Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a book unlike any I have come across. It appeared to be as one was reading a journal or back story of a man re-telling his life. As mentioned in the story, Oscar had a ‘Things That Happened To Me’ book, which after completing the novel, seems to be, that the novel in it self is the original journal.
Walter Kirn makes a great comparison of Oscar to Holden, both characters being outsiders, and in a way thinking outside the box. You could even go to say that Holden could be Oscars novel older brother. ( Not concentrating on the decades of course.)
Kirn seems to be not very fond of the story, Oscar being the main reason. Being that kid that parents should be proud of but need to learn to communicate with. Oscar has a strong personality for a nine year old travelling through New York City. Kirn does mention it does have a Gotham feeling to it, with people protecting Oscar, with every new turn he takes.
Perhaps, we all just wanted what was best from Oscar, kind of like we hoped everything would work out for Holden. But as people I think we realize that what makes a truly good story is not always having a happy ending, but sometimes facing reality.