You should read this book if: you’re looking for a way to understand people better.
Jonathan Safran Foer brilliantly encapsulates the mind of someone who is often overlooked. This book is an Ode to anybody who has ever lost somebody. Extremely Loud and Incredible Close is filled with visuals that interact with its reader and push any literary boundaries in between.
“But if you don’t tell me anything, how can I ever be right?” He circled something in an article and said, “Another way of looking at it would be, how could you ever be wrong?”
“I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn’t the world, it wasn’t the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don’t know, but it’s so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it”
“I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love”
“So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go”
“Before I went back down, I snooped around a little bit. I was impressed by how much life Mr. Black had lived, and how much he wanted to have his life around him. I tried the key in all of the doors, even though he said he didn’t recognize it. It’s not that I didn’t trust him, because I did. It’s that at the end of my search I wanted to be able to say: I don’t know how I could have tried harder”
“There’s nothing that could convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced. But there is an abundance of clues that would give the wanting believer something to hold on”
“She took a stapler. And a box of staples. And tape. I think of those things now. The paper, the stapler, the staples, the tape. It makes me sick. Psychical things. Forty years of loving someone becomes staples and tape”
“The Empire State Building is supported by 60,000 tons of steel. It has approximately 6,500 windows and 10,000,000 bricks, weighing in the neighbourhood of 365,000 tons. “That’s a heavy neighbourhood,” I said. More than 500,000 square feet of marble and Indiana limestone encase this skyscraper. Inside, there is marble from France, Italy, Germany, and Belgium. In fact, New York’s most famous building is made with materials from just about everywhere but New York, in much the same way that city itself was made great by immigrants”
“It is my great hope that our paths, however long and winding, will cross again”
“I wish I were a poet. I’ve never confessed that to anyone, and I’m confessing it to you, because you’ve given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I’ve spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind’s eye. It’s been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I’ve been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers. But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, “Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open.” I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we’ll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What’s real? What isn’t real? Maybe those aren’t the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I made things for life to depend on”
“The night before I lose everything was like any other night”