Writers: Jonathan Safran Foer

  • Will Roszczyk

    A strange, yet flawed read

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6 Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    This book, documenting an American Jew's search for answers about his grandfather's experiences in the Holocaust, is perhaps one of the more bizarre novels I've ever had to read. Taking a strange, leaping structural form, Safran Froer moves between a fantasy retelling of a Ukrainian village and a Ukrainian (and quite terrible) attempting English. I know this perhaps doesn't cover exactly what happens, but the book should at least be read to see what I mean. Plot-wise, it's interesting enough. It's just that Alex (the Ukrainian boy who writes throughout) has such a bad hold on English that it's irritating to read, and as this was probably supposed to be the entertaining aspect of the book, it quickly becomes common and annoying. It's a shame, as the story is great. However, having to put up with this jokey English is so distracting as to ruin the novel.

  • Richard Lewis

    Ukraine without the tractors

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    I liked the way this book had two concurrent story lines, one which was a fantastical account of small town in Ukraine. The other, a tale of a (novelist??) who ends up on a road researching his new book. There are numerous twists to the story and I don't want to spoil them, so I won't be revealing too much about the plot. It's also worth persevering with even if you occasionally get a bit lost, as I ended doing. There was some great surreal imagery and some funny set pieces which were made even funnier by a farting dog called Sammy Davis Jnr. I can thoroughly recommed it.

Average Book Rating

Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6 Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6