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Safran Foer's bestseller follows the adventures of nine-year-old Oskar Schell, a scientist, collector, tambourine player, and solver of puzzles. The young boy roams New York City in a fervent search for a lock that will match the key left behind by his father, who was killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11. Jeff Woodman captures all of Oskar's contradictions: a prodigy who understands physics and lives in terror of the immediate world around him. Richard Ferrone provides Oskar's grandfather a gravelly voice, while Barbara Caruso deftly renders Oskar's grandmother, lending her a slight European accent and the right mix of wisdom and helplessness. This fine ensemble recording will keep listeners engaged. A Mariner paperback. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Adult/High School-Oskar Schell is not your average nine-year-old. A budding inventor, he spends his time imagining wonderful creations. He also collects random photographs for his scrapbook and sends letters to scientists. When his father dies in the World Trade Center collapse, Oskar shifts his boundless energy to a quest for answers. He finds a key hidden in his father's things that doesn't fit any lock in their New York City apartment; its container is labeled "Black." Using flawless kid logic, Oskar sets out to speak to everyone in New York City with the last name of Black. A retired journalist who keeps a card catalog with entries for everyone he's ever met is just one of the colorful characters the boy meets. As in Everything Is Illuminated (Houghton, 2002), Foer takes a dark subject and works in offbeat humor with puns and wordplay. But Extremely Loud pushes further with the inclusion of photographs, illustrations, and mild experiments in typography reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions (Dell, 1973). The humor works as a deceptive, glitzy cover for a fairly serious tale about loss and recovery. For balance, Foer includes the subplot of Oskar's grandfather, who survived the World War II bombing of Dresden. Although this story is not quite as evocative as Oskar's, it does carry forward and connect firmly to the rest of the novel. The two stories finally intersect in a powerful conclusion that will make even the most jaded hearts fall.-Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Two outsiders-a marine biologist from America and a New Dehli businessman-radically alter the social landscape when they converge on the splattering of islands off India call the Sundarbans. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"[A] dazzling literary high-wire act . . . brilliant . . . The payoff is extraordinary: a fearless, acrobatic, ultimately haunting effort to combine inspired mischief with a grasp of the unthinkable." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review