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All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Paperback

Published: 23rd April 2015
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Published: 6th May 2014
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WINNER OF THE 2015 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR FICTION

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. When Marie-Laure goes blind, aged six, her father builds her a model of their Paris neighborhood, so she can memorize it with her fingers and then navigate the real streets. But when the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, is enchanted by a crude radio.

He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent ultimately makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

About the Author

Anthony Doerr is the author of four books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome and Memory Wall. Doerr's short fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He has won the Rome Prize, and shared the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award with Jonathan Safran Foer. In 2007 Granta placed Doerr on its list of the "21 Best Young American novelists." Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
All the Light We Cannot See
 
4.7

(based on 43 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (34)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (40)
  • Engaging characters (37)
  • Page turner (27)
  • Deserves multiple readings (26)
  • Suspenseful (18)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (28)
  • Older readers (23)
  • Travel reading (13)
  • Younger readers (6)
  • Reference (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (27), Bookworm (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

This is a brilliant book

I loved this book. The two main characters were very real and believable. The plot was constructed to maintain a free-flowing narrative of the two separate stories which gradually merged as the plot...Read complete review

I loved this book. The two main characters were very real and believable. The plot was constructed to maintain a free-flowing narrative of the two separate stories which gradually merged as the plot unfolded. The use of books, music,the history of the pillage of European works of art during the 2nd World War, and the siege of the town of Saint Malo on the west coast of France, all added to the interest and intrigue. This book gives an insight into both the German and French experiences of the time.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Frustrated

no comment unless I continue reading but I have already switched to another book.

no comment unless I continue reading but I have already switched to another book.

Reviewed by 43 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Outstanding

By 

from Frankston South, Vic.

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Page Turner
  • Suspenseful
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

    I had to pause often to reread exquisitely written passages, and also to hold off from devouring the book so that I could look forward to resuming. It's a modern classic.

     
    4.0

    Astounding remarkabl book - huge debate in book club

    By 

    from Melbourne

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

        Two of us enjoyed this book, takes concentration but if you persist it rewards. You follow several characters moving through different times and situations. Adding intrigue, although it can be tricky, not worrying too much seemed best. Just allow it to flow... And the juxtapositions bring out new depths of understanding.... Perspectives of young disadvantaged kids and recruits in 1930's Germany and a disabled young French woman. Such hatred and random cruelty. Beautifully told.

         
        5.0

        One of the best books I have ever read!

        By 

        from Sydney Australia

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Engaging Characters
        • Page Turner
        • Suspenseful
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Travel Reading
          • Younger Readers

          Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

          A wonderful book. The story has you unable to put the book down as you become so involved with the characters. And it is beautifully written!

           
          5.0

          Great, emotional story.

          By 

          from Noosa Heads

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Engaging Characters
          • Page Turner
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

            A great read. Enables the reader to look at and empathize with different perspectives. Highlights the personal stories of war. Not to be missed

             
            2.0

            Frustrated

            By 

            from Australia

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Engaging Characters
            • Well Written

            Cons

            • Print is not dark enough and too small.

            Best Uses

              Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

              no comment unless I continue reading but I have already switched to another book.

               
              5.0

              One of the Best

              By 

              from Brisbane

              Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

              Rarely do you read a book that impresses with such power. The writing is superb, the story unforgettable, the themes so thought provoking. It's a book that will never leave you. It's impact on so many levels made me so grateful to have the the joy of reading.

               
              5.0

              Beautifully written about growing up as fascism spreads

              By 

              from Melbourne

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Engaging Characters
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers

                Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

                Great read, entertaining and engaging, great character development

                 
                4.0

                Very moving read

                By 

                from west Australia

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Engaging Characters
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Older Readers

                  Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

                  I loved this book although I am not I usually a fan of books set during wars.

                   
                  5.0

                  Great read

                  By 

                  from Sydney, NSW, Australia

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings
                  • Engaging Characters
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

                      This is a great read. It flows from page to page; it had me engaged from the outset until the end where I was in tears. The characters are interesting and realistic - who could not love them. The innocence of youth and war! Definitely recommend this read. I have passed it onto family to read.

                       
                      5.0

                      Beautifully written book. Loved it.

                      By 

                      from Vic Australia

                      About Me Everyday Reader

                      Pros

                      • Deserves Multiple Readings
                      • Engaging Characters
                      • Page Turner
                      • Suspenseful
                      • Well Written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about All the Light We Cannot See:

                          This book is so beautifully written. I feel in love with the characters. One of the best I have ever read.

                          Displaying reviews 1-10

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                          'Far more than a conventional war story, It's a tightly focused epic ... Doerr paints with a rich palette, using prose that resonates deeply and conveys the ephemera of daily existence along with high drama, sadness and hope ... A bittersweet and moving novel that lingers in the mind' Daily Mail 'An epic work about bravery and the power of attachment' Rose Tremain, Observer, Books of the Year 'An epic and a masterpiece' Justin Cartwright, Observer 'This novel will be a piece of luck for anyone with a long plane journey or beach holiday ahead. It is such a page-turner, entirely absorbing... magnificent' Guardian 'Doerr can bring a scene to life in a single paragraph ... Delicate and moving ... the novel takes hold and will not easily let go' The Times 'Boy meets girl in Anthony Doerr's hauntingly beautiful new book, but the circumstances are as elegantly circuitous as they can be' The New York Times 'I'm not sure I will read a better novel this year ... Enthrallingly told, beautifully written and so emotionally plangent that some passages bring tears' Washington Post 'This jewel of a story is put together like a vintage timepiece ... Doerr's writing and imagery are stunning. It's been a while since a novel had me under its spell in this fashion.' Abraham Verghese 'A dazzling, epic work of fiction. Anthony Doerr writes beautifully about the mythic and the intimate, about snails on beaches and armies on the move, about fate and love and history and those breathless, unbearable moments when they all come crashing together.' Jess Walter

                          ISBN: 9780007548699
                          ISBN-10: 0007548699
                          Audience: General
                          Format: Paperback
                          Language: English
                          Number Of Pages: 544
                          Published: 23rd April 2015
                          Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
                          Country of Publication: GB
                          Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 3.4
                          Weight (kg): 0.27