Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

I read this book cover to cover and I still have little idea what the book was about.  I will tell you what I do know…

I know that Alex, the Ukrainian son of a travel agent, is telling the story of his “hero,” the author Jonathan Safran Foer, in his very broken/misworded English.

I know that Jonathan, the “hero” is in the Ukraine, from America, to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis.

And I know that Jonathan and Alex are accompanied on this journey by Alex’s grandfather, who is somehow involved in the story, and their dog (named Sammy Davis Junior Junior).

There are also many flashbacks to a very fantastical story of who I think are the ancestors of Jonathan’s grandfather, but the story is so choppy, that it’s hard to tell who is who.  And so much of it is so absurd that it’s hard to take any of it seriously.

And some scenes are extremely serious.

I think this book had some very interesting ideas and I actually find the telling with the broken English quite amusing.  There were even some very colorful characters who might have been more powerful had they been more real.  Unfortunately, at least for me, the execution of the good ideas was so far out there that it missed the target by a long shot.

Actually, for me, very little was illuminated…

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