Tuesday, 11 August 2015

All The Light We Cannot See

I’ve just finished reading Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See.

I do most wholeheartedly recommend it.

What I am always looking for in a book – and unless it shows promise of coming through with this by at least a third of the way through, I won’t persist with it – is a voice for insight and compassion, a version of humanity worth the journey.

I also look for honesty, but I dislike the kind of tale that descends into prurience or voyeuristic delight in recounting details of suffering or private moments. It’s a fine balance, and Doerr does it with finesse.

All The Light We Cannot See is an astonishing feat of imagination – I’m not surprised it won the Pulitzer Prize. Doerr has a dazzlingly observant eye for detail and for human emotion.

It is such a beautiful, insightful and powerful work.

Just so you know – nobody asked me to review this or gave me a copy of it, and I don’t know Anthony Doerr. I just saw it reviewed, though it sounded good, and bought a copy. I wasn’t disappointed. As always, here and there my editorial fingers twitched a little, but only on tiny intrusive Americanisms that felt out of place in a European setting and version of events. It is, taken all round, quite brilliant.


BLD in MT said...

I keep hearing about this book. Many of my librarian friends have read it and encouraged me to as well. I shall add your trusted review to that growing list of praise. Our copy is currently checked out, but I will have to place a hold on it. Also, how interesting about the Americanisms....I shall likely pass right over them as a fish in the water! :)

BLD in MT said...

Another thought: I cannot quit a book once I start. Its as if I expect it to improve perhaps and don't want to give up on it. Matt thinks its strange--there are so many good books so why bother with one that isn't moving you. I get his point, but still... So, I like your screening process, even if it is not one I, too, practice.

Pen Wilcock said...

I'll be most interested to hear how you get on with it, Beth. x

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I shall look out for this at the library - it looks excellent!

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes, I'm going to start one of his others next. xx