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All the Light We Cannot See by [Doerr, Anthony]
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All the Light We Cannot See Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,693 customer reviews

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Length: 545 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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

About the Author

Anthony Doerr is the author of four books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome and Memory Wall. Doerr's short fiction has won three 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 Rome Prize, and shared the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award with Jonathan Safran Foer. In 2007 Granta placed Doerr on its list of the "21 Best Young American novelists." Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1768 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (6 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G1TOJ7Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 1,693 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #328 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I love books set during the World Wars, I think it's a fascinating time period and full of very touching stories against a tense backdrop. This book certainly brings it to life. The story is told in two parts, moving back and forth between the past, charting the childhood of both Marie-Laure and Werner, and the 'present' (for them) - a period of a few days when they are both in the city of Saint Malo while it is bombed.

Through Werner's childhood you see the development of Nazi propaganda in Germany and it's effect on his village, including the children in the orphanage. For me that was as scary and sad as the events at the special boarding school he later ends up at, which is indoctrinating boys as it trains them for the army. Marie-Laure shows the changes in Paris as the Nazi's come ever closer and then how her community in Saint Malo overcome their fear and begin resistance work.

I got frustrated with the blurb for this book before I started because I didn't think it hinted enough at the plot but now I'm glad it left things out. There are certain threads that run through the story connecting things and acting as catalysts for events, but I don't want to talk about them because I think it was part of the experience to discover them myself as I went along, and make the connections, without being told what was going to be the connection before even starting. What I will say is that Werner's friendships and encounters shape his life, and you see how one thing leads to another. Similarly, Marie-Laure's relationship with her father, his colleagues, and then the housekeeper and my favourite, her reclusive uncle, change over the story and were beautiful and touching to see.

I really loved this story and I hope you'll give it a try too. The ending did let the book down a little, I think, carrying on for a few chapters past what should have been the end. Despite that, it's one of my favourite books of the year so far and I'm so glad I got to read it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'All the Light We Cannot See' is based around quite a simple idea; World War II as experienced from completely different perspectives by two youngsters. Marie-Laure is a young French girl who has been blind since childhood and who lives with her father who is both a locksmith and a museum curator. Werner Pfennig is a young German boy living with his sister in an orphanage and his emerging talent with electronics has singled him out as important to the Nazi's.

The complexity comes from the wonderful scene setting as Anthony Doerr opens up two very different worlds. One moment we're learning about the bleak life of children surviving under a Nazi regime that crushes individuality. In the next moment we're in the company of a little blind girl with a passion for the natural world...shells in particular. The contrasts are remarkable and add huge texture to the plot.

The story follows Marie-Laure and Werner Pfennig over the course of the war and flips from 1934 to 1944. Anthony Doerr does a good job of handling the differing time frames without becoming lost and his development of the children is never less than believable. As the story unfolds the mystery of a valuable jewel, one with the power of eternal life but one also carrying a dreadful curse, begins to emerge. It falls upon Marie-Laure and her father to flee across France to St. Malo is order to protect the precious gem. For Werner Pfenning life becomes ever more grey as his life at the orphanage is cut short as he's sent to a military school where a brutal regime ensures only the strongest survive.

There's never any doubt the real course of the plot will lead to Marie-Laure and Werner-Pfenning meeting in some way and at some point.
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Format: Kindle Edition
All The Light We Cannot See is a tale of two teenagers on the opposite sides of war and how events eventually bring them together to help them save each other and to touch each other's lives in unexpected ways. Marie-Laure is a blind girl living with her father in Paris and Werner is a young German boy living in a mining village who comes to the attention of the Hitler Youth.

I loved this book. From the setting to the way it was written and how both Werner and Marie-Laure told their stories and step-by-step they drew closer and closer to one another. It was utterly captivating. The first few pages in the book are set in a French village in 1944 and it becomes clear that the two main characters are in the same location. The way the story skims through different views is like a standing moment in time and I really loved it and it really set the scene.

Flashback to when the characters were younger and we begin to learn more about them. From Werner's childhood to Marie-Laure's battles with learning how to be independent while blind and her love for her father and Werner's love for his sister. I loved the connection that eventually came about with the stories Werner and Jutta heard on the radio and how we eventually learn how this is connected to Marie-Laure, it was very subtle at first but I loved it.

I found the prose and descriptions in this book extremely beautiful, Marie-Laure's chapters in particular. Because she is never describing what she is seeing, she is using every other kind of sense to bring the scene to the reader's mind eye and it works. I could see where Marie-Laure was even though she couldn't see it herself.

I liked the subtle magical element with the Sea of Flames though I do think the reality of the magic in it was down to the reader.
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