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Everything Is Illuminated (2002)

by Jonathan Safran Foer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,902233322 (3.87)333
Jonathan is a Jewish college student searching Europe for the one person he believes can explain his roots. Alex, a lover of all things American and unsurpassed butcher of the English language, is his lovable Ukrainian guide. On their quixotic quest, the two young men look for Augustine, a woman who might have saved Jonathan's grandfather from the Nazis. As past and present merge, hysterically funny moments collide with episodes of great tragedy -- and an unforgettable story of one family's extraordinary history unfolds.… (more)
Recently added byfreakybloodhound, Arina40, private library, lucabi90, emaoping, mamarracq, krichard08
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» See also 333 mentions

English (217)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (232)
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
I loved the amusing diction and convincing heart of Alex's sections, but I found the excerpts from the character Jonathan's novel-in-progress to be pretty tedious. I think if I had read this before "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," I would have enjoyed it more. ( )
  nancyjean19 | Jun 3, 2020 |
This is one of those books I've been meaning to read for a long time, and finally got around to it. Well, actually I listened, and I am glad I did. The narrator of this book is terrific, especially when he is speaking as Alex, the inept, incompetent, and highly entertaining Ukrainian translator hired by Foer, who just happens to have the same name as the author. Probably just a coincidence. The story switches between old and new. The old starts with an overturned wagon in a river and a motherless baby found. There is a very strange part about the Jewish people dividing themselves into those who stay on the ceiling and those who fall. I didn't really understand that, and it was my least favorite part of the book.

The second story if about Foer traveling through the Ukraine with his inept translator, a “service” dog, and a (supposedly) blind driver, the translator's curmudgeonly grandfather. None of them are very good at traveling, trying to find Foer's family. Maybe.

This book varies between serious and sad, and really, really funny. It's an odd combination, but it works very well. If you choose to read this book, I suggest the audio version with narrator Robert Petkoff. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Jun 3, 2020 |
I really adored this book. It's paced pretty much perfectly, never seems slow or boring, and there's a lot of dry humour that I really appreciate in the first half, that gradually fades away as the narrative turns more sombre and melancholy.

I have little more to say than that - it's so hard to think of things to say when a book was pretty much perfect. Read it! ( )
  Jayeless | May 27, 2020 |
Reread ( )
  bookczuk | May 18, 2020 |
I laughed so hard I was crying, yay! ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Foer, Jonathan Safranprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abelsen, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bocchiola, MassimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shina, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
Simply and impossibly: For My Family
First words
My legal name is Alexander Perchov.
Quotations
One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.
The only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad.
What is wrong with you?
Nothing, I just don't eat meat!
Grandfather informs me that is not possible.
With writing, we have second chances.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Average: (3.87)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141008253, 0141037326

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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