All the Light We Cannot See: Book Review Example
A book review is a piece of writing which provides critical evaluation of the book. Usually it is not long and has a certain structure. The review gives readers the summary of the book including the information about the author; it defines its genre, outlines the plot and gives critical characteristics of the characters. Besides, the review of a book may include the analysis of the author’s writing style and the language of the story under discussion. It also provides suggestions whether it could be recommended for the readers to read and whether the latter will enjoy it or not. Below you will find an example of a book review.
Book Review Example
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a historical novel written in 2014. In 2015 the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize as the best fiction book. The novel was on the list of The New York Times as one of the best-selling novels of 2014.
The story is set in France and Germany in the years of the World War II, namely during the German occupation of France. The central figures are two children – German boy and a blind French girl who are struggling through the horrors of the war to survive. The girl’s name is Marie-Laure LeBlanc. She is a six-year old girl whose father, a widower, works at the Natural History Museum in the capital of France. Marie-Laure cannot see, but she has mastered the skill of finding her way in the labyrinth of Paris streets using a scale-model that her father has made. The girl’s father is a good teacher – he hides the presents in the elaborately carved boxes to teach her see using other senses rather than seeing with her eyes, which is a good way to sharpen her mind. She is free to explore the treasures of the museum. The museum boasts of an extremely valuable if not priceless blue diamond, known as the Sea of Flames. The diamond is said to have some superpower: a person who keeps it is granted eternal life but those he loves are cursed being doomed to live in misfortune.
In 1940, after the Nazis’s invasion of France, Marie-Laure leaves Paris, together with her father, to find a refuge in Saint-Malo, where the girl’s great uncle Etienne lives. As it turns out, the Sea of Flames or presumably one of the copies of the diamond are entrusted to Marie-Laure’s father to prevent it from being seized by the Germans. The man hides the stone in the model of the house belonging to Etienne. Sometime later, the Germans arrest him and his further fate remains unknown. Marie-Laure is left in care of Etienne, her great-uncle, and the housekeeper. Shortly after this event, a Nazi who hunts for treasure starts his chase after the diamond.
The parallel plotline takes the readers to the town of Zollverein in Germany. The main character, Werner Pfennig, has no parents but has a preternatural gift to understand circuitry. One day Werner and his sister Jutta find a broken radio. Having repaired it, the young boy hears some Frenchman who is talking about science. This is how his enchantment with science starts. Thanks to his extraordinary skills in radio mechanics and love of science, he finds himself in the school which trains the military elite of the Nazi. Having graduated from the school, he joins the Wehrmacht.
In 1944, the Allied forces land in Normandy, and the unit where Werner carries on his military service is assigned to a special mission in Saint-Malo. Werner needs to find and kill a mysterious person who sends broadcasts against the Nazi regime and this is where Werner and Marie-Laure meet. It turns out that Etienne, the great-uncle of MarieLaure, transmits the broadcasts for purposes of the French Resistance. Meanwhile, the search for the Sea of Flame continues. We will not reveal the ending of the book. Let this pleasure of discovery be left for the readers.
In his novel, Doerr creates an intricate plot to the point of intolerable suspense thus keeping the readers’ attention up to the last page of the book. He travels back in time while revealing the facts which make the story more and more intriguing. The tension is kept high up to the end when the puzzle-box opens and the readers find the treasure inside. The novel is absorbing the reader’s attention to the point that it is hard to stop reading until one finds out the clue. This is a good choice for those who are on a holiday or travel a long distance trying to fill up their spare time with thrilling reading.
As for the style of the book, it should be noted that it is quite relentless and dramatic. There is a wide use of the epithets which make the novel sound rich and voluptuous to some extent, although sentences often seem tobe short and abrupt. Doerr pays great attention to detail which helps the readers to imagine the picture vividly to the point that one cannot wait for the next turn in the lives of the main characters.
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