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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Anthony Doerr

Narrated By: Zach Appelman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: May 2014

Duration: 16 hours 5 minutes

Summary:

All the Light We Cannot See is Anthony Doerr's most ambitious, elaborate, and dazzling novel yet. Set during World War II, the novel expertly interweaves the lives of a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and an orphaned German boy, Werner, whose paths collide as they try to survive the physical and emotional destruction of the war. Built on an intricate, labyrinthine structure, the novel presents the gradually-intersecting stories of all those within it, the relationships that hold them together and the journeys each character undertakes.

At the novel’s opening, Marie Laure lives with her father in an apartment in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural history where he works as the master of the locks (there are 20,000 in the museum). When she is nine, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole so she can memorize it with her fingers and teach her feet to walk the real space. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint Malo on the Brittany coast where Marie-Laure’s great uncle, severely agoraphobic, lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world, in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at the elite and heinously brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of radio-active Hitler Youth to the far flung outskirts of Russia, and finally onto France, comforted by recollections from his childhood and letters to Jutta. In Saint Malo, Werner and Marie-Laure meet.

Doerr’s gorgeous and precise observations of the world are equaled by his soaring imagination. This stunning novel is about puzzles, seashells, the walled city of Saint-Malo, a fabled diamond, the power of radio, and the ways, against all odds, we try to be good to one another.

Genres:

  • April Ringnalda

    Beautifully written story that kept me captivated throughout. And the denouement was sadly, but pleasantly realistic, not a typical Hollywood ending. It is poetic from start to finish, and there are still lines from the book that come back and play in my head. One of the best most enjoyable books I've read this year.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Courtney Tyler

    The book is well written but the storyline is very anti-climatic. We kept listening hoping it would get more interesting but throughout the book there was no real peak that kept us wanting more. The narrator has a nice calming voice and was very easy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

by Anthony Doerr

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All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel, Anthony Doerr