Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


When I started this book, I wasn’t sure. The prose was so fluffed up that I thought I was getting into something stuffy, something high-brow, something that I wouldn’t connect with.

all the light

Boy, was I wrong.

It took me a few months to get through this (not because of any fault of the book’s, but because I am busy and never take a break), but I devoured the last 1/3 of the book in one sitting, in a crowded, noisy restaurant that seemed to melt away from me as I read.

Apparently it took Doerr more than 10 years to write this. As you begin to read, you may see why; each sentence is refined, every word is carefully chosen and placed like jewels on a string, each chapter is succinct, and filled with a haunting melancholy, a staggering truth that leaves you aching for more.

I don’t really have words. This isn’t a real review, just an advisory: You will be traumatized. The well-crafted prose will leave you breathless. You will fall in love with each and every one of these characters, and emerge from the ruins with shards in your heart where they have walked.


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