There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase. Very good series from a new author on the scene. The situations are everyday and create the contect for the development of redeeming character traits. The kids like to read the books or have it read to them. Illustrations are charming and it seems I know these people! See the review. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.
Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products. I mean, we all know the blind person trope Daredevil, etc and the lovable Nazi trope Hiroshima Mon Amour and the mystical object searched for by evil Nazis trope Indiana Jones , so why throw all of these together? The book was readable but no more so than a pulp fiction thriller. Honestly, I don't see this as being Pulitzer quality.
The characters were ok, the narration interesting, but a masterpiece? The best US fiction in ? Perhaps not. And please don't accuse me of bei Honestly, wtf? And please don't accuse me of being too harsh - All Quiet on the Western Front, Winds of War, and The Sympathizer are all better war stories than this one.
Might as well give Bob Dylan a Nobel for Literature while you are at it Still not happy with this one.
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Sorry, but I just cannot appreciate it. Mar 18, Jenna rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-stars-baby , netgalley , arc , favorites , historical-fiction , to-review. It has been awhile since I have found a book that I wanted to read slowly so that I could soak in every detail in hopes that the last page seems to never come. 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 It has been awhile since I have found a book that I wanted to read slowly so that I could soak in every detail in hopes that the last page seems to never come. This novel was so much more than the above states. The idiosyncrasies of each individual character are so well defined and expressed in such ways that come across the page almost lyrically. I was invited into the pages and could not only imagine the atmosphere, but all of my senses were collectively enticed from the very first page until the last.
I was so amazed with the way that the author was able to heighten all my senses in a way that I felt like I knew what it was like to be blind. In most well-written books you get of a sense of what the characters look like and follow them throughout the book almost as if you are on a voyage, but with this novel, I could imagine what it was like to be in Marie-Laure's shoes.
The descriptives were so beautifully intricate that I could imagine the atmosphere through touch and sound. It was amazing, really. There were so many different aspects of the book that are lived out in separate moments and in different countries that find a way to unite in the end. What impressed me most was that I could have never predicted the outcome. It was as though all cliches were off the table and real life was set in motion. Life outside of books can be very messy and the author stayed true to life but in a magical and symbolic way.
I have said in other reviews that just when I think that I have read my last book centered around the Second World War, another seems to pop up. I should emphasize that this book created an image of war in a way that I have never imagined before. I truly got a sense of what it must have been like for children who lived a happy life and then suddenly were on curfew and barely had food to eat.
It also showed the side of young children who are basically brainwashed by Nazi leaders and made into animals who seem to make choices that they normally wouldn't in order to survive. And by survive, I mean dodging severe abuse by their own colleagues. This book may haunt me for some time. I can't express enough how beautifully written the pages are. I highly recommend this read as it is my favorite so far for I received this book through NetGalley View all 49 comments. Mar 07, Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorite-books.
This is a great book. Its very high ratings 4. 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 This is a great book. He spends all his time making her a wooden model of the city so she can get around alone with her white cane. In neighboring Germany, a young boy, who lives with his sister in an orphanage, starts fooling with crystal radios and becomes a crackerjack radio repairman enthralled by these voices coming over the air.
Her blindness and his fascination with these invisible waves give us a main theme of the book. You can show it to me. Malo; a budding one-day romance between the French girl and the German boy. As if a great river of machinery is streaming slowly, irrevocably, toward her.
They always seem to be going somewhere and never doubt that it is the right place to be going. Something his own country has lacked. I wish I had read it years ago. Photo of Paris sunset from nyhabitat. Malo from europeupclose. View all 90 comments. Jun 11, Caz littlebookowl rated it really liked it. This book was so beautiful and haunting.
I fell in love with so many of the characters, and loved how their lives were weaved together. Knowing the time period this was set in, I knew the ending would hurt. And it did, though I didn't shed as many tears as I expected. 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. I really enjoyed being able to savour it and get to know the characters, however there were some points where it felt a little too dense and slow. View all 5 comments. Apr 19, Miranda Reads rated it it was ok Shelves: audiobook , finer-books-club-reading-chall. Why are all prize winning books so depressing? Do the Pulitzer Prize judges immediately disqualify fun books? Seriously, I don't think I've seen a happy one yet. We follow two storylines - one set in Germany focused on Werner Pfennig , an orphan, who's always dreamed of an education.
He finally gets an opportunity, through the brutal tutelage of the Nazis. And we follow Marie-Laure , a french blind girl much beloved by her father, a locksmith of the Muse Why are all prize winning books so depressing? And we follow Marie-Laure , a french blind girl much beloved by her father, a locksmith of the Museum of Natural History. She and her father flee occupied France to live with a reclusive uncle. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same? Unbeknownst to Marie-Laure, her father carries a priceless gem or one of the three replicas that is rumored to grant everlasting life to its keeper but nothing but misery to all others around him.
