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Everything Is Illuminated (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Jonathan Safran Foer

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10,830192259 (3.89)283
Member:LynCollett
Title:Everything Is Illuminated
Authors:Jonathan Safran Foer
Info:Houghton Mifflin Company (2002), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:TBR

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Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (2002)

1001 (52) 1001 books (46) 21st century (68) American (119) American literature (101) contemporary (56) contemporary fiction (76) family (87) fiction (1,269) historical fiction (43) history (60) Holocaust (347) humor (97) Jewish (174) Jews (60) Judaism (103) literary fiction (34) literature (76) made into movie (40) magical realism (89) novel (205) own (65) read (144) Roman (49) to-read (197) Ukraine (338) unread (83) USA (48) war (58) WWII (232)
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» See also 283 mentions

English (179)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed the premise of this book and loved the butchered language. This made it so much more interesting, although I could not fully understand some of the words as they were so randomly misused.. However, I felt that it couldn't keep my attention constantly. Of course, this is partially due to the fact that I spent much of my time reading this in 1. Loud environments and 2. Surrounded by so many other books I also want to read. ( )
  marielreads | Jun 20, 2014 |
a bit peculiar but interesting ( )
  cherylwhatley | Jan 20, 2014 |
I give this 4 stars but really, by the time I was halfway through the book I was reading the narrator's chapters, and skimming the others. The unique voice kept me riveted, and I think that's the driving forces of the story. ( )
  davadog13 | Nov 21, 2013 |
Everything is Illuminated b y Jonathan Safran Foer is a debut novel published in 2002. The protagonist, named Jonathan Safran Foer, travels to the Ukraine to see if he can find the woman that saved his grandfather's life from the Nazis. It is a fragmented work, with part of it a work in progress by Foer that is quite magical or mythological about the shtetl, Trachimbrod and the actual story of the search for the woman as told by the English translator, Alex. Alex's use of the English language is delightful and humorous because of the words he chooses to use in his sentences. This is another holocaust story but told a little differently. It has elements of magical realism and it looks backward through the lives of the Ukrainian family that was also hurt by the what happened to the Jews. I thought the sexual vulgarity of the novel was a little much and could have done without. I do plan to watch the movie. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
I have hardly ever read a book that was as funny as this one. The story, well, it's loaded with memorable scenes and characters. The writing is fluent and engaging as well. A beauty. ( )
  WorldInColour | Oct 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
In Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer creates an unflinching plot that hits readers, like myself, who are unaccustomed to such profound writing.
 

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Safran Foerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abelsen, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shina, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060529709, Paperback)

The simplest thing would be to describe Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer's accomplished debut, as a novel about the Holocaust. It is, but that really fails to do justice to the sheer ambition of this book. The main story is a grimly familiar one. A young Jewish American--who just happens to be called Jonathan Safran Foer--travels to the Ukraine in the hope of finding the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. He is aided in his search by Alex Perchov, a naïve Ukrainian translator, Alex's grandfather (also called Alex), and a flatulent mongrel dog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. On their journey through Eastern Europe's obliterated landscape they unearth facts about the Nazi atrocities and the extent of Ukrainian complicity that have implications for Perchov as well as Safran Foer. This narrative is not, however, recounted from (the character) Jonathan Safran Foer's perspective. It is relayed through a series of letters that Alex sends to Foer. These are written in the kind of broken Russo-English normally reserved for Bond villains or Latka from Taxi. Interspersed between these letters are fragments of a novel by Safran Foer--a wonderfully imagined, almost magical realist, account of life in the shtetl before the Nazis destroyed it. These are in turn commented on by Alex, creating an additional metafictional angle to the tale.

If all this sounds a little daunting, don't be put off; Safran Foer is an extremely funny as well as intelligent writer who combines some of the best Jewish folk yarns since Isaac Bashevis Singer with a quite heartbreaking meditation on love, friendship, and loss. --Travis Elborough, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Hilarious, energetic, and profoundly touching, a debut novel follows a young writer as he travels to the farmlands of Eastern Europe, where he embarks on a quest to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, and, guided by his young Ukrainian translator, he discovers an unexpected past that will resonate far into the future. With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man, also named Jonathan Safran Foer, sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past. By turns comic and tragic, but always passionate, wildly inventive, and touched with an indelible humanity, this debut novel is a powerful, deeply felt story of searching: for the past, family, and truth.… (more)

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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141008253, 0141037326

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