My Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Rated: 5/5 stars

Anthony Doerr’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of war destroying humanity for the attackers and for the defendants alike—for the losers and for the winners. The protagonists are on the opposite sides of the conflict: a brilliant German boy from the mines enlisted in the army and a blind French girl living in occupied France. Doerr writes in short chapters, hopping around chronologically and flipping between the characters’ perspectives. His description of physical space is superb, and his focus on facts and events creates an objectivity that makes for a bittersweet, poignant read.

Spoiler: I cried at the end.

My favourite quotes:

  • Every lock has its key.
  • Fight bravely and die laughing.
  • Open your eyes… and see what you can with them before they close forever.
  • Doesn’t everything… die at last and too soon?
  • See obstacles as inspirations.
  • Science… is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.