All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

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Book Rating (1625)

Narrator Rating (145)

Written By: Anthony Doerr

Narrated By: Zach Appelman

Date: May 2014

Duration: 16 hours 2 minutes


Winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Fiction

*Winner of the Pulitzer Prize* A New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book* A National Book Award Finalist*

From Anthony Doerr, the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, 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.

*Soon to be a Netflix limited series from the producers of Stranger Things*

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. 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, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. 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).


  • Rebecca V

    Beautiful writing that makes your heart ache for the characters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  • Heather L

    This book was such an amazingly wound tale about the war from two very different view points. It gives a bit of insight into the Reich machine, as well as the brain washing that could occur amidst poor orphan children who had nothing to look forward to and nothing to lose.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Virginia N

    The narrative is so beautiful that it makes me want to read the book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Gwen C

    Truly an escape in time captured by great story telling. The narrator created the characters persona, highlighting the writers intended distinction and texture. The chapters drift into the crevices of history, love, art. A joy in the journey for the audience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Dawn Copley

    This book is by far the most illuminating book I have read by far in such a incredibly long time ! This book reminded me about the millions of definitions for using the word " LIGHT " ! I am quite fond of that word now more so than when I was a bored and curious little girl in search of anything and everything to occupy my thoughts that were constantly driven by questions from the moment I awakened until I would finally collapse into a sleep and begin an active dream life along with the Man in the Moon , the stars , and the sheep and cows jumping around throughout the sky while the fairies were playing in the woodlands and streams and maybe in my room at night. Hopping out of bed , little Dawn , was just as the curious and bright Mara Laurie waking to excitement of noise and smells and sensations each day that taught her new emotions and knowledge to continue to live and prosper. . This lovely story was not just about the sadness of lives living among the horrific times of WWII with sadness in life all around . This book focused instead upon the Light inside each soul that lived each day to the fullest in their present and proudest trying to do the right things by what they felt was their purpose set forth before them as best they could see until they could not see the light pulling them in another direction again. No matter how hard we try to live our lives in our control , in the end only the Light of God for sure knows where we will be in the end . I found this a lovely story that I know I will return to again to visit and learn from the rich experiences of such incredible creatures that were in this book during such hard times . They made the best of their lives with the gifts I do not think they realized they held inside . Thank You Anthony Doerr, Dawn Copley

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Gina McHugh

    Zach Appelman is an incredible reader. I LOVED this book. Powerful writing and left me with a renewed energy for life, relationships and how precious each moment is.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Christina C.

    One of the greatest novels of the last century-- an intricate plot-line, intimately realized characters, and language that is as lyrical, alliterative, and gorgeous as any poem. An astounding literary feat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Heather M.

    Beautiful Book. Two different stories in the same war. Beautifully intertwined....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Sabra G

    I enjoyed it. The story's time-jumping does make it hard to follow, but also an interesting perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Luke T

    I've always loved WWII era stories, but this novel told the story in a new "light," if you will. Mr. Appelman personifies flawlessly the different characters. As a French speaker, I was very impressed with his prononciation, as well as the author's incorporation of the language. The two stories parallel each other in a way that is easy to follow, and doesn't seem forced at all once they merge. I highly recommend!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

by Anthony Doerr

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