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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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really loved this book. I wrote on Goodreads: "One of my top five books of the year. Best read in large chunks. Beautiful writing and sad, tragic, beautiful lives of the characters. Not simple or simplistic, but not obscure or too artsy, either. Deservedly on many "best of 2014" lists." 2014 was a stellar reading year. I'd amend the above to say this was probably in my top two. The other was A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, which was gut-wrenching, well-written and unforgettable.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

You have convinced me. I just put a hold on the e-book at the library. (This is the first time I've done that. I'm so excited. I do it for kids' books all the time but I always buy my own books.)

But I'm number 182 so I guess I will read it in 2018 or so.

10:41 AM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Ha, Beth, I think H said she's #482 at hers. In 2018, let me know what you think.

Laura, I hadn't heard of Constellation, thanks for the tip! I'm glad you loved this as much as I did.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Okay, I am only #4 for Constellation! (Meanwhile I am rereading Harry Potter. Shut up.)

1:02 PM  

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