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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

Написано Anthony Doerr

Озвучено Zach Appelman


All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

Написано Anthony Doerr

Озвучено Zach Appelman

оценки:
4.5/5 (1,946 оценки)
Длина:
16 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
May 6, 2014
ISBN:
9781442369375
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Примечание редактора

One of the best of the decade…

Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is sensational — the rare book that takes a well-worn subject and adds an unforgettable spin. It follows the twin narratives of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German orphan recruited to the military, at the height of WWII. The story is haunting, the imagery of war-torn France beautiful, and the characters so rich in depth that devouring the entire book feels inevitable.

Описание

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller 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, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer "whose sentences never fail to thrill" (Los Angeles Times).

Издатель:
Издано:
May 6, 2014
ISBN:
9781442369375
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Об авторе

Anthony Doerr is the author of 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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  • Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel is sensational — the rare book that takes a well-worn subject and adds an unforgettable spin. It follows the twin narratives of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German orphan recruited to the military, at the height of WWII. The story is haunting, the imagery of war-torn France beautiful, and the characters so rich in depth that devouring every page feels inevitable.

    Scribd Editors
  • Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is sensational — the rare book that takes a well-worn subject and adds an unforgettable spin. It follows the twin narratives of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German orphan recruited to the military, at the height of WWII. The story is haunting, the imagery of war-torn France beautiful, and the characters so rich in depth that devouring every page feels inevitable.

