Raves are rolling in for Tony Doerr’s new novel

It’s possible that “All the Light We Cannot See” (Scribner, $27) will be author Tony Doerr’s “breakthrough” novel. There is an unusual amount of excitement around this book. This for a writer who has knocked it out of the park since his first published story collection, “The Shell Collector,” and since has won nearly every major short-story prize available.

By breakthrough, I mean Oprah Book Club or Hollywood movie deal (or a Pulitzer?) – or maybe that’s just what we all hope for one of our hometown artists.

The book will hit shelves on May 6. Doerr will be in Boise that day for a sold-out book launch party at the Linen Building that will benefit The Cabin. If you’re not able to make it, check back here next week and learn how you can win a signed first edition copy of “All the Light We Cannot See.”

Scribner, $27

Scribner, $27

Here are some excerpts from a few of the reviews. The World War II novel received a coveted star, denoting a high recommendation, from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal and Kirkus.

You can read the full New York Times review in Sunday’s Idaho Statesman, and my story about Doerr’s new book and Curtis Stiger’s new album in the May 31 edition of Treasure magazine.


“History intertwines with irresistible fiction—secret radio broadcasts, a cursed diamond, a soldier’s deepest doubts—into a richly compelling, bittersweet package.”
— People Magazine

“‘All the Light We Cannot See,’ 10 years under construction, is the written equivalent of a Botticelli painting or a Michelangelo sculpture. … The novel’s central metaphor — all the light we cannot see — provides a spiritual tone that both sharpens the sense of horror and keeps it at bay, however inevitably the march of doom approaches. … Nothing short of brilliant.”
—Portland Oregonian

“While British writers from Ian McEwan to Kate Atkinson have brilliantly mined World War II for inspiration, few of their American peers have reimagined it with the precision and narrative sweep that Anthony Doerr brings to his incandescent novel ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’”
-O, the Oprah Magazine

“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.”
—Booklist (starred)

“Anthony Doerr again takes language beyond mortal limits, this time in his WWII novel, All the Light We Cannot See.”
—Vanity Fair

“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.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“This novel has the physical and emotional heft of a masterpiece. … Highly recommended for fans of Michael Ondaatje’s similarly haunting The English Patient.”
—Library Journal (starred)

“Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.”
—Kirkus (starred)

You also can read an interview with Doerr by Powell’s Books.

Posted in ArtsBeat