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All the Light We Cannot See Audiobook

All the Light We Cannot See

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

National Book Award Finalist

New York Times Bestseller

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel 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, from the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr.

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, 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 navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, 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 an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

©2014 Anthony Doerr (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

What the Critics Say

“This jewel of a story is put together like a vintage timepiece … Doerr's writing and imagery are stunning. It's been a while since a novel had me under its spell in this fashion.” (Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone)
All the Light We Cannot See is a dazzling, epic work of fiction. Anthony Doerr writes beautifully about the mythic and the intimate, about snails on beaches and armies on the move, about fate and love and history and those breathless, unbearable moments when they all come crashing together.” (Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins)
“Doerr sees the world as a scientist, but feels it as a poet. He knows about everything - radios, diamonds, mollusks, birds, flowers, locks, guns - but he also writes a line so beautiful, creates an image or scene so haunting, it makes you think forever differently about the big things - love, fear, cruelty, kindness, the countless facets of the human heart … Doerr's new novel is that novel, the one you savor, and ponder, and happily lose sleep over, then go around urging all your friends to read - now.” (J.R. Moehringer, author of Sutton and The Tender Bar)
“A tender exploration of this world's paradoxes; the beauty of the laws of nature and the terrible ends to which war subverts them; the frailty and the resilience of the human heart; the immutability of a moment and the healing power of time … A compelling and uplifting novel.” (M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans)
“[All the Light We Cannot See] presents two characters so interesting and sympathetic that readers will keep turning the pages hoping for an impossibly happy ending… Highly recommended for fans of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient.” (Evelyn Beck, Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (529 )
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4.5 (485 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sophie 20/05/2015
    Sophie 20/05/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Stunning"

    This was such an exquisitely written book. I love historical fiction but sometimes they can be clumsily written. This is not one of those books. It seems like Doerr was not only writing a beautiful and haunting story, he was also writing a love letter to language. Listening to the AudioBook was like returning to childhood where Nanna would read me an enchanting story, and I had no problem weaving through the timelines after a couple of chapters. Highly recommend to those that enjoy historical fiction about the war, and to those that like intelligent fiction written in such beautiful prose. Thanks Audible!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 14/05/2015
    Bob 14/05/2015
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    "Exceptional Book"

    I love this book. Gentle people in a a violent time. The story captivating. the reader was fabulous and did the book proud.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel 03/02/2016
    Joel 03/02/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    29
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    "A lasting impact"

    It's been 4 weeks since I finished this book and my mind still turns to it daily. The vivid imagery, the characters, the simply exquisite style of Doerr ...I was, and still am, immersed it all.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stargirl456 11/08/2016
    Stargirl456 11/08/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful story, tenderly told"

    What an epic war tale about a French blind girl and a young German soldier. Both there war have different angles on the war yet they share one thing, an interest in radio. It is beautifully written and the audible book version was so delicately spoken, it brought to life the story that was so detailed and rugged in parts yet so and vulnerable in other parts

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shell 24/02/2016
    Shell 24/02/2016
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    "Okay"

    It was really hard to follow in the audible format. I think I would have been better off actually reading the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabelle 27/10/2015
    Isabelle 27/10/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
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    "A slow-burn story"

    Long and sometimes tricky to keep up with (due to the jumps back-and-forth in the timeline) it is still a fantastic read!

    The story unfurls slowly, with a delicious use of language. The narrator is one of the best I've listened to.

    It's a slow-burn narrative, and once the stories start to converge, it becomes highly enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 17/08/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    5
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    "2 stories that intertwine"

    A gripping saga about two characters from very different places during the same period of time.
    Historical fiction with enough facts to keep things interesting.
    A great listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth C Fogarty 13/09/2015
    Ruth C Fogarty 13/09/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long and tiresome"

    Bloated and self indulgent. Might read better than it sounded, however, as I disliked the reader's monotone and poor French pronunciation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 28/11/2016
    Pat 28/11/2016 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    Story
    "Awesome book"

    Beautifully written book, places people story all were memorable, narration enhanced the prose;
    The evolution of the characters & their separate lifes interconnecting in France & Germany during World War 2 was master story telling
    Bravo; Encore

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Australia 15/10/2016
    Judith Australia 15/10/2016 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    Story
    "Distracting narration"

    The story was ok, but the repeated mispronounciations by the narrator were an irritating distraction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Adele
    Paremata, Wellington, New Zealand
    23/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mispronunciation sure, but buy it anyway!"

