It is the onset of World War 2. It is also the pioneering days of radio. And every household in Europe is not complete without it.
Thus, it is also the onset of a new blue collar livelihood: the radio repairman.
But in the case of this true to life novel, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, it is a repair boy. The German lad here, named Werner, an orphan boy (just about to enter his teens), has mastered the intricacies of radio circuitry and is very much in demand for his skill. Here is the book excerpt.
“…until there is only the radio and its tangle of wires. He tries to envision the bouncing pathways of electrons, the signal chain like a path through a crowded city, RF signal coming in here, passing through a grid of amplifiers, then to variable condensers, then to transformer coils . . .
He sees it. There are two breaks in one of the resistance wires. Werner peers over the top of the set.
“It feels like a gift. So easy! Werner rewinds the resistance track and splices the wires and plugs in the radio. When he turns it on, he half expects fire to leap out of the machine. Instead: the smoky murmur of a saxophone.”
Excerpt From: Doerr, Anthony. “All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel.”