Foer's second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was long-awaited after his highly praised first novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Some critics enjoyed the second novel, especially the nine-year-old narrator and Foer's ability to breath life into his characters. However, other critics have written that Foer's second novel is a reflection of his first. Those critics found some of Foer's departures from tradition to be "gimmicky" and they still do not care for the gimmicks.
Positive reviews include that of Matthew L. Moffett, from the School Library Journal. Moffet finds Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to be well written, particularly the ending. Moffett writes that Foer's second novel has "a powerful conclusion that will make even the most jaded hearts fall." Foer is able to write about heart-wrenching tragedies, many critics pointed out, without falling into sentimentality. Olivia Glazebrook, of London's Spectator, agrees: "This book is a heartbreaker: tragic, funny, intensely moving."
A number of critics have wondered about Foer's penchant for the tragic. Laura Miller, writing for the publication New York, explores a possible reason why Foer might be fascinated by tragedies. "What attracts Foer to these tragedies," Miller writes, "isn't so much their historical resonance as their emotional power." Miller references Foer's skill as a writer, agreeing with other critics that one of Foer's strengths is his ability to create sad characters without making them overly emotional: "He's drawn to pathos, but being a smart and self-conscious young writer, he's also painfully aware of the perils of sentimentality." An anonymous reviewer for Publishers Weekly offers a similar response, saying that Foer is "one of the few contemporary writers willing to risk sentimentalism in order to address great questions of truth, love and beauty."
Not all critics are on...
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Postmodernism in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
911 Words4 Pages
Where does truth lie? Postmodernism is a literary movement of the twentieth century that attempts to show that the answer to this question cannot be completely determined. Characteristics of postmodern works include a mixing of different genres, random time changes, and the use of technology that all aid in presenting a common postmodern theme that truth doesn’t lie in one story, place or person. The novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer encompasses these postmodern characteristics combining together show how the truth cannot always be attained. Intertwined within the novel is the presence of many different genres including letters, articles and magazine clippings, and pictures. At first sight there is the…show more content…
If only one genre was used the reader would not have any other sources or opinions to determine what the truth is or where the truth lies. Another postmodern ideal found in the novel is random changes in time. The novel continually skips in a cycle from Oskar’s story, to his grandpa’s story, back to Oskar’s story, to his grandma’s story. The changes in time are never noted it is the reader’s job to figure out whose story is being told. Upon the first reading it is hard to differentiate between whose story is being told because of the frequent changes in time. Also Oskar is on a journey to find truth. He is on a search to find to what a key he found in his dad’s room belongs too. Also he is curious to find out how his dad died. At the end of the novel, or the end of his journey he never truly finds what he was looking for, the “truth”. Many postmodernists believe that there is not one truth and that truth is the combination of everyone’s experiences, everyone creates it. This theme is reiterated through the writing style Foer chooses. He chose to include the different perspectives and stories of many of the characters through the random time changes, this suggests that there isn’t only one truth. Finally the use of technological images alludes to a postmodernistic style. There are many instances where Foer hints at the fact that in today’s society things are no longer experienced first hand. In the picture of Stephen