Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, part 2

Way back on March 21, 2010, I sang the praises of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Because the subject matter is 9/11, I knew as soon as I read it we would be discussing this at the Greendale Public Library around the tenth anniversary of the event .

So our Fall 2011 Greendale Reads book discussion was this title.  I have mentioned before that I like these discussions because we hire Dr. Ed Block from Marquette University to lead the discussion and I get to sit in the audience and talk.  We did all our usual publicity and drew a rather small crowd.

This could be because of the subject matter or that our discussion came two weeks after the acutal anniversary.  Perhaps people were tired of or afraid of the subject matter.

What makes this book so powerful is the direct way it shows the affect of this event on the survivors.  It is brilliant and so was our discussion.

The conversation on this night was very self-guided with little needed prodding from the discussion leader.  We stayed on topic and had no problem leading ourselves. 

What might have been the most revealing thing was that the we had a few members who expressed a lesser emotional attachment to this event than the rest.  Although the discussion was intense, it was polite, but I think some of us went home a little surprised by that attitude. 

The next step in promoting this book on my part is to lead a discussion on it at the upcoming Wisconsin Library Association event.  I will let you know how that goes in a few weeks.

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About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

1 Comment on "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, part 2"

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  1. kgordon3@roadrunner.com' KateZ says:

    Our book club just discussed this book at the same time and for the same reason. We had a really wonderful discussion about the book, humanity, 9/11 … it was great. We plan to see the movie when it comes out – that’s how much everyone really enjoyed the book and the discussion.

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