Jonathan Safran Foer’s main character in his Everything is Illuminatedis Jonathan, an American searching for the woman who saved his grandfather, Safran, from the Nazis. His Ukranian translator, a young man named Alex, is not exactly fluent, incorrectly using words and misunderstanding the nuances of the English language. In between this story, is the background of a local shetl and its inhabitants, and these chapters are the highlight of the book. The Alex/Jonathan portion is mostly just weird. It’s an interesting, and often funny read, but often just too strange.
Try Everything is Illuminated if you liked Markus Zusak’s quirky writing style in I am the Messenger.