Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Read: May 2012
Discovered: Part of the Goodreads May Book Challenge
This book was part of my Goodreads book challenge, and as I remember seeing adverts for the movie, I thought why not. It had Tom Hanks in it; so I was immediately interested and felt it could be good read.
Indeed it was, although it was very different to what I expected.
It focuses on Oskar, a nine-year-old boy in New York who lost his father in 911. He’s a very smart, inquisitive little thing, and he’s sure his dad left him a treasure map of some kind; a chance to have one final adventure.
So he ventures around New York and meets many interesting folk, the story following his journey as well as splitting time with the insight of a man and woman.
I thought it would be a more happy go lucky story, which is crazy when you think of the premise, but I thought it would centre around his dad actually leaving him an adventure and a close up to their relationship of years gone by. This isn’t the case, but I found myself really liking it regardless.
I loved Oskar. God I bet he’s annoying to meet, but what a charmer he is. And when he says Jose, well, I love it. He is by far the stand out in this story, and to feel so connected with a nine-year-old mind is great.
I also loved the side story too, once I gathered what it was about, and feel it adds real depth to proceedings. I knew I was going down a particular path, and at times I felt I had it figured out, but the author keeps thing just far enough away to make the story compelling.
Finally, I love the inclusion of pictures, not good ones, but awful, grainy snaps. It makes it very quaint and personal, and it feels like a child actually had a hand in things.
Some of the side stories can drag a little, and I must say, it took me a while to get into things. If I had less patience I could have easily left this story early doors, or begun skipping parts.
Overall it’s a top book. It’s well written, very compelling, emotional, and rather clever. And some of the characters, wow, I love them!
I read the Ebook and got the version with the movie type cover. I’m not a fan. It draws your attention with the picture of the boy, but it’s hard to read what everything says. There’s also a lot of small text floating about, which I couldn’t read.
Not bad for a paperback, but easy to forget as an Ebook. I’m a fan of simplicity, and simple this is not.
Well, there isn’t any, really. It’s well laid out, and there’s good info about the publisher, but very little about the author. Consider Jonathan has another bestseller, Everything Is Illuminated, well, there’s no mention of this.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. It’s lazy and things need to change. Make an Ebook count, and in my opinion, this fails miserably here.
Author Website & Engagement:
I’m afraid we have another author who doesn’t see online engagement as an important thing. However, I won’t go too hard on him, because in general, I don’t think his audience is online too much.
My initial feeling, which could be wrong, is that his readers are largely in their thirties and beyond, and newspapers and book signings provide a great way to connect.
However, you don’t need much of a presence to have good presence. No presence online is rarely a good thing. I do feel its shame, and another cross in the established, big time Author ‘box’.
Overall I’m a fan and would happily recommend this book. It’s a very touching tale, but also rather dark. It has some twists and many layers, and I honestly felt like I’d learnt something after reading this.
The marketing side of things is poor, and therefore does set it back, but the story is superb, and as such, I want to read Everything Is Illuminated too.
As for the score…
4 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
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