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Everything Is Illuminated is the first novel by American author, Jonathan Safran Foer. This novel is written in three “voices”. The story of Jonathan Safran Foer’s search, in the Ukraine, for the family who rescued his grandfather from the Nazis during World War Two is narrated by the translator who accompanied him, Alexander Perchov. Alex claims to be “fluid” in English, and enhances his narration with the use of a Thesaurus provided by Jonathan. Jonathan also sends Alex sections of a slightly bizarre novel he is writing about his ancestors, in particular his great great great great great grandmother, and his grandfather. And finally, included are Alex’s letters to Jonathan which relate occurrences in his family’s life, comment on the sections of the novel and respond to corrections to the narrative that Jonathan has suggested. Whilst ultimately a holocaust novel, Safran Foer manages to inject plenty of humour with his characters (the “blind” grandfather driver with his seeing-eye bitch, Sammy Davis Junior, Junior; an ancestor with a blade in his head; a young Ukrainian with an ambition to be an accountant, who is saving to go to America by eschewing nightclubs in favour of the beach), with his fantastic eighteenth century Polish-Ukrainian Jewish shtetl full of whacky inhabitants and customs, and with the often hilarious results of generous if totally misguided use of a Thesaurus. The Thesaurus-enhanced narrative clearly demonstrates the importance of context. Clever, even if it is a bit pretentious.  

Review: Everything is Illuminated

User Review  - Jaycob - Goodreads

Some people call Jonathan Safran Foer a gimmicky writer. Whatever, maybe I just love the gimmick. This is a one of a kind book. The way Foer plays with the English language in Alex's sections is ... Read full review

Review: Everything Is Illuminated

User Review  - Bram - Goodreads

Everything Is Illuminated is one of the most focused books I've read. It doesn't meander inappropriately, and there's almost no excess. Seriously, this book's got less fat than Christian Bale in The ... Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

User Review  - Rodrigo - Goodreads

I love both stories. Despite the fact that are not easy readings, they are really worth reading. The way that JSF uses the page spaces, images and letters during the writing is incredible (I have ... Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

User Review  - Amanda Prickett - Goodreads

Beautiful story. Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

This is a difficult book to review. Within Everything is Illuminated there are two, interwoven stories; one a straight-forward and mostly humorous, the other a heavily stylized work of magical realism ... Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

User Review  - Isabella Hoyos - Goodreads

Beautiful book, that's all I have to say. Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

User Review  - Joprano - Goodreads

I had first discovered "Everything is Illuminated" through a friend. She had the film version of this book and at the time I did not realize it was originally a book. "Everything is Illuminated ... Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

User Review  - Maxine - Goodreads

Everything is Illuminated The only thing worse than being sad is for other to know that you are sad. The bruises go away, and so does how you hate, and so does the feeling that everything you receive ... Read full review

Review: Everything is Illuminated & Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

User Review  - Sean - Goodreads

I thoroughly enjoyed this book for reasons different from the average reader. I did not like any of the characters whatsoever. The child seemed off a tick and was just strange to me. His decisions I ... Read full review


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