Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Everything is Illuminated is the tale of a young writer traveling to eastern Europe in order to find a woman named Augustine. It is a tale about a young woman named Brod, and her battle with and against love and sadness. It is supposedly a heart-wrenching tale that ties together past and present, and inevitably illuminates everything.

The experimental writing style of this book was its strength. If one enjoyed it, one liked the book. If one didn’t, one didn’t like the book. I was apathetic toward the entire novel – sure, the pathos pulled me in a few times, and yes, I laughed at Alex’s humor, but I didn’t love anything. There were some brilliant tidbits, but at times it felt like Foer was trying too hard to be inspirational.

Recommended to fans of historical fiction and books written in a unique way. Also, to fans of malapropism. I highly recommend Everything is Illuminated to fans of malapropism.

Here’s one passage I liked:

The beach was beautiful last night, but this did not surprise me. I love sitting on the edge of the land and feeling the water verge me, and then leave me. Sometimes I remove my shoes and put my feet where I think the water will approach to. I have attempted to think about America in regard to where I am on the beach. I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.

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6 Comments

Filed under 2.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

6 responses to “Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

  1. Nice one for the review, I picked up this book for 0.20p at a car boot sale, but haven’t read it yet, thanks for making me know what malapropism means! I am an aspiring writer and social commentator, kindly follow my blog, I believe it will be of interest =)

    groovyscone.wordpress.com

  2. A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

    I didn’t really like this book either – nice to know I’m not alone!

  3. Alena

    I loved this book. I even cried a little at the end with what happened to Alex and his family. As an added bonus, Alex’s early letters were useful for shocking and cheering up nearby friends.

    Spoilers alert: Do you remember, right at the end, when Alex says to Jonathan he must say this, even though you might become angry at me, ect, and then he signed off the letter with Love, Alex? Sorry, I can’t remember it exactly. What were your thoughts on that?

    • SPOILER ALERT DON’T READ THIS COMMENT IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK.

      The ending was touching. Are you referring to Alex’s final letter to Jonathan? And are you asking me specifically about how he signed off the letter with “Love, Alex”? Even though I finished the book yesterday I don’t remember paying attention to the particular significance of how he signed his letter off, though there was a whole lot of character development on Alex’s part in the last few chapters. To me, I felt like what Alex went through allowed him to burgeon as a person and to settle some of his internal securities and become stronger as a person in general. Sort of like a relinquishing of the past or a settling of past problems type of thing. I’m not 100% sure what you wanted my thoughts on, but I hope that was it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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