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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
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All the Light We Cannot See (2014)

by Anthony Doerr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,145591502 (4.29)598
  1. 270
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Blogletter)
  2. 182
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (gypsysmom)
    gypsysmom: Similar locale in that Guernsey and St. Malo were occupied by the German army during World War II. Resistance is also a main theme in both of them.
  3. 100
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (LISandKL)
  4. 60
    Stones From The River by Ursula Hegi (cataylor, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these heartbreaking World War II novels cause readers to pine for a happier ending than is possible for the characters. The stylistically complex writing describes the struggles that the characters -- some with physical challenges -- go through to survive.… (more)
  5. 62
    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These moving, stylistically complex novels reflect on the brutality of World War II and its lingering effects. The characters have diverse backgrounds, some supporting the Germans and others the Allies. Their wartime experiences threaten to ruin their futures.… (more)
  6. 10
    Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (cataylor)
  7. 10
    The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre (olyvia, olyvia)
  8. 00
    The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer (Othemts)
  9. 00
    April in Paris by Michael Wallner (GoST)
    GoST: Another novel set in occupied France with a relationship between a German soldier and a French girl.
  10. 00
    A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead (srdr)
  11. 00
    Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins (WSB7)
    WSB7: Similar overarching theme.
  12. 01
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Othemts)
  13. 23
    Atonement [York Notes Advanced] by Ian McEwan (Steve.Gourley)
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» See also 598 mentions

English (576)  Spanish (6)  French (2)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Piratical (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (591)
Showing 1-5 of 576 (next | show all)
This was a could not put down book. ( )
  cfulton20 | Dec 5, 2018 |
This was a could not put down book. ( )
  cfulton20 | Dec 5, 2018 |
Flamante ganadora del Premio Pulitzer de 2015, "La luz que no puedes ver" de Anthony Doerr es una novela de ficción ambientada en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Un tema, por una parte, bastante recurrente y explotado tanto en el mundo del cine como en el de la literatura. Tal vez fue este el motivo por el cual me demoré tanto en decidirme a empezarla.

No se pueden negar la existencia de ciertos tópicos que utiliza el autor para sentirse más cómodo. Sin embargo, no es algo que resulte demasiado molesto. Hay algo que llama más la atención: una narrativa ágil, diferente, muy hermosa (pero que muy hermosa). Las más de seiscientas páginas se devoran con apremiante facilidad. Y es que la estructura está marcada por capítulos más o menos breves, o muy breves, que van moviendo la trama de forma caprichosa pero muy ordenada.

El argumento se centra principalmente en dos personajes: Marie-Laure, una niña parisina que vive con su padre cerca del Museo de Historia Natural, donde él trabaja; y Werner, un muchacho huérfano que vive en un orfanato con su hermana y presenta unas dotes peculiares para arreglar radios estropeadas. La vida de ambos avanza muy alejada y de forma paralela. Marie-Laure es aquejada por una repentina ceguera poco antes del estallido de la guerra, lo que la sitúa en una situación muy complicada. Ella y su padre se ven obligados a refugiarse en la ciudad amurallada de Saint-Malo, junto con unos familiares. Mientras tanto, Werner pasa a formar parte de las Juventudes Hitlerianas. Sus habilidades para las matemáticas y la radio no pasarán desapercibidas, y serán usadas para fines muy alejados de sus intenciones más íntimas.

En la novela se reflejan dos temas que el escritor tiene muy en cuenta: los libros y la radio. Los libros, escritos en braille, alivian el alma sofocada de desgracias de Marie-Laure; la radio, mueve las intenciones y las esperanzas de un apagado Werner. Es curioso como ambas pasiones se unen en un punto dado de la novela. Son el faro, la luz que ninguno de los dos puede ver, pero ahí está, latente, guiando y protegiendo sus pasos.

Las letras parecen escritas con cenizas. La amargura y el desencanto está latente en cada una de las páginas, lo que trasporta al lector a un momento negro, muy negro, de la historia de la humanidad. Es tan terrible lo aquí sucedido, que se produce cierto vacío en los sentimientos de ambos protagonistas. No logra a transmitirse su verdad, su interior, está demasiado silenciado por los bombardeos, el hambre y la muerte. Como una canción sin melodía.

