An epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II....
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat....
The lives of two teens, a French girl and a German boy, improbably intersect at the end of World War II....
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window....
Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets....
When, in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across from the Kremlin....
Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian teenager - obsessed with music, food, and girls....
The author of the classic best-sellers The Secret History and The Little Friend returns with a brilliant, highly anticipated new novel....
A riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives....
From prize-winning, best-selling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom....
A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds.....
In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family....
David Winkler begins life in Anchorage, Alaska, a quiet boy drawn to the volatility of weather and obsessed with snow. Sometimes he sees things before they happen....
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans....
The dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics....
What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over? Alice Love is 29 years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child....
It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery....
After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women....
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
I'm embarrassed and a little afraid to admit I was not a big fan of this book. One reviewer said that if you didn't like it, then you must be jealous of the author. Trust me. I am not jealous. I just have another opinion.
I thought this was a beautiful story. The characters were all well developed and I really got to know them. I loved that the author chose to write about teenagers and that one of the main characters was blind actually enhanced the book for me. The unbelievable horror of war and how it effects everyone was very well portrayed.
I have listened to many books that are not linear and usually enjoyed them. This book jumps back and forth in time, place and character over and over again. The narrator doesn't change his voice for the characters, so in the moment it took me to figure out where "we" were now, I would miss something. I do think this probably works better in written format.
However, the part I didn't like is what most people love and will probably make it win many awards. I found the book too descriptive and too poetic. Like another reviewer said, there were just too many metaphors. I got lost in the sugary details. I didn't enjoy the scientific detail, either. I don't care how many teeth a snail has. For me, it just got in the way. I can't wait until my daughter finishes reading it so I can get her opinion. Plus, even though I listened to the ending twice, I still am not sure what happened to the "stone".
658 of 701 people found this review helpful
This was a rather good book. I loved the story. It was well written. But it is one of those books that is really tough to follow as an audiobook. There are two major storylines that jump back and forth and then forward and backward in time in a single chapter. If you don't pay attention you will be lost quite quickly.
The book is good and does not end as you would expect. Read this, don't listen.
352 of 381 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to All the Light We Cannot See the most enjoyable?
As someone who is legally blind, I loved reading how Doer brought to life the world of a young blind girl. That is the thing that initially caught my attention when I heard the NY Times review of this novel.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Oh, I just adore the character of Etienne, the uncle who must decide whether to sink into the PTSD he incurred during The Great War--or whether to help his blind niece during WWII. His character is so intricate, so damaged, and so lovely. I really cherish the relationship he develops with Marie Luare (not sure If I'm spelling that right, because I can't see how the author spells it).
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Friendship across enemy lines.
Any additional comments?
The NY Times made a comment that Anthony Doer could be a literary writer. I already considered him so, and partly listened to this book to prove the Times wrong. Happy to say, I believe fervently that this is a very strong literary foray. I don't know what other category I'd put it in. Very strong story, strong writing, and good characters who develop and learn.
201 of 218 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This will likely enrage the other reviewers, but - and again this is just my opinion - I thought the writing was far too much an attempt at being poetic. Far too many metaphors, far too many dependent clauses - all, seemingly, in trying to create some beautiful prose. It did not for me. I did love the story and I was engaged in the characters and I did keep reading, but this despite the over-poetic approach and - kack - the horrible narration. His French was embarrassing and he simply did not impress me. But to each his own, right? I will now go and hide from the wrath of those who wrote of their love for the book.
176 of 191 people found this review helpful
This novel helps the reader understand what it was like to be trapped in the machinations of World War II. Because the two protagonists are children in 1934, they are not able to escape the coming war. The girl is French, while the boy is German. Each are rendered even more powerless by inescapable circumstances: Marie-Laure is blind, while Werner is an orphan. Doerr plunges the reader into their experience of the war through precisely described vignettes--fragments of their experience that resonate powerfully.
The two characters eventually meet, and these scenes are haunting.
If you are a reader who enjoyed the poetic, humanism of The English Patient or the masterful point-of-view of Code Name Verity or the intense personal quality of All Quiet in the Western Front, you will love this book.
The story is absolutely riveting in itself, but the way the writer parses his words creates a spareness that matches the emotional trauma the two characters stoically endure.
186 of 206 people found this review helpful
When I started listening to this story, I realized it was the wrong novel for me at this particular time. I needed something lighter. I kept telling myself I'd stop listening and go back to it at another time...but the writing kept me hooked. Something was going on here that went beyond the two children whose day-to-day lives Doerr was describing.
I am so glad I kept listening. The story builds and builds. The two children's lives connect in magical ways...and towards the last third of the novel, you find yourself holding your breath.
I don't want to give anything away. Does it have a happy ending? Does it have a sad ending? You'll have to listen for yourselves. I highly recommend the experience. It couldn't be more real, or human.
Can't wait for Mr. Doerr's next novel.
103 of 115 people found this review helpful
A wonderful story of young people caught in the net of the Nazis in WWII. In this book Anthony Doerr shows the tragedy from both inside the Nazi party, and on the life of a blind young French woman. A classic story about doing the right thing, at the risk of your own life. I loved the book.
82 of 92 people found this review helpful
What a wonderfully well written story, and a fine narrator. I find it refreshing when the narration is done simply, without changing the voice significantly for different characters. For me, this is much less distracting than a male making his voice light and high for female characters, and vice versa for a woman narrator. What a pleasure this book was, in every way. I will probably listen to it again some day.
127 of 144 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of All the Light We Cannot See to be better than the print version?
Not better, but equally beautiful. I alternated reading and listening. The narrator did a good job without overacting. The story is also very suspenseful.
What other book might you compare All the Light We Cannot See to and why?
I would compare it ( loosely) to "Beautiful Ruins".
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
It's a long book and not one to rush through. The chapters are short, the narratives moves between time periods and characters, and it is book that requires attention to see how even small events connect and build toward a larger picture.
Any additional comments?
In spite of the length, I was sad to finish the story and say goodbye to the characters.
48 of 55 people found this review helpful
What a beautiful story! One of my favorite authors, Kate Morton, recommended this novel on Facebook, which was good enough reason for me to check it out. I used one of my precious Audible.com credits to purchase the audiobook version narrated by Zach Appelman.
This is one of those books that you just hate to have end, though you know it must. And when you've read those final words on that last page, there's that sense of loss. And the feeling that you don't want to forget these characters, the things they endured, the places they inhabited.
The writing is exquisite; marvelous use of language. The narrative switches back-and-forth in time throughout, and at times I wished it was simply told in a linear progression. I doubt I would have lost interest if the author had opted to simply tell it that way, but these days it seems every-other novel I read is told in this way. So, I'm learned to adapt.
Zach Appelman tells the story with tenderness and a reverence for the characters, for their plight. Very well done.
66 of 77 people found this review helpful
Where does All the Light We Cannot See rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This books ranks in my top 10. Hard to put down, couldn't wait to get back to it.
What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Light We Cannot See?
Far too many to list.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
A must see!!
Any additional comments?
I am not usually a 'war time' story fan, but this book is so much more. Much more about the survival of the common people in a most extraordinary way.