Oskar Shell is an incredibly intelligent and emotionally sensitive nine year old boy. Oskar describes himself as an inventor, jewelry designer, amateur entomologist, Francophile, vegan, origamist, and many other things that he printed onto a business card. Oskar and his father create puzzles and mysteries for each other to solve, sometimes going on months or years at a time. When his father dies in the September 11th World Trade Center attack, Oskar sets out on a journey after discovering a key buried in his father’s closet labeled “Black”. Oskar decides to contact every person named Black in the five boroughs of New York City.
Along the way he meets dozens of people who all have a story to tell–some of them so heart-wrenching you’ll have to take a break from reading. Oskar is joined on his journey by a man he calls The Renter. The Renter, aptly named, rents a room from Oskar’s grandmother. He does not speak but simply follows and sometimes helps Oskar find all of the Blacks in New York City. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of those books that after I finished reading I felt like I had changed.
It was made into a movie of the same name in 2012.