All the Light we Cannot See Paperback – 10 December 2015
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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
The Breathtaking World Wide Bestseller
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- Item Weight : 360 g
- Paperback : 544 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0008172420
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008172428
- Publisher : Fourth Estate (10 December 2015)
- Dimensions : 20 x 14 x 4 cm
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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Is happy a word to be used when talking about this book, this time period? Maybe not but the author did make me very happy. It’s very important to me that I feel connected to the characters and transported to places in the books and it did that and more.
The book jumps from time periods of Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s life, from their teen years to their younger years and back and forth. Sometimes it was a bit confusing to keep track of it, sometimes because it was an e-book, it was even frustrating to not be able to flip back to the pages I lost my thread. (An actual paperback really helps with this, it just gives me satisfaction if nothing else.)
Everything about the book made me fall in love with it. There are the usual World War II horrors and you can’t escape them, most times, I was so acutely uncomfortable with the scene but I moved ahead anyway. This book is an absolute must-read if you like reading about the World War II. Not because it’s super informative or because there’s tons of other things that could make you relate to the people of the times more. It’s more to understand how it felt for the children, for those who grew up in Germany and had to join Hitler’s army. For the children who had nobody left, those who couldn’t do much for themselves. Marie-Laure and Werner might be fictional but there were real people who were in their places at some point. They must have faced countless problems and horrors.
It is that feeling that makes me think that people should really read it.
I have a lot of wonderful things to say about it and I could say it but there’s also the one bit that I felt almost unnecessary in the book. Yes, the hunt for the Sea of Flames. The diamond. That part always felt unnecessary and almost tacked on as if it was an afterthought. I am not saying I didn’t enjoy the fantasy of it and there was a realistic part to it but at the same time, it just didn’t click with the rest of the book.
However that does not negate all the awesome things about this book and so, this remains a five-star book.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read World War II fiction or who wants to see how language can be elevated to this level. If you wanna read in leisure, you totally can!! This book, despite it being based during the World War II, has an almost unhurried pace to it. It’s just me who wouldn’t stop reading.
And if you still have any doubts about this book, it’s worth mentioning that it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015. So, there’s that?
What a journey! What an incredible, heartbreaking, beautiful and bittersweet journey! Poetry disguised as prose - the phrase that comes to mind while reading this book. Strangely, I felt the same while reading The Book Thief, another beautiful story set in those grim years of World War II. What is it about wars that is so fascinating to authors - maybe the atrocities that are committed, the inevitable doom that casts its shadow over both the perpetrators and the victims, or maybe how despite living in the worst of times imaginable to them, people manage to survive but however brave they are, war leaves a black hole in their hearts that can never be filled.
All the characters are incredibly well-written, especially Marie-Laure LeBlanc, who I think is probably the most beautiful character ever written. The disruptive non-linear narration only adds to the beauty where chapters flow into one another forming a giant interwoven web of stories that manage to shake you from the core.
I'll leave you all with a quote from the book -
“You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course we do. Name me a person or a nation who does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.”
Top reviews from other countries
Marie Laure is an 11 yrs old blind girl, who is taken from Paris to St Malo, by her father for safety. Werner is an 11 yrs old German boy, who is a genius with technology i e old fashioned radios of the era. He attends an elite school for the German Ideal. Werner progresses to be an important part of discovering illegal radios used by the Resistance in the St Malo area.
Some very interesting facts are given and there’s obviously a lot going on; mostly about the sadness, hardship and devastating consequences of war. Paths cross along the way. Various plot threads interact. There are some heroic pleasing characters and equally some distasteful cruel individuals.
Would recommend but advise sticking with the unusual style.
The horror of WWII was hardly a groundbreaking subject, but this story manges to make you look at it in a way you may never have before.
I fell in love with Werner's character from the beginning. He was so authentic and I really felt his pain and his struggle to accept the difficult decisions he has to make. A wonderful character who, even though he would be considered to be "the bad guy" by historical standards, is the most loveable and relateable in the novel. It is a testament to how good the writing is, to think that I was most invested in the fate of this young Nazi boy. The chapters surrounding his time at school were wonderfully descriptive, and equally horrific. They will stay with me for a long time.
I do have to say that the book was rather long, and a bit slow to start, so it did take me a while to get into it. The storyline surrounding the sea of flames frustrated me slightly, as it seemed like little more than a plot accelerator. However, the well developed characters and insight into wartime Europe more than makes up for this.
All in all, a great book.
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.