Here I Am

Here I Am

eBook - 2016
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A tale told over four tumultuous weeks in Washington, D.C., traces the fracturing of a family in crisis when the three sons of Jacob and Julia confront the paradoxes between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living.
"A monumental new novel from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, "Abraham!" to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, "Here I am." Later, when Isaac calls out, "My father!" to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, "Here I am." How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others'? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel in eleven years--a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy. Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks, in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home--and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear. Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer's most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer's stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a mature novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers of his generation. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374712501
0374712506
Characteristics: 1 online resource (571 pages)
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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e
eappelbaum
Jun 13, 2017

Fascinating book. Compare and contrast: the breakup of a family and the breakup of nations.

j
jdmm4ever
Jun 12, 2017

Jonathan Foer's return to fiction is well worth the wait and works on many levels. It is a melancholic account about the Bloch family both nuclear and extended. It has a great deal of dialogue which is very funny in places. The narrative also has many flashbacks and flash forwards which disrupts the flow. It reflects the deterioration in the marriage.
I am not Jewish. I appreciated the insights provided about both the blessings and the burden of being Jewish particularly the relationship between Israel the country and Jews in America.

r
rcplrozkutler
May 10, 2017

I paraphrase what my husband said about the author. It's like watching a train wreck, but the writing is so good, you can't look away. Worth it.

SPL_Shauna Apr 18, 2017

If you like witty, snappy dialogue and being incredibly depressed, have I got a book for you!

This book is a smart, honest look at a family disintegrating and a man trying to be really present for it all, but mostly failing. Parts are compulsively readable, and parts will maybe destroy you (if you're built like me, anyway). It's an awfully dark pick for these dark times. But, Foer has done something admirable here, and if you're up for it generally and specifically a fan of long, ponderous domestic fiction, it's worth the read.

brianreynolds Mar 18, 2017

In more than one sense, Foer’s <i>Here I Am</i> is a “Guernica” of family relationships. So often during the reading I sat in open-mouthed wonder at the author’s prose, his ability to paint emotions that defy the gravity of syntax: how in the world does the artist shift time and point of view and location all in the same paragraph to heighten impact without creating chaos! Courage and skill beyond anything close to the “literary fiction” norm. So I like his style. But this book is also a statement, a wrenching exploration of how difficult it is soldier on in the losing battle of love and commitment and existence. It is also a story, a compelling plot that strives beyond a bit of history or a character sketch. Foer creates an extended cast of likeable characters all fighting to hang on to their own definition of themselves, their own fragile creations of reality. Like Picasso’s famous work, the outcome is devastating, but Foer manages a triumph of sorts, a quiet, grim victory of the human spirit. Real. The saddest, most honest conclusion I am likely to ever read.

b
bronteside
Jan 27, 2017

Here I am has a special shine.
Long,insightful...the writing is brilliant.
The characters aren't particularly likeable , but they are recognizable,
The dialogue between the cousins was my favourite...the husband/wife relationship was a constant game of one-upmanship.
The kids were precocious and the words placed in their mouths stretched credulity.
Easy to see why it took Foer a decade to write this.
The last chapter was incredibly moving.

e
elizali
Oct 21, 2016

I liked this book - the tensions of being jewish in both the US and Israel were interesting, the kids were adorable, and the relationship between husband and wife was well-written. Reminded me of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. However, I do think this petered out about halfway through, and that Everything is Illuminated is a much nicer read.

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