All the Light We Cannot See

stmalo There are so many reviews on this book, it’s probably not worth adding to the clamor, but here goes… The last time a book had this much penetration with the masses, it was the Da Vinci Code. Unlike the Da Vinci Code, which thrilled the masses and appalled the Salon, All the Light We Cannot See (“ALWCS”) has met nearly universal approbation. It won Entertainment Weekly’s 2014 Book of the Year, beating out Kardashian Konfidential & Snooki’s Confessions of a Guidette. ALWCS probably won a few other awards as well.

The book’s format, i.e., the compact chapters, was a plus as it allows readers to tear through a 500-page plus book with ease. Such ease that one of the first questions out of the gate was is this a piece of literature or a beach read? The opinions were strongly in favor of the former, as the brothers gushed over richness of the prose and the character development. Many felt they smelled what Marie-Laure smelled and heard what Werner heard via invocation from the writing…or their drinking. It was an easy read and that should get the average blockhead buying more books, which is a good thing.

While not quite an epic, there was a lot packed in there. The most righteous message in this book is that of “What are you going to do about it?”

-Jutta to Werner: When that school tries to transform you into a brutish Hitler Youth, what are you going to do about it?
-The drill sergeant to the Hitler Youth: We all will prey on weakness here. What are you going to do about it?
-Dr. Hauptmann to Werner: You want an extra slice of cake to remain my pissant? I‘ll send you straight to the front line like all the others. What are you going to do about it?
-Mademe Marnec to Uncle Etienne: These bastards have taken France. What are you going to about it?
-Fredrick to Werner: Nothing said. Fredrick remains a model of decency in an indecent place and pays the price because no one is brave enough to do something about it.

Do you want to live your life or have others dictate how you can live it? It’s a great question and we’ll leave it at that. No need to drone on. Chances are you have already read the book and/or will be there for opening night when the movie comes out.


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