Madeleine's Reviews > All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
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did not like it
bookshelves: buddy-read, 2019-reads, library-loan, thiccc, x-historical-fiction

I honestly don't even know what to say about this book.

I didn't really understand what it was about, and for the first third about Marie-Laure and Werner's childhoods, my eyes glazed over Werner's chapters. Then, at some point, Werner's chapters were more interesting than Marie-Laure's!

The short chapters were nice to breeze through, and I always appreciate a book that lands a delicate balance between lyrical and overly descriptive. Although it was a VERY slow and confusing start (part ZERO, really?? Just call it a prologue, Anthony!), it was an easy book to enjoy... if it hadn't been so damn LONG.

Also, there was no discernable climax. I kept waiting for something to happen. And although things happened, there wasn't one big thing that happened.

I did an "aggressive skim" of the last 30% of the book and don't feel like I missed much. Holy CRAP this book is so long. So. Very. Long. I thought the "epilogue" chapters were worthwhile, but maybe some of the day-to-day life of the earlier chapters could have been cut? Or maybe the day-to-day life chapters are the point of the book?? I'm not sure. But I felt the book could have been cut down to about 400 pages and it would have been a lot more tolerable. I was just ready to be DONE with it, but I had already sunk in 370+ pages, which is why I didn't just DNF this. That, and I was reading this as part of a buddy read.

It's not that I regret reading this, it's that it started to feel more like a chore than enjoyment. Clearly I am in the minority here, so if you're a fan of historical fiction based in World War II-era, I'd say give it a shot!
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Reading Progress

December 4, 2018 – Shelved
January 5, 2019 – Started Reading
January 5, 2019 –
page 19
3.58%
January 6, 2019 –
page 32
6.03%
January 8, 2019 –
page 40
7.53%
January 8, 2019 –
page 107
20.15%
January 9, 2019 –
page 127
23.92%
January 9, 2019 –
page 217
40.87%
January 16, 2019 –
page 238
44.82%
January 19, 2019 –
page 244
45.95%
January 19, 2019 –
page 303
57.06%
January 19, 2019 –
page 317
59.7%
January 19, 2019 –
page 343
64.6%
January 20, 2019 –
page 375
70.62%
January 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

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