Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been my favourite novel since the day I picked it up. While working as a bookseller at The Bookshelf in Guelph, I remember I sold a record number of copies over one particular holiday season, so enamoured with Oskar that I seized every opportunity — which typically presented itself in the form of an unsure reader wanting to be dazzled by some piece of work, or wanting for a loved one to be dazzled by some piece of work — to send a copy of the book out into the world.
Recently, I decided to listen to the audiobook, which I had never done before. It was a beautiful way to experience the story. How could I not include the following passage in my ever-expanding collection of Literary Gut Punches?
In bed that night I invented a special drain that would be underneath every pillow in New York, and would connect to the reservoir. Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would all go to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the Reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York is in heavy boots.