Bookshelf Reviews in Brief

10 October 2009

I am only one blogger on this humble little lit blog, and so in order to keep book reviews coming (I realize not everyone is as fascinated by industry news as myself), I will henceforth (word of the day, anyone?) start to review, in brief, books from my recent past reading adventures.

Two (and by a married couple, no less) to start: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer, and A History of Love, by Nicole Krauss


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Jonathan Safran Foer's second novel is one of the few of September 11th that I have read that succeeds in being tragic without being didactic, heartbreaking without really having to try, and beautiful without describing anything beautiful. Innovative, creative and unique, Foer's writing style - combined with the overall design and layout of the book - make the book hard to put down, harder still to forget.



A History of Love

Kraus' writing style closely mirrors that of Foer's, but it is hard to say if one is necessarily copying the other, or if they have just grown together as writers. Regardless, it works, and Kraus is able to use her impressive grasp of the clipped sentence to convey great things in few words. The story of a man missing both his true love and his novel, and now left to grow old and uncertain of his own existence, meets that of a troubled teenager trying to piece together the meaning of pretty much everything.

Both authors write novels that verge on poetry, and both stories are haunting, impressive (in every sense of the word) and full of beauty and tender care for the quirky characters involved. Neither should be missed - although I'm not sure I would recommend reading the two back-to-back, as I did.

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