All the Light We Cannot See
The epic new novel, set during WW2, from Sunday Times Short Story Prize-winner Anthony Doerr.
Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee wi...more
I believe there must have been a time that he himself saw the diamond still there, had checked on it himself, and that was why he left the key in the model house Marie-Laure gave him. He placed it there (I think) expecting that it would one day be returned to Ms. LeBlanc. Of course, I believe he expected to be alive for that but what can you do? Land mines are fickle. No, I think he left it there all these years, sending the key back as a way of saying that Marie-Laure was right to trust him not only to be her savior but also to trust him with the location of such a priceless treasure.(less) (hide spoiler)]
by Anthony Doerr
This book has haunting, beautiful prose. It's brimming with metaphors, painting gorgeous images. I didn't want it to end, but I couldn't put it down.
"In August 1944 the historic walled city of Saint-Malo, the brightest jewel of the Emerald Coast of Brittany, France was almost destroyed by fire....Of the 865 buildings within the walls, only 182 remained standing and all were damaged to some degree." -Philip Beck
Anthony Doerr's All The Light We Cannot See follows the parallel lives of two protagonists - Marie ...more
All readers must agree that the flipping back and forth between different time periods makes this book more confusing. I believe it must be said loudly and clearly that the current fascination with multiple threads and time shifts is only acceptable when they add something to the story, when employment of such improves the ...more
I'm going to be honest - love for this book didn't hit me straight away. In fact, my first attempt to read it last year ended with me putting it aside and going to find something easier, lighter and less descriptive to read. I know - meh, what a quitter.
But this book is built on beautiful imagery. Both in the literal sense - the physical world of 1940s Paris/Germany - and the metaphor ...more
Anthony Doerr's astonishing new novel "All The Light We Cannot See" follows the complex arcs of two such invisible lines through the lives of Werner P ...more
This book is getting a lot of well-deserved attention for its unique story and its beautiful writing. It starts late in World War II, as the Allies begin shelling the French city of Saint-Malo to drive out the remaining Nazi troops. Our two main characters are Marie Laure, a blind French girl who fled here with her uncle from Paris, and Werner, a radio expert in the German army who is stuck in the city when the attack begins. We jump back and forth in time, and between the two char ...more
The book revolves around Marie-Laure, a blind girl who lives with her father. Her father is the locksmith at the Paris Museum of Natural History, and Marie is raised wholly in the museum and at home. Marie has a semi-idyllic childhood until the Nazi's invade Paris and she and her father have to flee to another city, where a reclusive uncle lives. Unknown to Marie, he ...more
It’s just before the Nazi invasion and occupation of Paris. A young blind girl relies on her father for everything and she is his world as well. He spends all his time making her a wooden model ...more
The brain is locked in total darkness of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?Marie Laure LeBlanc is a teen who had gone blind at age 6. She and her father, Daniel, fled Paris ahead of th ...more
The Written Review:Why are all prize winning books so depressing?
No denying that this one is a big boi.
But was it worth all that paper?
Click the link for my video review of the big bois in my life.
Do the Pulitzer Prize judges immediately disqualify fun books? Seriously, I don't think I've seen a happy one yet.
Don’t you want to be alive before you die?We follow two storylines - one set in Germany focused on Werner Pfennig, an orphan, who's always dreamed of an education.
He finally gets ...more
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 st ...more
The writing was incredible, the descriptions so vivid. It did a superb job of showing the reader how the characters felt through their actions, rather than telling. Whilst the short chapters (on average 1.5 pages) helped to make thi ...more
I enjoy historical fiction and really looked forward to this novel by Anthony Doerr as it was set in a time frame that that really interests me. Because I read quite a lot of novels set around World War Two I love the fact that the author took a a slightly different path with his storytelling and that is what drew me to this novel.
I loved the characters of M ...more
I was pretty bored throughout and my mind kept wandering. I kept waiting for a big payoff, plot twist, that would bring my attention crashing back. I thought there might be some grand resolution beyond the symbolism and poetry of the writing, and there really didn't seem to be. Maybe I missed it while my mind was wandering.
Two other things - I have been encountering these a lot lately:
- WWII is now definitely entrenched as a ...more
Parallel stories are told in alternating chapters of Marie Laure, a teenage French girl who has been blind since the age of six and Werner, an intelligent, perceptive and sensitive German orphan who learns to fix radios an ...more
All the Light We Cannot See is a novel written by American author Anthony Doerr, published by Scribner on May 6, 2014. It won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
In 1934, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a six year old blind girl living in Paris with her father, the master locksmith at the Museum of Natural History. Her father constructs a scale model of their neighborhood to help her visualize her surro ...more
Saint Malo is one of my favourite places in France, it's a joy strolling its historic cobbled streets on a warm sunny day, but the St Malo depicted in this story is as far removed from the one in MY memory as it's possible to get. Set against the backdrop of World War II, France is under German occupation, St Malo under siege, and then finally the city comes under aerial attack. There are parallel lives here in the guise of Marie-Laur ...more
Firstly, the writing. It is beautiful, intricate, full of elegant, well thought sentences. However, they let me untouched. I don’t know why but I did not feel anything when reading those polished words. Maybe, ...more
reading this story reminded me of eating a decadent chocolate cake - so rich and filling that you are only able to eat a couple of bites at a time. meaning this book took me sooo long to finish because there was just so much to savour, so much to appreciate.
had this been any other book, i might have complained that it was too slow paced, too dense, too tedious. but i didnt think any of that with this story, regardless ...more
This book was an incredible depiction of the Second World War, told from the point of view of two characters in very different circumstances.
Switching between narratives following Marie-Laure, a young blind girl living in France with her father, a museum caretaker. Forced to flee Paris, Marie Laure's father carries the real one of 4 copies made of the legendary 'sea of flames' a jewel said to bring bad luck and destruction on whoever holds it.
The second narr ...more
- The story is both heart-warming and heart-breaking at times. Anyone looking for a good cry (or an ugly cry, or a proud cry, or, well, any kind of cry, really), this is the book for you!
- Both lead characters are extremely likable and sympathetic.
- The book does a brilliant job portraying the bleakness and tragedy of war and the many different ways it can affect people's lives.
- Werner's story is particularly effective. ...more
To those who like big-boughed characters (i.e., more than just stick figures): You get two compelling souls with this one: Marie-Laure, the valiant and inquisitive French girl who went blind at age six, and Werner, the tow-headed German orphan who had a knack for gadgets and science. Set in ...more
"Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever."It's a story of childhood interrupted by war. Two children - a blind French girl Marie-Laure LeBlanc and a German orphan Werner Pfennig - caught against their will in the unrelenting forces of cruel madness and destruction of World War II, dragged along in the senseless current of history that does not care about the fates of ordinary people. This is a story of their lives until the brief moment in which they collide, ...more
- Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
I follow a very specific plan whenever a new work of popular fiction bursts upon the stage. First, I buy it, right away. Like the instant I finish reading the review in the New York Times. Second, I put the book on my shelf, as soon as I receive it. Finally, I read it, two or three or four years later, when I finally get around to it. This routi ...more
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