All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

· Sold by Simon and Schuster
1.36K reviews

About this ebook

*NOW A NETFLIX LIMITED SERIES—from producer and director Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) starring Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, and newcomer Aria Mia Loberti*

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, the beloved instant New York Times bestseller and New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book 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 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 twelve, 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.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he 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 a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

Ratings and reviews

1.36K reviews
A. Cloud
February 23, 2020
I'm not sure if I had it all to do again if I would spend the time I spent reading this book. It seems to exist only to confirm one thing- WWII was a horrific, depraved, and depressing event in human history. Excellently written, but for what purpose? To be fair I'm not a huge historical fiction fan, but this is the second war based novel I've read that left me feeling like what's the point? Maybe that's the point to capture that one muted emotion as it pertains to war. Maybe I'm reaching idk
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Buddy Hatfield
December 31, 2014
This story is about two bright teenagers: Marie-Laurie, a blind French girl and Werner, a German orphan with an aptitude for repairing radio equipment. Their paths converge during the final months of WWII. Doerr lays much nuanced groundwork before that actually happens. For me, it was too much. Clearly I'm in the minority confessing that it was a struggle to finish reading this carefully constructed tale. The effort virtually outweighs the slim payoff.
42 people found this review helpful
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Kristine Kuhns
July 25, 2015
Good enough story, the depiction of war was compelling, but it was considerably cut up. I suppose, if you like that sort of narrative... Many of the metaphors were silly or not thought through. Where, for example, would a blind girl, raised in a museum, hear the sound of a crate of ball bearings crashing? "Wine glows sleepily in Werner's stomach." What kind of sentence is that? There are stories about wartime that have stood the test of time; I wonder if this one will.
34 people found this review helpful
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About the author

Anthony Doerr is the author of the New York Times bestselling Cloud Cuckoo Land, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

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