Saturday, November 17, 2007

The same book: Diana, this post is for you


Today I finished this book. It was eerily similar to the last book I read.


Both authors are my age, they both live in Brooklyn. I thought for sure they must be friends, because the novels seem to fairly obviously allude to one another. I imagined meeting Nicole Krauss, the author of The History of Love at a Q & A and brilliantly pointing out to her that in both her story and this other, the scenario appears wherein people who love one another hold onto string across bodies of water, so as to minimize their separation. What are the chances of that? Does she know Jonathan Safran Foer, and why are their books so much alike?

It turns out they know each other. Married to each other, in fact. I probably would have looked sort of dumb at the Q & A.

Has anyone read one or both of these books? They're both very well done and thought-provoking and entertaining. Exremely Loud and Incredibly Close is more of everything: more pretentious, more bad language, more funny, more unbelievable, more depressing, more post-modern, more emotionally-charged. I can't decide which one I like better, but perhaps since I very randomly ended up reading them back-to-back without knowing anything about them, and the authors turned out to be married to each other (who knew!) and they are essentially the same book, I don't need to pick a favorite.

10 comments:

Sarah said...

I've had The History of Love on my desk since April. A friend lent it to me. I really need to get to it.

Abby said...

Can I borrow them?

Neil and Diana said...

So far, I don't think I've particularly cared for anything I've read by people my age. Wait, let me see if Amazon will organize by DOB ... No luck on any of my googles. Anyway, my point of reference is probably 3 books, so my opinion could change. Why do you think they wrote the same book? Don't they talk about what they're writing with each other? ... Or maybe that was the problem.

Suzie Petunia said...

What an amazing coincidence that your read them back to back. Sounds pretty good though.

Here, can you hold onto this piece of string for me?

lys said...

Thanks for the book reviews. I always trust what friends say more than the bestseller list. . .

Christen said...

Em- I wish you would have been at book club when we discussed, I always love your deeper analytical view on the books, I always stay on the surface and just read for the story. I didn't actually read it after your email and after I read "The Nanny Diaries" and didn't care for it I didn't want to read another that may dissapoint, but the discussion was good and Jami loved it!

Katrina said...

Very interesting! I just read the New York Magazine article and I find it fascinating that their books are so similar. I actually bought History of Love a couple years ago, started it, and didn't get very far. I don't remember why it didn't grab me. I shall try again.

Meredith said...

You don't know me but Austin directed me to this post. For good reason. These are two of my favorite books. I like Extremely Loud better by just a little bit. They are written similarly but for me it was a treat rather than a disappointment. I love that they are married.

I didn't care for either of their other books. Big disappointment.

Emily said...

Meredith, thanks for your comment. I like to hang out at your blog sometimes. I did like both books, quite a lot. They were both fun. Extremely Loud will definitely be more memorable for me, but I enjoyed both. Maybe I should ask you: what should I read next?

Kacy said...

I'm so glad you pointed out this connection to me. I've been planning to read the husband's book.