I read this book in one day. Really! At the moment, I have little time to read any books unrelated to my thesis, but once I started reading “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” I just couldn’t put it down.
I fell in love with the main character, a little boy who has lost his father, and grieves his death under the disguise of logic (as far as a little boy’s logic is able to go). His search for answers leads him on a quest in which he meets strange, sometimes damaged people. In spite of his own hurt, I kept feeling that the people he meets in his way are even worse than he is. Throughout the book you discover not only the secrets he hides, but the story of his family. The loss that begun earlier with a war on another continent. The ways people hide from others not to be hurt, and not to hurt again; and the way people come together, because together, they are closer of whom they lost.
The author writes in a clear, compelling way. The narrator has many voices, and the funniest is, without a doubt, that of the little boy. Being inside a little boy’s mind is enthralling, fun, and curious. The book touches your heart as the frailties of human relations are explored; as you imagine what would’ve been written in blank pages by an almost blind woman, and what her husband reads from them. But aren’t all relations like that? Isn’t all communication blank pages we give each other, wishing the other person can read perfectly what we’ve written in them?
I admit I felt warmhearted, and somewhat under a mist of sadness, and excitement, and curiosity as I unfolded this family history, and this boy’s quest for his father. But far from being a book about loss, in the end I felt it was a book about finding our way back, about making mends, about acceptance, discovery, and being whole.