    Scribd Editors

Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    This is a wonderful book. Beautiful, poetic prose that really brings the places and experiences to life. This is not a shiny, happy-ending sort of book, because in wartime there are previous few of those.The only downside is that it moves a little slow.
  • (5/5)
    I am not quite to the end of this, but I already know. All the Light We Cannot See is destined to be one of THE Books. Doerr's poetry and attention to detail are graceful, minute, and breathtaking, without dampening the dramatic build and momentous action. All this, with incredible depth of field: antiquated radio technology is made fresh and relevant again in the hands of a brilliant-minded orphan, the good old-fashioned observational and theoretical scientific process is re-validated through the hands of a blind girl, and World War 2 in Europe puts on a new, unique and marvelous human face. Like Lucy with the Magician's book in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I want to read this book forever. 500 stars. (Update: I've since finished the novel and I like it even more. 600 stars.)
  • (4/5)
    I actually discovered Doerr through his short story collection, Memory Wall, which became a fast favorite of mine. Because of that, I was both excited and nervous about diving into his novels--not all writers can pull off both stories and novels, so I wasn't sure what to expect. All told, I wasn't disappointed, though my preference is for his short stories. Regardless, the truth is that Doerr is simply a fantastic writer, with a flare for bringing settings to life in a way that allows them their own space as characters, and that talent really shines in this novel.In All the Light We Cannot See, Doerr's movement in time around WWII is all but flawless, and although the novel's structure takes some bit of time to get accustomed to, what at first seems like a rather fragmented read comes together beautifully, and without the heavy-handed force that's often seen in books like this. As in his stories, the characters feel somewhat secondary to the story and writing, and I think that's more apparent than ever in such a long form. It didn't put me off, exactly--they were still interesting and believable, and I cared about them--but the distance that was in place because of that prioritization left me a little bit less emotionally involved than I'd expect from a work like this. If Doerr's writing weren't so masterful, this probably would have been a real problem, but he has such a gorgeous way with words that it wasn't. For historical fiction and literary fiction readers, I think this is a gorgeous book to sink into, but as an introduction to Doerr's work, I'd probably still recommend Memory Wall and his short stories, which are--for me, at least--somehow more powerful and memorable in many ways.Recommended overall, for anyone interested.
  • (4/5)
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; (4*); Doerr paints a picture of two adolescents growing up on opposite sides of WWII. The paths each follows ultimately lead to their meeting one another and make for wonderful storytelling. The author uses contrast of characters and events to develop his characters: peace versus war, the mature and experienced versus the young and innocent, etc. I found it interesting how well this worked for the author. Doerr uses short chapters to move back and forth among characters and events and to take time out of sequence. A very effective way to make what was a rather long read move along quickly. This was my first experience with this particular author. I would like to read something else by him.
  • (5/5)
    Moving, heart-wrenching and beautiful all despite being set in the second world war. Paths collide but it's about survival in terrible unfathomable conditions. I had never thought of what it must be like to be caught up in something so awful and frightening as war and conflict when you cannot see or cannot walk etc. This story will stay with me.
  • (5/5)
    A very powerful book. It is well written and interesting. I liked the fact that most of the book focused on two main characters and their perspectives on what was happening throughout WWII. I could easily picture what was happening and the author did a great job creating characters that readers will feel something for and care about.
  • (5/5)
    What beautiful writing!
  • (5/5)
    Almost entirely wonderful. I guess I was concerned that this was going to be a dense and less accessible WWII story, but it was a lighter read than I was expecting. Very plot driven, short snappy chapters and clean prose. I'm not sure it's an enduring work of literature, but it was certainly a well-crafted delight.
  • (5/5)
