[O]nce I started reading...All the Light We Cannot See, there was no putting it down.... The fact is [it] falls shortest when it tries to deal with Nazism.... Most preposterous of all is a certain Sgt. Maj. Reinhold von Rumpel, whose wickedness and physical loathsomeness are offset by nothing that could make him into a rounded character. His unbelievability exemplifies a mistake writers often make when describing monsters..... All the Light We Cannot See is more than a thriller and less than great literature... “a good read.” Maybe Doerr could write great literature if he really tried. I would be happy if he did.
William T. Vollmann - New York Times Book Review
Incandescent…Mellifluous and unhurried…Characters as noble as they are enthralling. Doerr looms myriad strains into a luminous work of strife and transcendence.
Hamilton Cain - Oprah Magazine
Intricately structured…All the Light We Cannot See is a work of art and of preservation.
Jane Ciabattari - BBC
(Starred review.) If a book’s success can be measured by its ability to move readers and the number of memorable characters it has, Story Prize–winner Doerr’s novel triumphs on both counts. Along the way, he convinces readers that new stories can still be told about this well-trod period, and that war—despite its desperation, cruelty, and harrowing moral choices—cannot negate the pleasures of the world.
(Starred review.) Shifting among multiple viewpoints but focusing mostly on blind French teenager Marie-Laure and Werner, a brilliant German soldier..., this novel has the physical and emotional heft of a masterpiece. The main protagonists are brave, sensitive, and intellectually curious, and in another time they might have been a couple.... [H]ighly recommended. —Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC
Endlessly bold and equally delicate…An intricate miracle of invention, narrative verve, and deep research lightly held, but above all a miracle of humanity….Anthony Doerr’s novel celebrates—and also accomplishes—what only the finest art can: the power to create, reveal, and augment experience in all its horror and wonder, heartbreak and rapture.
(Starred review.) A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed.... Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably recreates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.
(Starred review.) Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.... Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.
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