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Meanwhile Werner spends all his time in the Nazi army, chasing down enemy radio signals. Just like the ones that Marie-Laure and her uncle send out to help the allies. Their paths draw ever closer You know the greatest lesson of history? This one was an interesting story but not an engaging one.
I couldn't connect to the characters and the plot seemed to stretch on forever without making much progress. We spend so much time building to the ending for that moment to occur I feel like I wasted my time. Also, it really bothers me when such tragedies are capitalized and twisted to fit some glorifying narrative.
It feels just a bit odd to turn truly horrifying events into something beautiful and poetical. I feel like there's a real danger to viewing events through rose tinted glasses. Audiobook Comments Read by Zach Appelman - it was alright. The voice was so monotone that listening became rather difficult at times.
View all 91 comments. Jan 11, Dem rated it liked it Recommends it for: book club read. Shelves: ww2.
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I enjoyed this novel by Anthony Doerr and yet when I was nearing the end I couldn't help feel a a sense of relief to have finished the book. 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 I enjoyed this novel by Anthony Doerr and yet when I was nearing the end I couldn't help feel a a sense of relief to have finished the book.
There is a slight magical element to the stroy which I am not a major fan of at the best of times but it works well in this book. I did however struggle with the structure and pace of the novel and this is the reason for me liking this novel and not loving it. I found the toing and froing between time frames a bit tedious and the chapters too short. Normally this isn't a problem for me but however in this book it took from my overall enjoyment of the story.
It wasn't that I couldn't follow the plot but more that it became a chore for me and just when I was gelling with one time frame and character I was dragged kicking and screaming to another time frame and character and wished at times the author would just allow the story to flow and not chop and change.
To sum up an interesting and worthwhile read and a book that will be enjoyed by historical fiction lovers and book clubs over the summer. View all 55 comments. Dec 11, Angela M rated it it was amazing. What I loved most about this book was all the light that I did see. There is so much here that captivated me - from the beautiful writing to the strong, caring characters to the loving relationships and the way people touched each other's lives during the trying times of WW II.
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 What I loved most about this book was all the light that I did see. 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 and becomes noticed by the German army. Each of their stories will move you in their own right, but especially when their paths cross.
Through the lovely descriptive language we know that Marie Laure sees what she cannot see because he father lovingly carves a model of the neighborhood so she can tell where buildings and streets are and she knows by the number of steps and which way to turn. This loving, nurturing and often times touching relationship between Marie Laure and her fathers will melt your heart.
He teaches her Braille, buys her books in Braille and gives her lovely little surprise boxes opened by solving a puzzle or trick opening to discover the hidden gift. Werner and his orphan sister Jutta have a special relationship , as well, and the letters they exchange are at once heartbreaking an heartwarming, even though it appears that Jutta has a hard time forgiving Werner for what he does to the radio. Doerr has created and developed characters that you care about as soon as you meet them.
The role that these people, including Marie Laure, play in the resistance is so courageous. Some bad things and some very sad things happened but after all this was war. But I loved the connections of people in the end and the ultimately uplifting feeling of hope - another light in this book. I highly recommend it. View all 45 comments. So, I know I should be oohing and ahhing over this book, but it just wasn't for me. This is definitely one of those "it's not you, it's me" moments. I can see why many people have given such glowing reviews, but I found it to be unbearably dull and slow-moving.
I never felt a strong connection with either of the main characters or the story itself. I'm just glad that it ended. For me, this was a very special read. I feel like I have been on a long gut-wrenching journey, and in a way I have, traveling with two young children, one in Berlin and one in Paris and follow them as they grow-up.
There are poignant moments, downright sad moments, moments that made me smile and moments that made me so very angry. Werner in Berlin is a curious child, a child with the talent for putting things together, like radios, he and his sister Jutta live in an orphanage. Marie-Laure, a bli For me, this was a very special read. Marie-Laure, a blind girl and her father live in Paris, her father is the keeper of the keys for a prestigious museum.
It is the radio that will connect these two lives long before they actually meet. The descriptions are wonderful, very detailed as they are made for a blind girl, to enable her to envision the many things described. The novel travels, back and forth, times when they were young, times when they are a bit older and Marie-Laure finds herself and her father in St, Malo at the home her eccentric uncle, who is another amazing character Werner finds himself chosen for a school, and we travel along with him as we learn the many young men in the Nazi party were trained to be cold blooded killers.
How far would you go along with the prevailing threats and times, how would you react when confronted with an injustice? One young man pays heavily for his supposed weakness of character. How long can one pretend everything is fine, trying to keep eyes closed so one cannot see? So it is radios, little built towns and houses, built by Marie-Laure's father so she can get around wherever she lives. Malo, of imprisonments and yes love. Moral questions and a great character study.
