- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (April 4, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501173219
- ISBN-13: 978-1501173219
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28,274 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Paperback – April 4, 2017
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"Exquisite...Mesmerizing...Nothing short of brilliant."--Alice Evans "Portland Oregonian "
"Hauntingly beautiful."--Janet Maslin "The New York Times "
"History intertwines with irresistible fiction--secret radio broadcasts, a cursed diamond, a soldier's deepest doubts--into a richly compelling, bittersweet package."--Mary Pols "People (3 1/2 stars) "
"Anthony Doerr again takes language beyond mortal limits."--Elissa Schappell "Vanity Fair "
"Enthrallingly told, beautifully written...Every piece of back story reveals information that charges the emerging narrative with significance, until at last the puzzle-box of the plot slides open to reveal the treasure hidden inside."--Amanda Vaill "Washington Post "
"Stupendous...A beautiful, daring, heartbreaking, oddly joyous novel."--David Laskin "The Seattle Times "
"Dazzling...Startlingly fresh."--John Freeman "The Boston Globe "
"Gorgeous... moves with the pace of a thriller... Doerr imagines the unseen grace, the unseen light that, occasionally, surprisingly, breaks to the surface even in the worst of times."--Dan Cryer "San Francisco Chronicle "
"Incandescent...Mellifluous and unhurried...Characters as noble as they are enthralling. Doerr looms myriad strains into a luminous work of strife and transcendence."--Hamilton Cain "O, the Oprah magazine "
"Perfectly captured...Doerr writes sentences that are clear-eyed, taut, sweetly lyrical."--Josh Cook "Minneapolis Star Tribune "
About the Author
Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.
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When reading the synopsis of this novel, I never imagined that I would feel so connected to a book where one of the main characters is blind and the other a brilliant young German orphan who was chosen to attend a brutal military academy under Hitler's power using his innate engineering skills.
This novel was so much more than the above states. The idiosyncrasies of each individual character are so well defined and expressed in such ways that come across the page almost lyrically. I was invited into the pages and could not only imagine the atmosphere, but all of my senses were collectively enticed from the very first page until the last.
I was so amazed with the way that the author was able to heighten all my senses in a way that I felt like I knew what it was like to be blind. In most well-written books you get of a sense of what the characters look like and follow them throughout the book almost as if you are on a voyage, but with this novel, I could imagine what it was like to be in Marie-Laure's shoes. The descriptives were so beautifully intricate that I could imagine the atmosphere through touch and sound. It was amazing, really.
There were so many different aspects of the book that are lived out in separate moments and in different countries that find a way to unite in the end. What impressed me most was that I could have never predicted the outcome. It was as though all cliches were off the table and real life was set in motion. Life outside of books can be very messy and the author stayed true to life but in a magical and symbolic way.
I have said in other reviews that just when I think that I have read my last book centered around the Second World War, another seems to pop up. I should emphasize that this book created an image of war in a way that I have never imagined before. I truly got a sense of what it must have been like for children who lived a happy life and then suddenly were on curfew and barely had food to eat. It also showed the side of young children who are basically brainwashed by Nazi leaders and made into animals who seem to make choices that they normally wouldn't in order to survive. And by survive, I mean dodging severe abuse by their own colleagues.
This book may haunt me for some time. I can't express enough how beautifully written the pages are. I highly recommend this read as it is my favorite so far for 2014.
Call me old-fashioned, but I used to love browsing bookstores in person, and the rise of the internet has made it all too easy to find and purchase subpar (albeit popular) books. There are so many entertainment alternatives that many truly great stories go under the radar...until it's announced that they'll be made into a movie (in fact, many read like screenplays, as if the author anticipates that's where the paycheck is). And yes, the characters and the interwoven storyline and the dramatic WWII backdrop could make for a blockbuster hit.
But. This is a book you really should read, and relish. (I read this on my kindle and hid the progress percentage because I didn't want it to end.) Doerr writes with absolutely beautiful imagery. It's emotional and vivid and earnest. A wonderful reminder that books were written to provide a unique insight into how others think, and feel, and live, and love.
But all that said, I didn't find it enjoyable to read.
It took a while to figure out why. Even while reading it I'm thinking to myself "This is so good", but at the same time wondering why I'm bored and looking forward to the next book.
Finally I think I nailed it. Nothing really happens. It's all set in amongst the background of a lot happening, but other than hearing about it, there's not much that really goes on with the characters that so much time has been spent making us love.
This feels like all the parts of a fantastic book that happen BETWEEN the major plot points.
I spent the majority of this book waiting for something to happen, and when it doesn't it feels like there no payoff for the time invested in these characters.
Maybe this is what literary fiction is about. I can see why people may like it. It's life through the eyes of others.
But books are a form of entertainment. This wasn't entertaining to me, and I couldn't wait to start a new book.