Before I Blogged I Read: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

There’s a lot of books I read before I started this blog in June of 2010 and I figured it might be fun to spotlight those! They won’t be an actual review because OMG YOU GUYS THAT WAS SO LONG AGO but I’ll just note a few things about it, if I enjoyed it and what my Goodreads rating was. So thus “Before I Blogged I Read…” was born. Because you know…I’m so original with my names for things. Check out PAST “Before I Blogged I Read” posts.


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

(Amazon | Goodreads )
Rating: I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads
Date I Read it: September 2008
Genre: Literary Adult Fiction

What it’s About:

Nice year old Oskar is precocious, bright an inventor and someone who definitely sees the world with a different lens. Oskar has also just lost his father who was killed during 9/11. After his death, he finds a key that was his father’s and he is certain that finding what it goes to will solve some sort of mystery and will maybe help his mother in her grief. He sets off to find what the key belongs to and how it relates to his father and meets people all across the city. Other chapters are letters telling another story that gives a bigger picture to the members of Oskar’s family.


1. THIS IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS & I FELT ALL THE THINGS READING IT:  This was the book that got me back into reading in general (you should check out my reading history to get an overview) after not having read much in high school and college. It was one of those books that was the most all-consuming experiences that I hadn’t felt in a LONG time when I did read books here and there. I DEVOURED IT. I lived it. I bawled. I belly-laughed. My heart tore and twisted in ways in the way that only a special book can do to you. I’m honestly afraid to reread it for the reason I explain here. I mean, I got a lot of other people to read and love it but a close friend of mine read it and was like, “that was the most pretentious boring book I’ve ever read.” DAGGER TO THE HEART I TELL YOU. But, for me, this book was everything and more.

2. Oskar will be one of the most memorable characters ever. Oskar is just one of the best characters that always makes my heart flip flop when I think of him. Precocious and honest and funny. I just adore him and my heart broke for him as he tried to solve this puzzle. I loved the way he saw the world. I loved his phrases and made-up words. I will still always use the term “heavy boots” for how I’m feeling some days.

3. Some of my all time favorite passages and quotes come from this book:  The way that Jonathan Safran Foer conveys even the simplest of things just really resonated with me and I dog-earred so many pages. I read the funny bits out loud to Will. The emotions and the little truths just really hit me. I really loved this author’s writing style and read his other book, Everything Is Illuminated, and enjoyed that too though less than this one.

Favorite Quotes:


“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.” ”


“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.”

 “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.”


Have any of you read this one? Did you like it/not like it? Tell me what you thought!

More reading:

Before I Blogged I Read: Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Before  I Blogged I Read: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Before I Blogged I Read: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I LOVE this book! For pretty much the same reasons as you, actually. Oskar is such an amazing character, and like you said, ALL THE FEELS. It’s one of those books that stays with you for a long time (if not forever). I’d love to reread it at some point, but I also just got Everything is Illuminated (his first novel) for my birthday, so I’m looking forward to reading that one soon!

  2. This book has been staring at me from my shelves for AGES. Unfortunately I saw the movie before realizing it was a book, so the twists have kind of been ruined for me I think. I really do want to read it some day though!

  3. It’s been on my TBR pile since about 2008 :/
    One of these days, I promise!!

  4. Just stumbled on your blog through this post and think it is rather lovely!
    I read this book when I was about 17 (I am considerably older now and also in denial) and I just fell head first into it. I think JSF has a way of making the everyday seem profound. I keep meaning to read other books by him but I think I loved this one too hard to take the leap.
    I shall now potter off to explore your site 🙂

  5. I have been wanting to branch out of ya a little bit, so I will definitely have to check this one out! I haven’t heard a lot about it but I’ve seen some good reviews of it here and there. I love when books make you feel all the feels! 😉

  6. I have some of those same quotes copied down!

  7. I love this one! I made the bad decision of reading it on the seven hour bus ride the way back home…it included me mostly crying on public transport. :p This book had so many great themes that really hit me hard. The writing style was also beautiful.

  8. I read this one just this year, but I agree with you on all of these points. This book took me on a crazy emotional rollercoaster ride, which I find is the case with all of my favorite books. There’s just something about a book that can make you cry on one page and laugh out loud on the next page. It takes seriously beautiful writing and storytelling to do that.

  9. It’s one of absolute favourite books! There was an excerpt in one of my English books in high school, but I forgot to write down the title. I only stumbled across it years later, but recognized it immediately when I started reading. Apart from the emotional rollercoaster it put me through I also loved the part where Oscar tells what happened on 9/11 and how the words on the page get closer and closer toghether, kind of like he would talk faster and faster. For me it really brought the story even more to life than the storytelling on its own.

  10. I love the movie and I can’t wait to read the book