It even follows a few characters after the war in Berlin, which is where this quote comes in, "Does any goodness linger in this last derelict stronghold?
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A little. I read this as slow as I could, I really did not want it to end. ARC from publisher View all 83 comments. I think that my opinion of this book does not match the general opinion. 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 I think that my opinion of this book does not match the general opinion.
Over the past year I have accidentally stumbled onto books that are being read by a wide audience, I know nothing about them, and when I start reading them they start with a teenage girl dealing with the perils of WWII. I have also read several knowing this was the case going in. This is not a bad thing, just an observation that there are a lot out there now! I never really felt like they added a whole lot to this particular book. Maybe a couple of "Oh, that's how we got here" moments, but that was it. I have seen a lot of 5 star review for this book, so maybe I am in the minority. I would not be the one to recommend this one, but you probably shouldn't listen to me as you might miss out on a 5 star book for you!
Side note: I listened to this book and I thought the narrator was great, but, as mentioned above, it did not keep my attention and that has not happened to me in a very long time with audio. View all 74 comments. May 26, jessica rated it really liked it. View all 10 comments. Jun 02, Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it Shelves: own.
When I started this book, I noticed some similarities to The Book Thief , and although they quickly fell to the wayside, I couldn't help but compare this book to The Book Thief the entire time I was reading it. And since The Book Thief is my favorite book of all time, it kind of took away some of the enjoyment for me while reading this. The plot and the characters ended up being quite different which was great , but I just found that the pacing was a bit off for me. It was a bit too slow for m oK.
It was a bit too slow for my liking, and that's the only reason I docked a star. It was literally perfect in every other way. View all 20 comments. Jun 01, Marialyce rated it it was ok. This is a case of where I am going to hate myself for again feeling a book that has received a multitude of five star ratings feel short for me. It was not that I disliked it, but I found it to be jumpy and often disjointed. I am not a fan of the current trend of devoting one chapter to one character and the next to another and flipping back and forth.
To my way of reading and thinking, it doesn't allow the reader me to gather depth of a character. It makes me overly anxious to sally forth try This is a case of where I am going to hate myself for again feeling a book that has received a multitude of five star ratings feel short for me. It makes me overly anxious to sally forth trying to connect and find the thread.
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My interest wans and the moment I seem to be getting there with a character I am pulled away to the next chapter. While the characters were different, I felt by the time I reached the final page I really did not know them well at all. They were like phantoms and perhaps that is exactly the way the author wished them to be. Midway throughout this overly long novel, I felt that I had turned a corner and had finally grasped onto the people of the novel, but seemed again to lose their continuity and their relevance as the book continued to what I felt was a murky conclusion.
Sorry to say, I feel like I did when I finished The Book Thief , a bit of a traitor to a book that so many loved, but from which I received not much satisfaction. Apr 15, Steve rated it it was amazing. To those who like big-boughed characters i. Set in the years leading up to and during WWII, these two were influenced by the great conflict, but were not defined by it.
A whole host of related characters were also amply drawn. This included a wooden model of their neighborhood so she could learn her way around. Her extended network in Paris and later Saint-Malo played an important role, too, including a reclusive great-uncle who used to write and produce a science program for radio. Werner rigged up a receiver that he and his younger sister loved listening to when they were kids. Their favorite show was one broadcast from France discussing the wonders of the physical world.
Werner is clever and technologically savvy. Doerr must have become so, too, since he presented it all in such an appreciative way. Werner was recruited into an elite school that unfortunately had only one agenda for all the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that they taught. The book does a creditable job describing the climate in both Germany and France.
Doerr clearly did his homework. The two young people do meet, but the how, when and where of it is up to the book to divulge. To those who like pretty sentences: I thought this one struck a good balance. It featured occasional flourishes, but not so much that it ever got in the way of the plot. The branches of trees, the filigree of roots, the matrix of crystals, the streets her father recreated in his models None more complicated than the human brain, Etienne would say, what may be the most complex object in existence; one wet kilogram within which spin universes.
Descriptive passages are rarely long or tedious. It switches perspectives often, but never to the point of distraction. And any jumps in time feel natural, part of the flow, not confusing. But then who of you would fit in this category anyway? Feb 22, Charlotte May rated it it was amazing Shelves: war , magical-realism , historical-fiction , favourites , page-plus , tear-jerker.
Haunting, harrowing, heartbreaking. 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 Haunting, harrowing, heartbreaking. The second narrative is Werner, a young German boy recruited into the Hitler youth and used for his exceptional intelligence with wireless and technology.
