Thursday, April 19, 2007

heavy, heavy boots

Sometimes it's great to revisit books you liked, but only when you remember enough about the book to STOP yourself before you get to the super-depressing parts. Say you've decided to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close again, and all you remember is that the protagonist is a 9-year-old boy whose father died on 9/11. He finds a mysterious key among his dad's things and embarks on a search through New York to discover what the key will unlock. The boy's name is Oskar and he's so precocious and creative--the child we all think we want to have but probably would be annoyed with. When he's feeling sad, he calls it having "heavy boots." He's been hiding the family answering maching since 9/11 because it has 5 terribly sad messages on it: his dad calling from the Windows on the World, reporting on the situation there. The last message consists of, "Is anyone there?" repeated 15 times. Don't forget this next time! Don't pick up this book unless you are on the beach in Jamaica or something, surrounded by enough beauty and vacuousness to cushion the impact. Remember this.

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