Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—no, not the sweaty, loquacious masses packed into the subway car—a book by Jonathan Safran Foer!

Where: N-train
Who was reading: A tawny-skinned woman with dirty blond curls cascading over her face like a droopy fern. She wore an attractive dress with scribbles on it, and was a bit plump of face.
"Extremely Cloying and Incredibly False" This is what New York Press reviewer Harry Siegel had to say about Safran Foer's hotly anticipated follow-up to Everything Is Illuminated. Reviewers in general weren't particularly fond of the novel—especially compared to its predecessor.
But the critics were downright amorous towards the book his wife (Nicole Krauss) published that same year: The History of Love.
Oh to be a fly on the breakfast nook bench in the Safran Foer Krauss house when those reviews started pouring in: 
"C'mon Baby, don't be that way, they just resent your creative genius." 
"Get thee gone, Wench! Don't you have a National Book Award gala to attend, hmmm....? Or perhaps you could go fanny about some press conference with your Edward Lewis Wallant. That always makes you happy."
Funny how in my imagination... Jonathan Safran Foer talks exactly like Stewie from Family Guy. Weird, right?


  1. I didn't know critics weren't fond of this one. The general consensus of readers is that Extremely Loud is better than Everything...

  2. Thank you for pointing this out. The reviews were kind of all over the place and it's highly possible that I read a skewed sampling—focusing on the backlash against the consensus (but really, who could resist repeating that "extremely cloying and incredibly false" line?). Regardless, I refuse to rescind my imagined version JSF's breakfast table bickering. I mean, the scene is kind of believable, right? Maybe he was in a sour mood because he got a paper cut or something....

  3. I've heard them at breakfast. It's EXACTLY like that.