Cloud Cuckoo Land
by Anthony Doerr
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 28 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 19 Dec 2021
4th Estate, Fourth Estate
The spectacular and heartbreaking new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See.
Cloud Cuckoo Land follows three storylines: Anna and Omeir, on opposite sides of the formidable city wall during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour and gentle octogenarian Zeno, in an attack on a public library in present day Idaho; and Konstance, on an interstellar ship bound for a distant exoplanet, decades from now.
A single copy of an ancient text – the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land – provides solace, mystery and the most profound human connection to these five unforgettable characters.
Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Zeno, Seymour and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders, struggling to survive and finding resourcefulness and hope in the midst of peril.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 32 members
Epic storytelling that needs to be savoured! This is a simply magnificent book that is very hard to describe or summarize - just wow. A story that spans centuries, and is so imaginative - it will leave you speechless.
I was hugely excited about this title as a big fan of Doerr's previous novel. I wasn't disappointed. Once I got into the story and characters, I was transported by the beautiful writing and vivid settings. It's a joy, and I didn't want it to end. My favourite book of the year so far.
I’m lost for words. This book was just.. beautiful, amazing, heart breaking, full of so many emotions. @anthonydoerrwriter is one of the most brilliant authors I have ever had the pleasure of reading! Cloud Cuckoo Land was like nothing I have read before. It was a number of beautiful stories told individually in alternating chapters, blended with pages from the long lost book of Diogenes Cloud Cuckoo Land. As I was reading I began to notice little signs within each story, from something as small as the name of a character, a location, a background scene or story, that tied each individual characters section together. I thought it was so clever and this also helped with the ending of the book as each section ultimately came together and wrapped up the journey beautifully. This book is due out in just over a months time and I am going to be recommending it to everyone!!!
Wow wow wow wow wow. I finished this book a couple of days ago and I have been bereft... I can't read anything else yet. I just wanted to stay immersed in the world that Anthony Doerr had created in Cloud Cuckoo Land. I loved every page, every sentence, every word. I won't talk about the plot or characters because I knew nothing about anything when I started and I think that's the best way to read this book. I will say that it's one of the best books I have ever read, I will tell everyone I meet that they should read it and I'll probably read it again before the month is through. Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this incredible book!
As Doerr says himself, this is an ode to stories and how important it is to guard human stories through time. The story of Aethon is the thread throughout this long novel. I enjoyed reading this and found it was a great story to read while actually in Greece (!) considering it’s about an old Greek story. However, I do think there was just too much going on, especially at the start. It took me over 100 pages to figure out who was who and what was actually happening, so the setting of the story wasn’t done as well as it could’ve been. We follow a donkey, two people in the 1400s in Constantinople, two timelines of two people in the 20th/early 21st century and then the story of a girl in the late 21st/22nd century. That’s a mouthful because it is! I think this book should’ve left the 1400s timeline out of it. Despite the confusion, once you get into it, it is easy to read and enjoy. I particularly liked the environmental element, and we saw a lot of Doerr’s musings on climate change and what that might mean for future generations. I also loved the future storyline in the ship; I found this made up world so easy to read and very interesting. All in all, a good read! All the Light We Cannot See is one of my favourite books of all time, and whilst I didn’t connect with this book as much as that one, I will continue to read what he brings out!
In his latest novel Anthony Doerr takes even greater risks than he did with All the Light We Cannot See, a novel that enchanted the world. There are several different strands, set in three different time periods: the past, the present and the future. In the past there is the story of Anna who stitches for the priests in the Byzantine world of 1453 just at the time of its fall and the present in Idaho where a library provides a setting for another troubled youth and the future, on a spaceship where another person, Konstance finds life transformed by a book. And the book is the key link, The Cloud Cuckoo Land that points the characters into a direction that hadn’t expected. The tone and narrative have tones of fantasy and allegory woven into a literary umbrella that takes the reader and challenges him to find the various levels of what it reflects of the world today. It’s a hopeful novel at the same time it reminds us that there is so much to be learned from the past if we are to have a future. It’s not always an easy read and one that can seem a bit of too clever at times and some will not find it the read that All the Light We Cannot See was.