One of the good things in reading a book is when you don’t have any expectations at all and after you finish reading it you take a deep sigh and say to yourself, “Damn, it’s good.” You don’t read its synopsis and reviews. What you only have is people say it’s a good book. That’s it. And that’s what I have experienced with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I don’t have any expectations at all. All I know is that some of my friends say that this is good. So, I read it.
At first, I thought it was about another love story. A romance. It only took me few pages to realise that this was about a boy and his father. “Okay, this is interesting,” I thought. So, I read page after page and it’s getting more and more interesting for me. Maybe just like what Ayu has written in her review of this book, “This could be one of my biased review because I’m reading this when I’m not in a right emotional state.” In my case was I was in a right emotional state. I was fine and I wasn’t in my depresive mood. But, I lost my father 58 days ago. Automatically, I relate myself to Oskar Schell, the main character. Yes, this could be one of my biased review because the same story what Oskar and I have.
Oskar lost his father in 9/11 tragedy. After he died, Oskar found a vase. Inside it there was an envelope written “Black” with a key in it. Oskar thought it should have something to do with his father. So, he decided to find this Black–whoever he or she was–and asked Black about the key. Maybe Black knew something about his father. He roamed around New York to find the Black. He had spent eight months before finally he found the right Black. And along his journey he knew who his Grandpa was. At last.
This story was written using three viewpoints: Oskar, his grandfather, and his grandmother. For first few chapters I was confused who was telling a story. But then I was able to know who the narator was for each chapter.
I love Oskar. He was smart and was a critical boy. He’s only 9 years old and he knew already he was an atheist. Though I doubt that there was really a 9-year-old boy could think like that. I get the feeling that he got all that from his father since, I think, the two of them were very close. What Oskar and his father have, the relationship between them, reminds me of my own relationship with my father. While reading this, I couldn’t stop thinking of my father. Oskar and I have the same story. We both loved our father. We both lost someone that was dear to our hearts. We both grieved, but in different way. By roaming around New York to find the Black was Oskar’s way to grieve. He definitely took a really long time to grieve. He’s upset at his mother because he thought his mother was so quickly to be happy and find a new friend. He just didn’t know that there’s no right way to grieve.
After finish reading this, I felt pain in my old wound. It was like someone pour a salt over it. I guess my wound will never completely heal. I closed my ebook reader and whispered, “Papa, I miss you so much.”