Here I Am puts me at a loss for words. I can't find adjectives or summaries that feel sufficient to describe it and what it accomplishes. After an eleven year gap between novels, Here I Am is a brilliant statement. It is straightforward, and complex, with layers upon layers of ideas. The extraordinary paradoxes inherent in being human are mirrored in the demands and gifts of religion, and of art. Here I Am is an intimate portrait of a family falling apart. It is about our global family, and the ways we love and disappoint each other. Foer reveals the gaps between who we want to be, who we want others to be, and who we are. The novel feels painfully honest, but also demonstrates our incapacity for complete honesty, especially with ourselves. By rationing his well-known sense of humor, Foer deliberately raises the emotional stakes. Ultimately, Here I Am is a gift, and perhaps, in reference to Abraham and his son, a sacrifice, about the pain and joy of survival.
A monumental new audiobook from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”
How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years—a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home—and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.
Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers in America.
"[Ari] Fliakos masterfully weaves the multiple perspectives (and many accents, including Israeli and Iranian)...into a cohesive and powerful audiobook." AudioFile Magazine
"Foer’s novel requires a very talented narrator—and it got one. The prose is fast, forceful, funny, and friendly, and actor Fliakos handles it all superbly. He distinguishes children of different ages as well as fathers, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. He catches the nuances and emotional intricacies of each character’s thoughts and conversations, while his diction is perfect but not intrusive. He’s especially good at highlighting the gentle humor and major absurdities of the novel." Publishers Weekly