>By Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely tedious and incredibly precious. Did you read this? It is a book-length short story about Oskar (think Tin Drum, Gunter Grass), a precocious, extremely weird kid, whose incredibly loving father, Thomas, has a meeting at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001. Searching through his father’s belongings afterward, trying to make sense of what has happened and also looking for something of this father’s that will bring them close, Oskar finds a key in a vase. A couple of hundred pages are spent trying to find the lock to which the key belongs, which would be a nice metaphor for life except when he finds the lock, it turns out to have nothing to do with his father. There are some messages here about loss and family and searching and tragedy and communication, but as I say it would have made an excellent short story.