***NO SPOILERS***I finished the book "Everything is Illuminated" last week. You can either love this book, or despise it. For me, I'm near the "despise" meter.
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man - also named Jonathan Safran Foer - sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.
The novel explores many themes such as the meaning of love, illumination, memories, etc. I like how this book actually is pretty meaningful than it appears. But I dislike the fact that it takes so long to explain these themes that were present. A lot of the chapters, I felt, were useless. Just there as a filler and as a comedic relief (although find that Alex's voice and the quest provides humor already). Many of the passages were profane, which doesn't seem to interest my still young self. This book can be perceived more positively if read by an older reader. So my disinterest is partially due to myself, not the book.
I didn't understand the chapters that was set in the past with Brod and Yankel and Kolker. I was confused on who was actually the voice (I later found out it was Jonathan). But I do like Grandfather though. He's viewed as this unimportant "blind" old man in the beginning, but later through out the book, he becomes an important component in the entirety of the novel.
I like Alex and Grandfather. Jonathan was okay. Loose ends were not tied in some parts. The Seeing Eye Bitch, AKA the dog, was not present at the end, which was unfortunate. I liked the emotional ending, but just the overused adult references and useless filler really got to me.
I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.