Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “About Grace” as Want to Read:
About Grace
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

About Grace

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  5,963 Ratings  ·  827 Reviews
When Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector was published in 2002, the Los Angeles Times called his stories "as close to faultless as any writer—young or vastly experienced—could wish for." He won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Discover Prize, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, and two O. Henrys, and shared the Young Lions Award. Now he has
Paperback, 402 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about About Grace, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Stacy Buturlia I thought it was his mother, offering a glimpse of an afterlife

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Violet wells
This novel, like a teenage relationship, took me from love to loathing in the space of two weeks. Part one was fabulous. (I apologise to friends to whom I prematurely recommended this book). David Winkler, a character whose naivety and social ineptness makes Dostoevsky’s Idiot appear like Machiavelli and Lord Byron forged into one, has prophetic dreams. He dreams of a fatal accident to a stranger and then watches it happen days later exactly as he dreamt it. He then dreams a meeting with a woman ...more
Mar 31, 2016 LeAnne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Astounding. Eloquent. As good as or perhaps better than All the Light. The people who found this too long or became tired of the meaning behind snow crystals and water molecules and the way insects can survive near-death are fine readers, I'm sure, but they are not of my tribe. Doerr's Pulitzer-winning All the Light We Cannot See was equally long, but because the book was split into the story of two characters whose lives eventually intersected, perhaps it felt like two books - and that is likel ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Cathy rated it did not like it
I read this because Doerr is a local author, and a prize winner, and I liked him so much when I heard him speak. I wanted to like the book. I listened to it in my car and listened to the whooooooole thing. I started cursing it as I drove down the street. At times I wanted to drive into a telephone pole just to stop the pain. a) I don't like plotting based on poor decisions by the characters. b) I don't like extended meanderings into beautiful descriptive prose about things that have absolutely n ...more
May 21, 2015 Snotchocheez rated it really liked it
I read this in preparation to tackle All the Light We Cannot See to see what all the hoopla's about. I gotta say, Anthony Doerr is an impressive writer, and I am somewhat more eager to read his Pulitzer Prize winner now that I've read About Grace. It's by no means a perfect book; in fact the novel is stuffed with gobs of superfluous stuff that threatens to detract from the story (how much do we really need to know about snow crystal formation, anyway?) but Doerr writes with an exuberance that ...more
Pat Simons
Oct 26, 2014 Pat Simons rated it it was ok
After reading All the Light We Cannot See, which I found thought-provoking and beautifully written, I wanted to read more of Doerr's work. The title "About Grace" looked promising, so I downloaded it. But the book didn't hold a candle (hoho) to All the Light We Cannot See. Some of the prose was lovely, although not as spectacular as the prose in All the Light We Cannot See. But I was as happy to see About Grace end as I was sorry to see the end of All the Light We Cannot See. I found the protago ...more
Jul 23, 2016 Renata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stand-alone
Anthony Doerr tiene una forma de escribir muy única y bonita. La verdad es que tras leer La luz que no puedes ver supe que iba a leer más novelas de este autor por que sabe hacerte entrar en la historia y le da sentido y no sé como decirlo, pero sus novelas me están gustando muchísimo. No me gustó tanto como el primer libro suyo que leí, pero sí que me gustó para darle cuatro estrellas. Me encanta como describe perfectamente todo y realmente su manera de escribir las novelas es tan tan tan bonit ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
This book tells the story of David Winkler, a man who has dreams that are premonitions of the future. It was beautifully written with amazing imagery of the diverse settings of the novel. In Winkler's attempts to escape his dreams he travels from the Caribbean to Alaska and Doerr describes both of these settings in beautiful almost magical detail. Water and snow become the most amazingly complex and beautiful things in Doerr's writing. Other reviewers have stated that while the writing was beaut ...more
Mai Laakso
Doerr sai vuonna 2015 Pulizer-palkinnon kirjasta Kaikki se valo jota emme näe. Kirjan huippukohdat olivat toisen maailmansodan aikana. Kirjassa suurta osaa esitti ääniaallot ja toisen päähenkilön sokeus.
Uusin suomennos Davidin uni on kirjailijan esikoisteos vuodelta 2004. Tämän kirjan teemana on vesi ja sen eri olomuodot. Kirjasta löytyy sadetta, joki, valtameri, pisarat, kiteet, lumihiutaleet, lumi, jäätiköt ja tulvat sekä paljon muuta veteen liittyvää. Kirjan päähenkilö näkee unia ja valitetta
Apr 23, 2017 Jaline rated it it was amazing
Throughout the journey this book took me on, grace was present everywhere that it was allowed. (Sometimes it's amazing how we gift grace to others but don't allow it for ourselves.) The magic of aspects of nature were here - in water's many forms, the world of insects, the seasons and various locales and how they affect the flora and fauna - and vice versa. Dreams are here - prophetic and prosaic and everything in-between. And through it all - grace, love, and the bonds between people who connec ...more
Nov 01, 2011 GoldGato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, winter
Languid. This is a languid book requiring the reader to lower their metabolism to match the flow of the page. If the reader can do this, if the reader can build patience, then a world of graceful prose will be the reward.

