PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewNo horrific detail is made up. However, her introduction adds, \'the heart of these texts is not the incidents themselves, but the impact they had on their witnesses.\' This qualification is prudent, first, because in most cases the author is not a witness but a careful, patient auditor of witnesses, and second, because some incidents are supernatural ... In addition to bravely presenting dark truths, Melchor writes from a good heart. I admire her compassionate respect for people ... One negative thing must be said. The book’s first third is cliché-blighted ... These faults do weaken the book’s otherwise powerful effects.
Richard Lloyd Parry
MixedBookforumRichard Lloyd Parry’s very touching and thought-provoking book Ghosts of the Tsunami tells how the community of Okawa, Japan, was affected by the Great Tohoku Disaster: the earthquake and resulting tidal wave of March 11, 2011 ... A lesser writer might have exploited their ugly, gruesome stories. This man has a heart. He transmits to us not only the facts but also, through that special emotional conduction that requires both skill and sincerity, a portion of his subjects’ sufferings ...an uplifting book ...powerful and thoughtful arrangement of testimonies, enriched by time, change, and some descriptive talent, would have been better still had the author been more temperate in the expression of his prejudices ... With well-meant interjections, Lloyd Parry mars his own achievement, which is too bad. This significant lapse aside, Ghosts of the Tsunami approaches the highest standards of journalism.
MixedThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewI must blame Anthony Doerr for lost sleep, because once I started reading his new novel, All the Light We Cannot See, there was no putting it down … Marie-Laure is an exquisitely realized creation. Her blindness is convincingly represented, and the steady love of her locksmith father (who builds scale models of the neighborhoods she must learn to negotiate with her cane) makes her story both more beautiful and more believable … While Marie-Laure’s participation in the Resistance develops naturally out of who she is, Werner’s life lacks context, at least during the important period when he has departed Schulpforta for the Eastern Front … The fact is, All the Light We Cannot See falls shortest when it tries to deal with Nazism. It falls back on flimsy types...Most preposterous of all is a certain Sgt. Maj. Reinhold von Rumpel, whose wickedness and physical loathsomeness are offset by nothing that could make him into a rounded character. His unbelievability exemplifies a mistake writers often make when describing monsters.