Monday, January 19, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr)

A very buzzed about book, All the Light We Cannot See was on the New York Times Book Review list of best books of the year and got a special exemption so it could compete in the 2015 Tournament of Books. It's the intertwining stories of two teenagers during World War II, one a German orphan who is a genius with radios and is recruited to train in a special Nazi training academy, and the other a blind French girl who loves Jules Verne and whose father, a locksmith, may or may not be in possession of a cursed diamond. Their fates, of course, intersect.

This all sounds semi-ridiculous, but it's incredibly well written, compelling, haunting and wonderful. The characters are vivid and well drawn, the plot contrivances somehow never feel contrived--or at least, by the time they do, you're ready to forgive the novel anything. I was up until the wee hours finishing it, because I had to know how it turned out. It made me cry, it made me think, it has made me say to many people you must read this, it's so good, you will love it. I recommend it, is where I'm going with this.

Once again, the first book I read this year could well be the best. It will be hard to top.

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