The mythology of the Great Flood still lives in our heads. The fear and awe of water and waves and violent whitecaps. "We live in the beds of ancient oceans." Water and its transformation into snowflakes form the basis of this novel. The water in each of us that longs to return
About Grace is the first novel from Boise, Idaho based author, Anthony Doerr. He previously published a collection of short stories, The Shell Collector, which were both moving and gorgeous. One of the qualities of the stories contained in The Shell Collector, i.e., each story's deep connection to the natural world in which it takes place, actually becomes one of the chief weaknesses in About Grace.

About Grace opens as its protagonist, David Winkler, a fifty-nine-year-old scientist, especially f
Feb 04, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it
I love that he uses the science of snowflakes to mirror the complicated mental patterns of a human being who is lost and trying to find his place in the world, attempting to come to terms with the chaos in his head and heart.

Doeer is remarkably astute in delving into the isolation and loneliness of being human, the intermittment connections we make: some enduring, others brief and awkward, but each valuable and necessary. This story is a classic hero's journey and Doerr writes it well.

I percei
Inés Izal
Dec 11, 2016 Inés Izal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: flojos, 2016
Más largo que un día sin pan.
Oct 11, 2015 hayden rated it it was ok
2 stars

okay. um. doerr? are you sure? this is the same anthony doerr that wrote All the Light We Cannot See? you're absolutely positive? also the same author who wrote the novella Memory Wall? seriously??

this feels so detached from doerr's more recent work (and i'm very glad it's not the other way around): it moves at a snail's pace; the prose isn't nearly as lively as it is in his later work; and, for god's sake, the narrator is fucking intolerable. by the halfway point, i was literally forcing
Jan 23, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it
"I could be bound in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space – were it not that I have bad dreams.” -- Hamlet

An awful gift, a dreadful mistake, half a lifetime of doldrums and then repentance form the arc of this first novel by Anthony Doerr, whose second All the Light We Cannot See has been a near-universal favorite in 2014. I recommend About Grace very highly, though stinting one star on goodreads because I haven’t yet given five to any fiction (except humor) not read at least t
Apr 07, 2016 Inés rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2'5 en realidad.A priori una trama muy interesante,narrada con una prosa delicada,exquisita;pero con un protagonista desesperante,con nula iniciativa para solucionar sus problemas.Nada que ver con "La luz que no puedes ver"
Apr 19, 2016 Irunesa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Una prosa exquisita...nada más.
Elizabeth Shafer
I was given Doerr's recent book for Christmas but decided to first read his first novel, About Grace. As others have observed, Doerr seems to think like a scientist--whether about about stars, snowflakes, shells, insects--but writes like a poet. What is chance, what is fate? Doerr deals with these philosophical questions viscerally and brilliantly. The protagonist, David Winkler, is cursed with dreams or premonitions of events, some of which occur and which fill him with overwhelming dread, caus ...more
Angela Leon
Quizás algo menos de 3 estrellas. No ha sido tan mal como esperaba después de las críticas leídas, seguramente por las bajas expectativas que llevaba. Una cosa cierta: este señor escribe maravilosamente bien.
May 20, 2017 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Winklers Traum vom Wasser von Anthony Doerr (486)

