Extremely Strange yet Incredibly Good

I picked up Jonathan Safran Foer’s book, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ because the cover caught my eye. Simple as that. If only the book was as ‘simple’! The story is actually a pretty straightforward one – boy’s father killed in 9/11; boy finds a mysterious key months later in his father’s study and sets off to find what it opens and why – but certainly unique and quirky.

The boy is nine year old Oskar, who reminded me of Christopher from Mark Haddon’s ‘Curious Incident…’  He will only wear white clothes and sees everything from a black or white, very literal perspective.  Oskar, like Christopher, also sees himself as an amateur detective.  When his father dies and Oskar finds a strange key hidden in his study, he questions family, friends and total strangers in his quest to find out what lock or door the key opens.  His search takes him through various streets and districts of New York, where he meets some quirky characters along the way, and we get to know and like Oskar and his peculiar little ways.

The end of the story is somewhat of a disappointment but I couldn’t exactly call it an anti-climax either because if it had ended neatly, it would have been too forced and unbelievable.

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