    All the Light We Cannot See is a well balanced gem of a book - beautifully written descriptions and dialogue. Most of all I loved the diverse and complex relationships. The humanity of all the characters was deftly captured, and the many and varied forms of love.
    A few words were noticeably mispronounced and it was a little disruptive when that happened. I got the impression that the reader was aware of some of them opted to persist rather than introduce inconsistency. Ideally those mistakes should have been spotted and corrected before publishing. However, aside from these relatively infrequent glitches I loved the narration - it was unobtrusive, understated and sensitive. I was totally engaged and had no difficulty distinguishing one character from another and certainly experienced a wide range of emotions along with the characters.
    I would encourage anyone who loves really good literature to listen to this beautiful story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lydia
    Melbourne, Australia
    23/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An exceptional novel."
    If you could sum up All the Light We Cannot See in three words, what would they be?

    Haunting.
    Exquisite.
    Multifaceted.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it was told from perspective of 2 individuals, on opposing sides of the war.
    The fleeting touch of romance toward the end.


    What does Julie Teal bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration transfixed me. I thought it was excellent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Diamond sparkles in the dark.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best novels I've listened to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    CANBERRA CITY, Australia
    28/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary Writer, Magnificent Narrator."
    Any additional comments?

    Among the best I have purchased from Audible (up there with the likes of 'Heft', 'The Life We Bury', 'The Goldfinch', Wally Lamb's books and so on). Pure listening pleasure from a very gifted writer and a very talented narrator. Didn't want this one to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pamela
    1/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story well narrated"

    Beautifully written story bringing up lots of soul searching. Well researched against the background of German French WW - characters that tug at every heart string.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lilla
    Pretoria, South Africa
    18/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful, unforgettable story."

    Probably the best fiction I've listened to in a year. Beautifully written and read. So many novels have been written over the years about WWII but this one is a little different. Every character is special and 'fits' into the story. Thought provoking and special.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SPM
    Baschi - TR, Italy
    2/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Competently written, but didn't do it for me"

    Too rambling for my taste and with little narrative reason behind some of the scenarios (if that makes sense)...such as the heroine's blindness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ninell
    Pretoria, South Africa
    19/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely worth it"
    What made the experience of listening to All the Light We Cannot See the most enjoyable?

    Beautifully and sensitively written, the characters draw you in. I could not stop listening...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alvin
    Kew, Australia
    19/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary book."

    In a year of good reads, this book might well be my favourite. Tightly plotted like a thriller, yet beautifully and poetically written, this world war II story of a blind French girl, a young German soldier and a rare diamond is spellbinding. Julie Teal's narration is perfect - just the right pace, and very nuanced. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zulile
    9/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "beautiful!"

    Struggled the first 30 minutes or so, but afterwards was hooked. characters fabulous. gripping story lines.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • zaraeva
    4/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I touched the deapth of my hearth."
    What made the experience of listening to All the Light We Cannot See the most enjoyable?

    The story was unique.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Light We Cannot See?

    It was shown that during the war could anyone be brave and humane.


    What about Julie Teal’s performance did you like?

    The narration was excellent. I saw every moments in my mind.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The notebook with the "frage" on this.


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Maura
    5/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, woeful narration"
    Would you listen to All the Light We Cannot See again? Why?

    No, the narrator makes too many jarring errors of pronunciation.


    What didn’t you like about Julie Teal’s performance?

    Too many mispronunciations. For example, navy - in a passage describing how huge trees were cut down to make masts for ships - the French & British navies become "navvies". Seriously - why didn't someone stop her? So many mistakes I found myself calling out the correction "Not 'straff' - STRAFE!" Just hope I didn't do it on the train.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Chester, United Kingdom
    6/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Despite the narrator"

    Technically exquisite writing - esp from the close pov of the blind girl - and the research a little too heavy to always convince as the characters' knowledge and not the writer unable to resist sharing his long hours in the library, but a story both epic and intimate, sustained and sincere, if sentimental. The narrator is almost comically inadequate. That she struggles with French and German words I can understand - but English, too? Navvies, noted in a review above, is a favourite, but her pronunciation of 'extravagance' is the best, and may outlast the memory of the book itself for me. Wasn't anybody at the recording listening to her? These errors were so numerous I decided to make them added pleasures, but, yes, the writer and the readers deserve better.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Brendan Hayes
    26/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, absolutely wonderful"
    Where does All the Light We Cannot See rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's up in the top five. My book club - I'm 7 years in this book club....... - voted it the best book we had ever read..... Now!


