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Day 4: Everything is Sunflowers?

January 4, 2010

Jonathan Safran Foer

I just finished “Everything is Illumated” about 30 seconds ago, and I’m not quite sure what I should even say. It’s beautifully written, the botching of the language reminds me a bit of “A Clockwork Orange” but the story is rather dark and sad. If you are going to read it (which I highly recommend you do), don’t be discouraged within the first few pages. Until about 30-40 pages in (maybe even more…), I had no idea what was going on–there are several different stories going on and I couldn’t seem to get my bearings. Even when I was over halfway through, I was trying to piece the three different stories together in a way that made sense, but forcing it didn’t help. It comes together beautifully at the end, I was torn and sad and appreciated how amazing it was all at once. I don’t want to say anymore in case anyone wants to read this, but its not a predictable book and there is enough foreshadowing that you get easily drawn in.

Part of what made me fall in love with this story is how simply everything is stated. The characters are complex, dynamic and have intricate back stories. But the way they speak is so direct, so factual, like there is no possibility that what they say cannot be true. And as lame as it sounds (I realize it does sound lame, make note of that), I ended up underlining a lot of text that somehow said something to me. My favorite?

They are both keeping secrets from each other. I thought about this when you said that Brod, “would never be happy and honest at the same time.

I haven’t picked out my next book, I think I might run to the used book store this afternoon and have an update tomorrow. Any recommendations for a less sad, less death-filled book? I would love to read something a bit less depressing after the last two.

The Tally:
Days Left: 361 days
Books Read: 2 (slowly but surely)

Cheers, Christine

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Me! permalink
    January 4, 2010 1:51 pm

    read the city of dreaming books by walter moers. super light read and its a lot of fun (or atleast i thought so)

    • Christine permalink*
      January 4, 2010 3:08 pm

      ooh it looks good (i just looked it up on amazon). i’ll definitely order it. “the unbearable lightness of being” showed up on my doorstep this afternoon so i figure its a sign that i should start it! you are such a bookie like me, you could easily do the 99 books in a year thing…YOU SHOULD DO IT WITH ME (of course with whatever books you so choose).

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