Oskar Schell is an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
An inspired creation, Oskar is endearing, exasperating, and unforgettable. His search for the lock careens from Central Park to Coney Island to the Bronx and beyond. But it also travels into history, to Dresden and Hiroshima, where horrific bombings once shattered other lives. Along the way, Oskar encounters a motley assortment of humanity ' a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, lovers enraptured or scorned ' all survivors in their own ways. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
'Rarely does a writer as young as Jonathan Foer display such virtuosity and wisdom. His prose is clever, challenging, willfully constructed to make you read it again and again,' said Marie Arana, in the Washington Post Book World, of Everything Is Illuminated. Once again Foer turns his capacious talent and vision to devastating events and finds solice in that most human quality, imagination. Extemely Loud and Incredibly Close boldly approaches history and tragedy with humor, tenderness, and awe.