Their stories run parallel, the prose is wonderful and enchanting giving real insight into the terror of war and the effects it had on the lives of such different people. Without using characters who were soldiers which gave this novel a different edge. The two characters eventually meet briefly and beautifully near the end, and to follow their stories and the stories of those around them was both heart warming and heart wrenching.
Absolutely incredible. View all 12 comments. 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! Watching him go from being such a sweet and innocent child to being swept up in a movement he does not agree with but feels powerless to stop is immensely powerful. Marie Laure's story in Saint-Malo stagnates for a while before it picks up again. Also, the constant technical descriptions of Werner's repairing and working the radio equipment made my eyes glaze over at times.
It's not a perfect novel and maybe could have been shortened somewhat, but the gripping and emotive segments far outweigh the dull ones. The events of this book will stay with me for years! View all 29 comments. Dec 23, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: literary-fiction , contemporary-fiction , historical-fiction. 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 "So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light? This routine is a function of several things, chiefly a love of books, a deliberate reading speed, and also financial impulsivity. At one point my wife found this charming. As a history lover, and a lover of historical fiction, the setting and the characters were irresistible.
World War II. A young German radioman hunting partisans. The walled city of Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast. And all this with a literary pedigree to boot. When it got to my house, it came out of the box and straight to the top of my reading list. Full disclosure: It was also chosen by my Book Club.
I might have had something to do with the choice.
This is an excellent book. It is intricately structured. It is beautifully written. It has some memorable characters. There are even some equations, just like in a Harvard bar. Yes, there is some self-conscious and rather heavy-handed literary pretensions — this is a book with leitmotifs , I tell you, honest to god leitmotifs — but in the end Doerr is so self assured in the story he is telling, and the book itself is so damned readable, that I am willing to forgive the parts that felt churned from a creative writing workshop. To begin, the novel is told in tiny chapters.
Sometimes a couple pages. Sometimes a paragraph. Thus, despite being pages, this is a rather quick read. The short chapters give Doerr the opportunity to present the perfect details at the perfect moments. Much of the power of this book comes from this clever delivery, these mini-scenes that burst and fade like fireworks. The novel begins on August 7, , with Allied bombers dropping leaflets on Saint-Malo, warning people to leave. After a few chapters, Doerr jumps back in time to , with alternating Marie-Laure and Werner chapters.
The flashback timeline progresses chronologically, often with rather large jumps in time. Every so often, however, the reader is thrust back to and the onrushing German-Allied cataclysm. We live in an era of sophisticated storytelling, when even popular sitcoms e.
All the Light We Cannot See
Just to be sure, however, he always date-stamps his time shifts. This is what I mean by readable. All the Light We Cannot See is literary fiction more than historical fiction, and like I said above, there are equations, and long discussions about radio waves, but none of this is off-putting. This is a book that wants to be read.
The arcs of our two major protagonists are both engrossing in their own way. Her father constructs a highly detailed physical model of the streets of Paris — streets, houses, even sewers — so that his daughter can learn the layout with her hands, and be able to navigate the real streets herself. On her birthdays, he makes a puzzle for her to solve, and uses his limited funds to purchase her Braille copies of great, adventurous works, such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The relationship between father and daughter, told delicately through these actions rather than by grand exchanges of dialogue or lengthy internal monologues , is one of the most moving parts of a moving novel.
Usually, I dislike magical-realism, but here, I was first charmed by the fable, and later surprised how Doerr weaves it into the rest of his story. He lives in an orphanage with his sister in a coal-mining town. When working, he is tireless, passionate, and driven by a level of ambition which isn't fully understood as of yet. With a quick wit and even quicker reflexes, Lockwood takes on the position of leader easily. It's been noted that his calm and confident demeanor has the ability to assure even those most fearful around him. Despite this, he's also equally flighty, prone to changing subjects he finds uncomfortable, and is even described by Lucy as having no other joy or hobbies outside of his work, usually found listlessly laying about or reading gossip magazines during days off.
Anthony Lockwood is also very secretive about his parents and his past, often cutting conversations short and even leaving a room should the subjects be brought to his attention. He is smart and works to rid the city of ghosts, not bothering to try to understand them which he considers to be a waste of time. His goal is to become the owner of one of the three best agencies of London, and his competitive spirit is shown frequently when proposed a challenge. Cool, polite, and kind in almost every situation, he is described as "dashing" and "a bit reckless". However, he often gets in trouble, despite his good intentions.
Though the well-being of his team is always his top priority, sometimes his drive to complete a task blinds him to the potential dangers involved. Lockwood is almost always seen wearing a long coat, and business-casual attire underneath. He has dark brown hair and usually has his rapier at his side. He's rather tall and slim, and his eyes are bright. Almost always, he has a confident smile on his face, which he uses to his advantage when attempting to gain information, or soothe a crowd.
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