6 Degrees of Separation: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

October 1, 2016 | 2 comments


6 Degrees of Separation is a book meme hosted by Kate at Books are My Favorite and Best. The goal is to construct a chain with 6 other books, using any criteria you want, and see where you end up.

This month, the starting book is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. The narrator of the book is 9-year old Oskar Schell – an eccentric, intelligent, and clever young boy who self-identifies as a number of things including inventor, amateur entomologist, origamist, and amateur archaeologist. In the film adaption from 2011, Thomas Horn played Oskar. It also starred one of my favourite actors, Tom Hanks, as Thomas Schell.

One of Tom Hanks all-time best roles was as death row supervisor Paul Edgecomb in the film adaption of Stephen King’s serial novel The Green Mile (in 1999) about the guards and the inmates at Cold Mountain Penitentiary waiting to walk the Green Mile towards their execution. At the center of the story is Edgecomb’s interactions with inmate John Coffey whose conviction is not all it appears to be.

In John Green’s novel Paper Towns, the boy Quentin joins his neighbour, and long-time crush, Margo on an all-night road trip of revenge. The following morning, Margo disappears and Quentin sets out on a road trip across the country together with three friends, following clues Margo left behind.

Another story set around a road trip is The Long Way Home by Karen McQuestion. Four women – Marnie, Laverne, Rita, and Jazzy – goes on a road trip from from Wisconsin to Las Vegas so that Marnie can reunite with the boy she raised as her own but that she’s been separated from since her boyfriend’s death.

Out by Natsuo Kirino is another story centered around the lives of four women: Masako, Kuniko, Yoshie, and Yayoi. It is one of the most gruesome and grotesque books I have ever read, and it is one of my favourite books set in Japan (and one of my favourite books in general).

Another Japanese author who I have recently added to my list of favourites is Keigo Higashino. I love his series about Detective Galileo, but the one book of his that I keep recommending to people is Malice, the only book from his mystery series about Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga that, as far as I know, have been translated to English.

A book I wish was translated to English (so I could recommend it to others who love Scandinavian crime as much as I do) is Spåren på bryggan (“The tracks on the bridge”) by Lars Rambe. It’s set in Sweden and the main character is Fredrik Gransjö, a journalist in Strängnäs who writes an article that brings life into an unsolved case from 1965.


This time, my chain took me from an acclaimed novel made into a popular film to a book I wish more people had read and that I think would make an excellent film.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, where will you end up? Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to read the rules and see who else made a chain this month.