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Extended Audio Sample All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel, by Anthony Doerr Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.78 out of 54.78 out of 54.78 out of 54.78 out of 54.78 out of 5 4.78 (9 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Doerr Narrator: Zach Appelman Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful 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

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind, and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. 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, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he 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 a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Incandescent…A luminous work of strife and transcendence.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Hauntingly beautiful.”

    New York Times

  • “Enthralling told, beautifully written.”

    Washington Post

  • “Gorgeous...Moves with the pace of a thriller.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Dazzling.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Stupendous…A beautiful, daring, heartbreaking, oddly joyous novel.”

    Seattle Times

  • “The written equivalent of a Botticelli.”


  • “If a book’s success can be measured by its ability to move readers and the number of memorable characters it has, Story Prize winner Doerr’s novel triumphs on both counts. Along the way, he convinces readers that new stories can still be told about this well-trod period and that war—despite its desperation, cruelty, and harrowing moral choices—cannot negate the pleasures of the world.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This novel has the physical and emotional heft of a masterpiece. The main protagonists are brave, sensitive, and intellectually curious, and in another time they might have been a couple. But they are on opposite sides of the horrors of World War II, and their fates ultimately collide…The novel presents two characters so interesting and sympathetic that readers will keep turning the pages hoping for an impossibly happy ending…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed…Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably recreates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect…Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “There’s something familiar and comforting about Zach Appelman’s performance in this beautifully crafted audiobook. His clear, confident tone also features subtle warmth. His voice animates the story…Details and images are elegant in their simplicity, and the dramatic history is tempered by humanity—thanks to both a skilled author and a masterful narrator. Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “This jewel of a story is put together like a vintage timepiece, its many threads coming together so perfectly. Doerr’s writing and imagery are stunning.”

    Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

  • Winner of the 2015 YALSA Alex Award for the 10 Best Adult Books That Appeal to Teen Audiences
  • Winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Best Fiction Narration
  • Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A May 2014 LibraryReads Pick
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, May 2014
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books, May 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award
  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2014
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melissa | 4/19/2016

    " This book is hard to stop listening too. I found myself staying in the car to listen longer. The story is complicated enough to be intriguing, but simple enough to follow. "

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