All the Light We Cannot See

 

All the Light We Cannot See

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are none so distant that fate cannot bring them together.

All the Light We Cannot See is a story about two teenagers during the second world war – Werner and Marie-Laure.

Werner is a young brilliant orphan boy who lives in a children’s home with his sister Jutta. He and his sister stays up at night to listen to a french scientist through a radio he has fixed alone. Listening to this frenchman made him wonder about Science and what it has to offer. His skills with the radio led him to become one of the Hitler Youth where he trained and studied in an academy.

Marie-Laure, on the other hand, is a blind girl who had to flee Paris and move to a town near the ocean- Saint Malo. She lived with her father who buys her books in Braille and builds her models of the town. In Saint Malo, she meets her great-uncle Etienne who collected radios but is afraid to go out of the house.

This book is beautifully written. Anthony Doerr knows how to choose to the right words that will perfectly describe the characters and the setting. Details and imagery are everywhere.

However, I did not like the book much. I find the pace of the book too slow. Reading this book required a lot of patience for me to get to the end. I kept on waiting for something to happen. I also kept on wondering if fate would bring Werner and Marie-Laure together or if it’s there story is really separate from one another. I believe that readers who are after the ‘thrill’ in events of a book would not like this one.

Slaughterhouse-Five

 

Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.

 

I have read this book because of a recommendation of a friend. To be honest, I haven’t heard about Kurt Vonnegut nor Slaughterhouse Five prior to my friend’s recommendation. He spoke so highly of the book, “It’s one of my favorities,” he says. So I immediately searched for a copy of the book and read it.

Slaughterhouse-Five about Billy Pilgrim who have come unstuck in time. He time travels to different moments of his life- his time as a prisoner of the war, his marriage and family life with Valencia, his abduction to another plant and even his time as a baby.

I also like Voneggut’s writing style. It is extremely detailed but not flowery. Almost everything is straightforward which made reading easier for me. I also liked the characters. Even with events like time travel and alien abduction, the characters felt very real to me. I felt like I could walk along the street and meet this people.

I think that Slaughterhouse-Five is a one of a kind book. It is very different from what I have read. I like that he focused on prisoners of the war. Other books about war portray their characters as mainly heroes and men, thus, showing war as an adventure. Kurt Voneggut, who was actually there when Dresden was bombed, chose to show war for what it really is – nothing but destruction. He showed how war breaks a person.Well, for me, Trafalmadore and time travel was just Billy Pilgrim’s way to escape reality. 

Aside from war, one of the main themes of the novel is free will, or rather the lack of it. According to the Trafalmadorians, which Billy Pilgrim also believes, every moment is structured and is happening simultaneously. Like, I was always meant to write this review and I always will write this review. I cannot do anything about it, thus, I do not have free will. I admire the writer for this. I believe that he is very brave for writing about this idea, the idea is very bold for me.

I am not giving this book  five stars, though, because of a couple of reasons: the book ended so abruptly to me and even though my mind was always so excited for what’s next, the book failed to connect with me emotionally.

Over-all, I really think that this book is very different. I will recommend it to people who like reading Science Fiction and War novels.