    What other book might you compare All the Light We Cannot See to, and why?

    I suppose "The Girl who Dropped from the Sky" covered a similar epoch.


    What does Julie Teal bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    i'm a convert to audiobooks because of the acting/voicing talents of the narrators/actors/actresses. It's like the difference between a b/w and 3D colour movie for me. The narrator is a huge contributor to the enjoyment of the book.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Historical Fiction at its very best


    Any additional comments?

    Now I'll have to ensure I visit St-Malo sometime soon in the future, to see the actual geography being writing about. I wonder does no.4 Rue Voberelle exist....???? Will I be able to resist walking the beach and looking in the ocean for the sea of Flames.......

    I want to thank Anthony Doerr for his talent. I searched the internet for a way to contact him to personally thank him for this book..no luck...so I hope he gets to read my thanks here.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • yvonne tomlin
    3/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A well told Story"

    This book more than met my expectations. The story was very moving and extremely well told. I would recommend it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • I can update on my kindle but you need to wait a while
    17/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story. Narration a disappointment."

    Jarring pronunciation of certain words. Such a shame. Otherwise very enjoyable. Come on Julie. You're reading a prizewinning book. You could have done much better than that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • bignewshound
    10/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "THE WORST NARRATION I HAVE HEARD BY A PROFESSIONAL"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Great novel - almost a masterpiece but no one should have to suffer this narration.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Light We Cannot See?

    Julie Teal's mispronunciations: 'Pistol Packing Maar Maar' - hilarious. As if read by a gawky public schoolgirl. So many mistakes. Embarrassing. The producer was not fit for purpose. The talent was miscast. And she clearly DIDN'T PREPARE. She just turned up and read it. BADLY. 'd think twice about casting her again. JCA, take note.


    What didn’t you like about Julie Teal’s performance?

    It was an insult to the novel. Re-voice it. Julie Teal cannot do this type of narration.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    All the above for the right reasons reading it ...and for the wrong reasons listening


    Any additional comments?

    I love this book. It is almost a masterpiece. But how can Anthony Doerr, his agent and his publisher have allowed this abysmal narration to be released. It is laughable at times and pitiful at others. I counted 11 mispronunciations in the first 90 minutes. What was poor Julie Teal's producer doing. Not listening to the recording, clearly. Absolutely awful. She's a great actor but - like quite a few TV actors - Anna Chancellor is another - dreadful as a VO and audio artist. So sad where there are some really great narrators out there who know how to do it. Please Please get rid of this version and get a competent performer to re-voice this. At least this shows that this kind of work is not easy. Too many sub-standard people are now muscling in on this. Audible is partly to blame. Please, install some quality control. You are important enough now to take a stand on behalf of your customers.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • nameranon
    London, UK
    6/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A moving, multi-layered story."

    Excellent narration and a range of well-drawn characters in a poignant tale set in World War Two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • gianluca
    29/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the only good thing about the book is the title "

    This book has been a bit boring,
    I struggled to finish it.
    The story is confusing, too much back/ forth / change of chapter without pause or info, sometimes very hard to follow.
    The performance is average, touching very low and annoying points when the narrator speaks to or like little kids, I could see her fishy mouth and it was just soo annoying.
    The way she keeps saying " papà " is very irritating.
    I would say that probably the best thing about the book is the title.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Nicola
    kinoulton, United Kingdom
    17/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous story, marred by distracting narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of All the Light We Cannot See to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version but many times wished I was reading it myself to avoid the many jolting mispronunciations by the narrator. They were very distracting and such a shame as it spoilt the flow of the story for me. So, no, I'd recommend the print version for that reason!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Light We Cannot See?

    I loved the story, the characters and the vivid settings. The account of Werner's schooling at the hands of the Third Reich was really chilling, especially the victimisation of his friend Frederick.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Julie Teal’s performances?

    No I don't think so. She has a lovely clear voice and I trusted her to tell the story, but there were just too many bizarre errors in pronunciation.


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful book that deserved better attention to detail in the production of this audio version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    5/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth a listen..."

    Intriguing start, doughy middle, captivating end. Clipped delivery.
    Overall, an interesting listen but nothing to rave about

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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