    “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”In “All the Light We Cannot See”, we read of two young lives, Marie-Laure LeBlanc and Werner Pfennig, from 1934 through 1944 and beyond. The young Marie-Laure is the blind daughter of a single dad, Daniel, living in Paris and eventually escaping to Saint Malo where her great-uncle, Etienne, lives when WWII starts. Werner is orphaned with a younger sister, Jutta, living in an orphanage in the coal-mining town of Zollverein. Werner leverages his intelligence to escape a coal-mining life and attend a political education institute; but from fire to frying pan, Werner becomes a soldier in WWII, tracking unauthorized radio transmissions. Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives are presented to the reader in a parallel format in alternating ‘chapters’, always in similar timeline. The convergence point is known from the start as author presented those in brief segments, interspersed with major portions of these youths’ growth. The outcome, including the extended outcome, however, was entirely unpredictable; it felt plausible, maybe even real, not at all contrived. Doerr doesn’t attempt to wrap everyone’s lives in gift wrap with a bow on top. In life, you win some, you lose some. Some questions are never fully answered. Some pains will never fully dissipate. Though the story is wrapped around fictional characters and a fictional diamond, the story is steeped in the historical realities of fleeing the cities, rations, communication controls, the brutal ‘liberation’/attack in German cities by the Russians, and the mental and physical torturing practiced by the Nazis. The treatment of the weak was particularly cruel to read. This book made me care about its fictional characters. Its writing is excellent – very well laid out, easily understood despite parallel stories and multiple time-jumps, and the words, those extra words in incomplete sentences that trigger a complete imagery. Yeah, it’s a pretty damn good book. A chapter titled “The Simultaneity of Instants” (Pg 466,467) wonderfully tied all the parallel lives into a single continuous paragraph. On History:“You know the greatest lesson of history? It's that history is whatever the victors say it is. That's the lesson. Whoever wins, that's who decides the history.”On Entropy and the radical ethnic cleansing viewpoint:“For Werner, doubts turn up regularly. Racial purity, political purity – Bastian speaks to a horror of any sort of corruption, and yet, Werner wonders in the dead of night, isn’t life a kind of corruption? A child is born, and the world sets in upon it. Taking things from it, stuffing things into it. Each bite of food, each particle of light entering the eye – the body can never be pure. But this is what the commandant insists upon, why the Reich measures their noses, clocks their hair color.The entropy of a closed system never decreases.”On Living:“’Ready?’ He sounds like her father when he was about to say something silly. In her memory, Marie-Laure hears the two policemen: People have been arrested for less. And Madame Manec: Don’t you want to be alive before you die?”And “He says, ‘You are very brave.’She lowers the bucket. ‘What is your name?’He tells her. She says, ‘When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?’He says, ‘Not in years. But today. Today maybe I did.”On Cooking a Frog – in reference to the effect of an emerging oppressive government:“Madame Manec snaps open the door of the icebox. Marie-Laure can hear her rummage through a drawer. A match flares; a cigarette lights. Soon enough a bowl of undercooked potatoes appears before Marie-Laure. She feels around the tabletop for a fork but finds none.‘Do you know what happens, Etienne,’ says Madame Manec from the other side of the kitchen, ‘when you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water?’‘You will tell us, I am sure.’‘It jumps out. But do you know what happens when you put the frog in a pot of cool water and then slowly bring it to boil? You know what happens then?’Marie-Laure waits. The potatoes steam.Madame Manec says, ‘The frog cooks.’”On Our Existence:“We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.”On the “Sea of Flames” diamond:“It is cut, polished; for a breath, it passes between the hands of men. Another hour, another day, another year. Lump of carbon no larger than a chestnut. Mantled with algae, bedecked with barnacles. Crawled over by snails. It stirs among the pebbles.”
  • (3/5)
    Marie-Laure a young blind girl lives with her father in the suburbs of Paris. Her father has created a miniature model of the city and by memorizing the detail she is able to navigate in real time. Meanwhile Werner a skilled radio operator and member of the Hitler youth spends his day identifying and neutralizing Resistance threats when heard over the airways. So we have a story told in alternate voices through the eyes of two young people. It is an obvious assumption to make that the lives of Werner and Marie will interact at some time in the near future. Threaded throughout the action is the mystery of a precious stone known as the "Sea of Flames"...that is legend has it that bad luck will befall the lives of those who own it.There is little doubt that "The light we cannot see" is a beautifully written book taking place at a harrowing, disturbing and changing period in world history. However the descriptive wordy narrative begins to irritate after a relatively short time and although the novel may appeal to many I found it rather ponderous.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing, impressive novel, that keeps you up all night reading because you cannot put the book down anymore. Enjoyable, poetic English.