David Winkler wächst in Anchorage, Alaska, auf, ein stiller Junge mit einer Vorliebe für Schnee und die Schönheit der Eiskristalle. Manchmal kann er Ereignisse sehen, bevor sie eintreten werden – ein Mann mit einer Hutschachtel wird von einem Bus angefahren werden, er wird sich in eine Frau in einem Supermarkt verlieben. Als David davon träumt, daß seine neugeborene Tochter in einer Flut ums Leben kommt, während er versucht sie zu retten, flieht e
Lesincele Viaja gracias a los libros
No sé si ha sido por las opiniones que había leído sobre este libro que lo ponían flojo, el ir sin expectativas o el no haber leído su otro libro. Pero la verdad es que la he disfrutado mucho. Me ha gustado la trama, los personajes y sobre todo la forma de escribir del autor, que aunque pausada es muy descriptiva y detallista y te hace sentir casi que estás allí.
La verdad es que me ha dejado con ganas de repetir con el autor
Bill Perkins
Jan 28, 2008 Bill Perkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10
One of my favorite books. The charachter Mr Winkler often is in my thoughts. It is a story of remorse, of growth, of change, and of love. I recommend this to anyone. The text is beautifully written. The characters are deeply defined. I loved every word, and was so sad to see the end.
Mar 04, 2017 Liisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I should read About Grace now that its still winter, because it seemed extremely fitting for the season, and I was right. I have never read a book where snow and water in all its forms is described as beautifully, skillfully and in such detail. And I love how parts of the story is set in the warm Caribbean islands and parts in the cold winter of Alaskan wilderness. The plot I found very intriguing, even though the main character got on my nerves at some points, but thats only natural w ...more
David Carr
Aug 18, 2014 David Carr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
I had finished Doerr's short story collection, Memory Wall, when my Kindle [I was traveling in Alaska] offered me an opportunity to read the first pages of About Grace and I said yes. Then I fell into this book and found it to take me back to some of the best reading I did forty years ago or more. At times Doerr reminded me of the Nabokov of Pnin or the great Bernard Malamud's A New Life; I also thought of Saul Bellow and the neglected Edward Lewis Wallant.

Doerr's protagonist is haunted and dri
Sally Knotwell
May 08, 2013 Sally Knotwell rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
This was a highly touted book for our book club. The premise had me excited to read it. However, once I got started, I found that I was in a constant state of confusion. Each chapter starts out with the main character, David Winkler, as a different age and it does not progress chronologically. It bounces from age 59 to 32 and back and forth with no particular signal that the reader is going back or forth. David Winkler is not a sympathetic character in my opinion. He is immoral and a stalker. An ...more
Kathy Miller
Dec 01, 2016 Kathy Miller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-books
Beautifully written, this is a literary endeavor that reaches into the heart of being human. Anthony Doerr is the award winning author of All the Light we Cannot See. About Grace was his debut novel and it is rich in detail and pathos.
Character driven, this novel is a psychological foray into the heart of one man who loves deeply, and who augurs the future which brings him both joy and trepidation.
The writing is exceptional, psychological in nature and enthralling. Loved it.
Feb 01, 2016 Berit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Noget om Grace, noget om Alaska, noget om vildmarken, noget om kærlighed, noget om afsavn, noget om venskab, noget om tilgivelse, noget om Yukon, noget om sne, noget om vand, noget om oversvømmelser, noget om ensomhed. Noget om meget af det jeg elsker at læse om.
May 01, 2016 Tabuyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado más de lo que me esperaba. Es una lectura pausada y cargada de sentimientos que me ha dejado muy buen sabor de boca.
Mis Lecturas
Una novela que llega a las tres estrellas raspadas. Un personaje cuyas acciones no he comprendido y una historia algo insulsa, sin chispa. Lo único que lo salva es la prosa
Margarita Gautier
2 estrellas y media. Una prosa preciosa pero la historia me ha aburrido
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page number 5 15 Aug 16, 2016 02:53PM  
The Ending? Help me understand... 3 36 Sep 17, 2015 02:29PM  
  • Celestine
  • Fiskarnir hafa enga fætur
  • Settanta acrilico trenta lana
  • D'après une histoire vraie
  • The Portrait
  • Lejlighedssange
  • One Moonlit Night
  • Wrong Man Running
  • The Watermelon King
  • Hank & Chloe
  • Beckomberga: Ode till min familj
  • The Wedding Game (Matchmaker Duncan Sisters, #3)
  • Time and Chance
  • Checker and the Derailleurs
  • Pocketful of Names
  • Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir
  • Rainlight
  • The Stars Within
Anthony Doerr is the author of five books, The Shell Collector , About Grace , Memory Wall , Four Seasons in Rome and All the Light We Cannot See . Doerr’s fiction has won four 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 Barnes & Noble Discov ...more
More about Anthony Doerr...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Our shadows are our histories. We drag them everywhere.” 19 likes
“In our memories the stories of our lives defy chronology, resist transcription: past ambushes present, and future hurries into history.” 16 likes
More quotes…