Es una digna ganadora del Premio Pulizter, pero cómoda. La temática llama al drama intencionado, y los protagonistas se encuadran dentro de los lugares correspondientes que la trama exige. Como he mencionado, destaca un muy buen manejo de la narrativa, muy cercana, a ratos poética, que refleja la inocencia de dos mentes que carecen de maldad. ( )
  MiriamBeizana | Dec 3, 2018 |
This story, in some ways about a jewel, is in itself a beautiful gem. Beautifully and so achingly faceted. Despairing yet hopeful. Words fail me...

(edited: Finished, with tears in my eyes) ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
This is well-written and a beautiful story, but it was also easy for me to put it down and not come back to it. I think it is longer than it needed to be and the story unfolded a little too slowly. It should have ended with the war. The final chapters don't add much. ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 576 (next | show all)
What really makes a book of the summer is when we surprise ourselves. It’s not just about being fascinated by a book. It’s about being fascinated by the fact that we’re fascinated.

The odds: 2-1
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
Pros: Blind daughter of a locksmith meets reluctant Nazi engineering whiz! What more do you want?
Cons: Complex, lyrical historical fiction may not have the necessary mass appeal.
 
“All the Light We Cannot See” is more than a thriller and less than great literature. As such, it is what the English would call “a good read.” Maybe Doerr could write great literature if he really tried. I would be happy if he did.
 
I’m not sure I will read a better novel this year than Anthony ­Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See.”
 
By the time the narrative finds Marie-Laure and Werner in the same German-occupied village in Brittany, a reader’s skepticism has been absolutely flattened by this novel’s ability to show that the improbable doesn’t just occur, it is the grace that allows us to survive the probable.
 
Werner’s experience at the school is only one of the many trials through which Mr. Doerr puts his characters in this surprisingly fresh and enveloping book. What’s unexpected about its impact is that the novel does not regard Europeans’ wartime experience in a new way. Instead, Mr. Doerr’s nuanced approach concentrates on the choices his characters make and on the souls that have been lost, both living and dead.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Apr 28, 2014)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Doerrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Appelman, ZachNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barba, AndrésTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bosch, EefjeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cáceres, Carmen M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clauzier, ManuelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goretsky, TalCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Immink, WilCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Löcher-Lawrence, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sasahara, Ellen R.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stokseth, LeneOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tarkka, HannaKääNt.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vieira, Manuel AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
In August 1944 the historic walled city of Saint-Malo,
the brightest jewel of the Emerald Coast of Brittany,
France, was almost totally destroyed by fire. . . . Of the
865 buildings within the walls, only 182 remained
standing and all were damaged to some degree.
—Philip Beck
It would not have been possible for us to take power or
to use it in the ways we have without the radio.
—Joseph Goebbels
Dedication
For Wendy Weil
1940-2012
First words
Leaflets
At dusk they pour from the sky. They blow across the ramparts, turn cartwheels over rooftops, flutter into the ravines between houses. Entire streets swirl with them, flashing white against the cobbles.
Quotations
If only life were like a Jules Verne novel, thinks Marie-Laure, and you could page ahead when you most needed to, and learn what would happen.
Nothing will be healed in this kitchen.  Some griefs can never be put right.
Music spirals out of the radios, and it is splendid to drowse on the davenport, to be warm and fed, to feel the sentences hoist her up and carry her somewhere else.
There is pride, too, though — pride that he has done it alone. That his daughter is so curious, so resilient. There is the humility of being a father to someone so powerful, as if he were only a narrow conduit for another, greater thing. That's how it feels right now, he thinks, kneeling beside her, rinsing her hair: as though his love for his daughter will outstrip the limits of his body. The walls could fall away, even the whole city, and the brightness of that feeling would not wane.
Werner tries to see what Frederick sees: a time before photography, before binoculars. And here was someone willing to tramp out into a wilderness brimming with the unknown and bring back paintings. A book not so much full of birds as full of evanescence, of blue-winged trumpeting mysteries.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"--… (more)

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