I watched the movie of this first and loved it It was basically a movie about cultural misunderstanding and how people can be cruel without really knowing it It is a story about what happens when you put an American and someone born out of the Soviet era in the same room and try to make them explain to one another why the other one thinks the way they do In a word hilarious.
After reading the book, I still like the movie, but it seems obvious to me that the filmmakers missed the point entirely The book, while still a hilarious exploration of an American immersed in post Soviet culture, is so much deeper and weirder.
The story is sort of about the author, Jonathan Safran Foer He is an aspiring writer in his early 20s who travels to Ukraine to try to find the small Jewish village of Trachimbrod where his grandfather grew up and to find the woman who helped him escape the Nazis du One of the nice things about being stoned is the added dimension of humor or profundity that otherwise inconsequential things can assume in our impression of them I remember once having my mind blown at the idea of language, and how any two unrelated people, having been raised in the same country and while having no connection at all to each other, or there being any crossover among those who have taught or influenced them, can meet each other one day and have a mutually intelligible conversation Fascinating, right Well, no not really, but it sure as hell seems fascinating when you re high.
I feel as though the only way I could have read this book and found it as funny and profound as other readers found it is if I were completely and totally baked Everything Is Illuminated is essentially comprised of two narratives interw Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated Dutton, 2002 My, what a clever novel In any case, that, I imagine, is what Jonathan Safran Foer kept saying as he was writing this And really, much about it is clever The comparisons to A Clockwork Orange are completely unwarranted, as Alex, Foer s Ukrainian hero, destroys the English language in a quite different way than does Burgess Alex A less politically correct butconceptually accurate comparison would be Charlie Chan, as written by Earl Derr Biggers Foer s intertwining of stories is also quite clever, and his use of the two narrators to tell the main storylines.
However, with all the cleverness going on, Foer seems to have forgotten in many places to actually insert a novel Threads pick up in odd p You are burned out So you suggested to your wife that the whole family spend the weekend in a beach resort You left the house in the morning, drove the whole day and arrived at the resort few hours before the sunset You dropped your things, donned your beach wear, went barefoot and hurriedly went straight to the shore The sand is not sugar like but the pain is bearable The wind is a bit cold and it gives you slight chills You dip your feet into the water It is still lukewarm since the sun is just about to set You start to swim Then you notice how beautiful the sun is The kaleidoscope of colors yellow, orange, bright orange, red, reddish orange It s like God s canvas spluttered with beautiful colors You feel mesmerized Sunset is always breathtaking and you find yourself staring at it, perplexed and speechless You are there standing, you feel the small stones piercing your sol È Everything Is Illuminated ↠´ Gimmicks as substance.
when it s 1 20 a.
m and you re thinking about your favorite book of the year so far again and you realize you never posted your review and you just havetohavetohaveto let everyone know how much you loved it.
Ho ly shit.
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coThis book was incredible Truly I ve taken the last hour or two to just kind of continue with my life and try to absorb that experience Because even though I ve been reading this book for almost three weeks bananas long for me , it still feels like one cohesive experience.
I just want to quote this book to you, if that s okay Just for a hot sec There is no love only the end of love Between a grandfather and a grandson You have ghosts Of course I have ghosts What are your ghosts like They are on the inside of the lids of my eyes This is also where my ghosts reside You have ghosts O Young Man Arrives In The Ukraine, Clutching In His Hand A Tattered Photograph He Is Searching For The Woman Who Fifty Years Ago Saved His Grandfather From The Nazis Unfortunately, However, He Is Aided In His Quest By Alex, A Translator With An Uncanny Ability To Mangle English Into New Forms A Blind Old Man Haunted By Memories Of The War And An Undersexed Guide Dog Named Sammy Davis, Jr, Jr What They ã read ↠´ Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer ✓ Are Looking For Seems Elusive A Truth Hidden Behind Veils Of Time, Language And The Horrors Of War What They Find Turns All Their Worlds Upside Down Sorry but I didn t care for this at all If Mr Nobody wrote a book about himself as the main character, and used some uninventive malapropisms to make discussions with a foreigner amusing, the book would be tossed But wait, Foer went to Yale Unfortunately for me the quality of his writing shows me that nepotism will always beat out merit these days Sorry to be harsh, but really, I found the writing to be quite poor.
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 Machinist It s either in full on comedy mode, full on fanciful mode, full on drama mode, or some well balanced combination of the three Foer spent years editing the novel from his initial college thesis draft, and it shows in a good way There s no lag, and given some of the other books I was reading at the time e.
g The Recognitions , this leanness and pacing were very welcome Moreover, I don t think I ve ever been so off base with my preconceptions of a book I d somehow come to the conclusion that the controversy surrounding Foer was due to his pretentiousness, and I was prepared for something in your face erudite, clever, showy, and snarky since I d heard it was funny with his first effor Funny In a Tragic WayWhat would the English of a bright Ukrainian who had learnt it largely from local pop culture and a thesaurus sound like Hilarious actually Especially in the telling of a tale which has both been told so many times, and can never be told adequately the Holocaust There are two protagonists, the author, a young Jewish man off to find his roots in a now famous but obliterated shtetl near the Polish Ukrainian border and a young, ambitious lad from a disfunctional family in Odessa who acts as guide and subsequent interlocutor The author writes history of a post modernist sort the lad writes of the trip and comments on the author s text It is these latter comments that are most compelling because they reveal both the essential irrelevance of the destruction of European

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