Current Reads.

1 Mar

Meet Oskar Schell, 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. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center. An inspired creation, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search.

Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone’s heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who’ve lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of characters who are all survivors in their own way. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close boldly approaches history and tragedy with humor, tenderness, and awe.

Favourite excerpts from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close:

Pg.5 – I kicked a French chicken in the stomach once. It said Oeuf.

Pg. 11 – One of my favourite parts is the beginning of the first chapter, where Stephen Hawking tells about a famous scientist who was giving a lecture about how the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the solar system, and whatever. Then a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said, “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” So the scientist asked her what the tortoise was standing on. And she said, “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

Pg. 12 – I loved having a dad who was smarter than the New York Times, and I loved how my cheek could feel the hair on his chest through his T-shirt, and how he always smelled like shaving, even at the end of the day. Being with him made my brain quiet. I didn’t have to invent a thing.

Pg. 35 – As for the bracelet Mom wore to the funeral, what I did was I converted Dad’s last voice message into Morse Code, and I used sky-blue beads for silence, maroon beads for breaks between letters, violet beads for breaks between words, and long and short pieces of string between the beads for long and short beeps, which are actually called blips, I think, or something.



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