Thursday, April 12, 2007

Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran-Foer

Posted by lea at 1:32 PM
It's very easy to get lost in this very unique book. It’s incredibly written with a psuedo (or so I’m guessing) Ukrainian guide character who authors half the book with his garbled English, and outrageous lies.

The first sentence had me wondering, ‘What the heck…?’, the first page had me thinking, ‘This is great,’ and the first chapter had me laughing out loud. The story is about the journey of Jonathan Safran-Foer (the author) as he travels to his motherland to discover the secrets of his ancestry. His narrative chapters are interspersed with commentary from his Ukrainian guide, Sasha, and a fable-like re-telling of the stories of Jonathan’s Jewish predecessors.

Like a swim in the ocean, the book gains increasing depth as the story unfolds, from funny and entertaining to tragic and moving, all the while keeping you captive with its slowly intertwining threads. What I loved about the book was its sense of humour (which softens the tragedy inherent in the story) and its utter honesty. It strips bare the most basic and raw emotions of the characters, revealing their flaws and vulnerability with sharp precision.

Rating: 9/10
Thoroughly involving and enjoyable read.

2 comments:

Caesar on April 30, 2007 at 12:28 PM said...

Is this his debut novel? You know how they say that your first book is always pseudo-autobiographical. If so, this is a very inventive way to have gone about it, and deserves credit for that.

Lingsi on May 7, 2007 at 7:37 PM said...

I still haven't finished this book because I've been savouring every page. it's so life changing!!! I'm up to the part about the Grandfather's best friend.. have you seen the film yet??

YOU HAVE TO SEE SCIENCE OF SLEEP. It is freaking fantastic.

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