Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer is one of those tricky new writers (he was born in 1977) whose work sometimes appears to be more clever than smart. But in this case, it's both, plus a whole lot more. While I grudgingly enjoyed his first book, Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is probably the very best book I read this year. Oskar is nine years old, bright and strange and obsessed with solving a mystery he finds in the closet of his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Centre. Though it feels a little soon, culturally, for novels about September 11, Safran Foer doesn't appear to have rushed a single word of this massively intelligent and emotionally keen novel. More of this, please, in the future.
category: best of 2005