  • (5/5)
    This novel is fascinating. Despite a complex structure and a labyrinth of physical images, beautifully observed, it is deeply human, and deeply moving. The two central characters move toward each other through time and space, providing a propulsive plot. More than enough reviewers have summarized the plot, noted the beauty of the imagery, and discussed the compelling setting. Suffice it to say that this is a wonderful book, which I expect to reread.
  • (5/5)
    Highly recommend this book. It's a great intertwining story of WW2 set in France and Germany.
  • (5/5)
    I have just finished this breathtaking......it is now my favorite book!!! Breathtakingly perfect!
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written book! It didn't touch me as much as some of my favorite books, but I loved the development of parallel plots twisting together at the end and the beautiful prose. Definitely a worthwhile read!
  • (5/5)
    A great read. You just want more. The character development in this story are just fantastic. I found this book hard to put down once I started it.
  • (5/5)
    Set in Europe during WWII, this novel details the story of a gifted German boy trying to escape a life in the mines by going to a military school and a blind French girl trying to survive the onslaught of the Nazi attacks. Their paths cross in several fascinating and heartbreaking ways. The concurrent story of a priceless jewel, the Nazi officer trying to track it down, and the hapless museum worker charged with keeping it safe (who also happens to be the French girl's father) is just as engrossing.There are so many wonderful things about this book: the story is excellent, the characters have impressive depth, and the writing is superb. But the last hundred pages or so became too dark and sad for me. I recognize that this is my issue and not the book's, though, and it's still one of the better books I've read this year. Definitely worth all the acclaim it has garnered.
  • (5/5)
    So well done!
    I loved all of the characters, even the obsessive "bad guy" toward the end.
    What a great reminder of the depth of passion children can hold for things! Radios, reading, snails, birds, music, how wonderful is that child's keen perspective?!
  • (5/5)
    "Read" as an audio book. The reader's voice (Jill Fox) contributed to appreciation of the descriptive language. Moving between points of view of 1)a blind French girl whose father dotes on her and who spends her days at the national museum where her father works; 2)an orphaned German teen who is skilled at math and makes a radio which leads to his "assignment" to a special Nazi unit for tracking partisan radio signals and who doesn't listen to his younger sister's warnings about implications; 3)an avaricious German officer with cancer.The well-developed inner life of the characters and the ways they were affected by the war, and the side characters made this an engrossing book.
  • (4/5)
    Superb description and tension. I only wish the book had ended like Marie Laure had suggested...sometimes leaving the reader wondering what happens to the characters is more satisfying.
  • (5/5)
    This is a beautifully written, highly engaging novel centered on two individuals caught up in the events leading up to and including World War II. The first is a young, German orphan who is drafted into a highly exclusive military training regiment, where he develops expertise in radio technology. The other is an equally young, blind French girl, forced to flee Paris with her father in advance of the Nazi invasion and settle in the Brittany, seaside village of St. Malo.The book follows the two separate threads, even occasionally shifting time frames, until the characters are brought together in the days following the Normandy invasion. The chapters, which are VERY short (sometimes a single page, most commonly 2-5 pages) move rapidly back and forth, without interrupting the flow of the story. This novel won the Pulitzer Prize, and rightly so. It is a very nice story.
  • (3/5)
    Way too long for the payoff. The stories of the two protagonists are interesting but I felt that words were added simply to make me, as a reader, feel the passage of time. Wouldn't have minded if the wordiness had added depth. It didn't. Much of the language is calmly, but lyrically, descriptive but I kept waiting to be wowed as so many critics were. I wasn't.
  • (4/5)
    I once wrote a review of this book saying that I had read half of this book and that I would later write a better review of it once I had finished this book. Well, I have finally gotten around to reading the whole book and what a book it was. Set during World War II, it centers mainly on the characters of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who is between the ages of twelve and sixteen and Werner, a German boy who is between the ages of fourteen and eighteen.Marie-Laure's father is the locksmith at the National History Museum in Paris. He builds her a model of the area of the streets between their apartment and the museum so she can feel with her fingers the path to the museum and learn to find her way around in the real world. For her birthday he buys her the first half of the book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to read in braille.There is a diamond called the Sea Of Flames which is hidden deep within the vaults of the museum. It is said to give the keeper everlasting life, yet also kill off everyone and everything the keeper loves. It is a cursed stone. When the Germans entered France the museum director gives three stones, two copies and one real one to three men, one of which is Marie-Laure's father and they are to take the stones to a safe location. When they arrive at the location to give the stone to the man who is to get the stone to safety, he has already left for London. So Marie-Laure and her father go ahead with their plans to go to the island of Saint-Malo to stay with his Uncle Etienne who is said to have gone a bit crazy after World War I and has never left his house.When they arrive they are met by the elderly Madame Manec who is a wonder in the kitchen and keeps things running smoothly and is a godsend. Her father builds her a model of the city just like he did back home just in case she needs to learn to go outside, though he refuses to let her go outside now that the Germans have taken over the island. Uncle Etienne reads to her when he is up to it and the two of them get along rather well. Then Marie-Laure's father gets a telegram asking that he come back to Paris. He does not know if this is a trap so he leaves the stone behind hidden carefully away inside the model. He ends up getting arrested and sent to a camp. Madam Manec begins to form a committee to try to do small things to foil the Germans, but soon they become bigger things and they want Etienne to help with his radio up in the attic but he refuses to get involved or risk Marie-Laure.Werner and his sister Jutta are orphans in an orphanage run by Frau Elena a sweet loving woman who speaks German with a French accent since she is from Alsace. He is a bright boy who is good with mechanical things. When he finds a broken down radio he gets it working again and the other kids get to listen to it. At night he and Jutta listen to this Frenchman who gives lessons and plays a bit of music. It turns out that this Frenchman is Marie-Laure's grandfather and her great-uncle Etienne plays the recordings on his radio for others to hear. When he finds a book on math, he teaches himself higher levels of math like trigonometry.Soon one person hears about his ability to fix things and he is off fixing radios for everyone in the town. When he fixes the radio of an important man in the military, he recommends Werner for a fancy military school. Jutta is against him going there for fear of him becoming a Nazi. The school is harsh and the friend he makes there is a weak boy in the ways that matter to them, but he is one who teaches Werner a lesson. Soon he is off to war as a radio operator questioning everything.The book goes back and forth beginning with the year 1940 going forward and toward a day in 1944 when the lives of these two will finally meet along with a third, a Sergeant Major von Rumpel who is searching desperately for the Sea of Flames for he believes it will cure his cancer. He is also a gemologist and it is quite a prize. In 1944 the Americans are bombing the island to pieces as the Germans are returning fire. Marie-Laure is alone in the house and Werner is with his men in the cellar of a hotel. This book will show that not all Germans were evil Nazis and not all French soldiers were great heroes. Some of the French worked with the Germans and some worked against them and some did nothing at all. It was a complicated time with no easy answers. Do I believe that a piece of jewelry can be cursed? Yes, I do. This one certainly was. This was a very long book and at times a bit difficult to get through. Some may have problems with the going back and forth through time, but I saw that as a plus. It kept the action going. I highly recommend this book. It was worth the long nights of reading.
  • (4/5)
    An incredibly detailed and descriptive World War II tale. Beautifully written.
  • (4/5)
    All the Light We Cannot See tells the stories leading up to the encounter of a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and a German orphan, Werner, during World War II. It's a long book, but the chapters are short and keeps it moving, and the characters are well written. You get a feel for them (emotions, personality, etc), the setting, and the events taking place. Anthony Doerr really knows how to write.

