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Worth Repeating: All the Light We Cannot See

May 29, 2015

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“You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history.”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

There are books, and then there are books.

There are books that tell stories, and those are fine and good. But then there are books that welcome you in, inviting you to live alongside awhile.

This was one of those books.

It is a story of a spiral, a triangulation of lives, a Fibonacci of words. Exquisitely crafted, it is the very best of its kind.

“To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness. Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air. Marie-Laure can sit in an attic high above the street and hear lilies rustling in marshes two miles away. She hears Americans scurry across farm fields, directing their huge cannons at the smoke of Saint-Malo; she hears families sniffling around hurricane lamps in cellars, crows hopping from pile to pile, flies landing on corpses in ditches; she hears the tamarinds shiver and the jays shriek and the dune grass burn; she feels the great granite fist, sunk deep into the earth’s crust, on which Saint-Malo sits, and the ocean teething at it from all four sides, and the outer islands holding steady against the swirling tides; she hears cows drink from stone troughs and dolphins rise through the green water of the Channel; she hears the bones of dead whales stir five leagues below, their marrow offering a century of food for cities of creatures who will live their whole lives and never once see a photon sent from the sun. She hears her snails in the grotto drag their bodies over the rocks.”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Have you read this book? What did you think?

 

 

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