all on fire, and we're all trapped.”Oskar
“I made a difference, I am God (Thomas) you're an atheist, (Oskar) I don't exist.”Oskar
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