    Both characters start off as children before WWII but both can sense a change in their everyday life that leads to war. Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father who works at a museum. they have to leave Paris with what might be the Sea of Flames, a diamond that is believed to be cursed causing the holder to live forever while the people closest suffer. They go to Saint Malo to stay with Marie's great uncle. Werner becomes fascinated with radios and able to fix any problem that comes up with one, he catches the attention of the German army and enters into the most prestigious school to train. He sees what is happening, doesn't like it morally but participates. He is pulled from school to track illegal radio broadcast for the German army and it leads him to Saint Malo. He has already seen the effects of war and is questioning what he has been told and has to decide if he is going to continue doing as he is told and expected or listen to his mind and hear. The book goes back and forth between the characters childhood and both of them being trapped somewhere in Saint Malo in different places, where eventually their stories come together. The book is so beautifully written, the pace is good, especially considering how long the book is, but the chapters make it fly by. It's a book you can settle into and get lost in.
  • (5/5)
    I very much enjoyed Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See. Set mostly in Saint Malo, France during World War II, the novel is populated by terrific and interesting characters. It's solid storytelling.The book's main characters are Marie-Laure, a blind French teenager, who flees with her father, who may or may not be carrying precious cargo from a natural history museum and Werner, a German teen who longs for something more than working in a coal mine, which he gets, but that means becoming deeply involved with the Nazi cause. Their paths are on a collision course and it was interesting to see what happened when they met.The book is well written -- there are a bunch of timeline jumps that were handled well enough not to be bothersome. This novel definitely lived up to expectations.
  • (5/5)
    I am not surprised to read that this book was ten years in the writing. The chapters are short, which I liked yet still manage to hold a wealth of descriptive writing. There's no wastage of words here, every one is chosen with skill. A well thought out story line and as with all great novels, it's the drawing together of all the threads as the story comes to it's conclusion that captured me as a reader. I love the way the connections are made and I also enjoyed seeing into the future of the main characters, I was curious to see what became of them after the war. Having a young, blind girl as the central character of a book is probably a gamble for any author, but Marie-Laure exceeded all my expectations. This WWII story about the Hitler Youth goes some way to show the background of the boys who were called up into this movement. We read of oppressive men and the brutality of war. Yet what made the book special for me was that the military part of the narrative was overshadowed by the lives of the ordinary and unimportant citizens who made themselves, by their small actions, important! The very fact of them being there at that time and place meant something to someone, sometimes making the difference between survival and hope or death. I've added this to my 'favourites' list of books and consider it to be one of those treasures that will survive the years and still be enjoyed by many readers well into the future!
  • (5/5)
    Set in WWII, this story travels back and forth between two young people. Marie-Laure, a blind girl who lives with her father, who is the lock-keeper at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Her father builds miniatures of their neighborhood so Marie-Laure can find her way around. Meanwhile, Werner is a German orphan with a remarkable talent for building radios. The war forces Marie-Laure out of Paris to St. Milo and forces Werner into Hitler's army. Woven through this a uniqe, enormous diamond, and the ways in which it is protected and searched out.I often avoid war stories because they are so painful, but this one is so beautifully written and you immediately connect to the two main characters, that the brutality of war is secondary. I believe the light we cannot see is the light of individuals in the darkness of war.
  • (4/5)
    I really liked the story. I found portions of it to drag a bit but overall a great historical fiction read!
  • (5/5)
    What a great read - completely lived up to the hype. I love historical fiction and this is historical fiction at its finest. It is hard not to make an emotional connection to both of the main characters - an orphan German boy recruited into the Nazi Youth, and the young French bind girl who is forced to cope with a relocation and life under German occupation. Their growth and views of life are deep and real. This is a sad time in history and this book helps the reader feel like they are a part of it.