Cloud Cuckoo LandAnthony Doerr

Cloud Cuckoo Land

4.5 star

Total 1,797 Ratings

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr Book Summary

On the New York Times bestseller list for over 20 weeks * A New York Times Notable Book * A National Book Award Finalist * Named a Best Book of the Year by Fresh Air, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press, and many more

“If you’re looking for a superb novel, look no further.” —The Washington Post

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, comes the instant New York Times bestseller that is a “wildly inventive, a humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences” (The New York Times Book Review).

Among the most celebrated and beloved novels of recent times, Cloud Cuckoo Land is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope, and a book.

In the 15th century, an orphan named Anna lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople. She learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds what might be the last copy of a centuries-old book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the army that will lay siege to the city. His path and Anna’s will cross.

In the present day, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno rehearses children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege.

And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father.

Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders whose lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own.

Cloud Cuckoo Land (Anthony Doerr) Book Reviews

Cuckoo is rightI enjoy everything from simple romance, mystery & thrillers on up to some of the great literary works. I try to judge them based on what genre they are in. This was horrible to me. The quick preview piqued my interest when i listened to it and sadly it was all down hill from there after i bought it. Incredibly difficult to follow along with the rapid changes of characters & time. I could never really develop any kinship with anyone and had difficult even remembering the characters beyond 1 or two of them as they switched around. By the end i was left thinking ……. What was the freaking point of this? The books title is exactly what it is……. Weird and not in the good clock work orange weird way but in a meaningless devoid of character development and waste of time way..Score: 1/5

Cloud Cuckoo LandDifficult Read. Only for the strong at heart. Wanted to throw in the towel, but the characters kept me wanting to see where it ended..Score: 5/5

A masterpiece of literatureBrilliant..Score: 5/5

Cloud Cuckoo LandAnother beautifully written novel by Doerr with 5 linked stories- linked by a love of an ancient novel and focusing on children going through existential challenges but overcoming them. The theme of the book is humanity’s treatment of the natural world over the centuries. The final installment in the story reminds us there is no escape- we have to preserve and protect our world..Score: 4/5

I started it hating the story and ended loving itI almost quit reading but pushed through because I liked the writing. I couldn’t see the path. The second part was pulled it together. Very ingenious adventure in writing and I encourage you to read..Score: 4/5

The best book I have read in yearsA line from Billy Collins’ poem, “Marginalia”, frequently comes to mind when I read ancient literary works. Referring to medieval Irish monks in a scriptorium, Collins describes them as, “anonymous men catching a ride into the future on a vessel more lasting than themselves.” I have always loved knowing that anonymous people throughout the ages have contributed so much to enrich our lives. Anthony Doerr tells their stories beautifully . The randomness of his characters and their experiences, which ultimately blend into a unified whole, is a testament to the transcendence of literature. Doerr is establishing himself as a master artist and craftsman..Score: 5/5

So good!!Eloquent and heartbreaking, so much beauty here. A fable twining through history and into the future. The author creates a rich tapestry of human experience while raising and examining the most pressing issues of our times..Score: 5/5

Simply AmazingNot sure how Anthony does it but throughout his work he moves seamlessly from period to period and here he does it in the same novel. An achingly beautiful tale spanning time, offering his usual interesting facts, and weaving together characters in impossibly perfect ways. The last hundred pages or so are so beautiful I reread it just because I needed to feel good. Thank you Anthony, again..Score: 5/5

Highly recommendedI rejected this book several times before purchasing it because I’m not into sci-fi or fantasy, and frankly the title was a turn-off for me. By the second chapter, however, I was hooked. The past, present, and future plots are woven together with incredible skill, the character development is outstanding, and the ending is superb. I bet you’ll love it, too..Score: 5/5

PhenomenalOne of the best books I’ve ever read. Truly ingenious and a great adventure. You finish it feeling more whole than you did before.Score: 5/5

Ignore that other negative review please...I read that other review and questioned whether I should read this book. Was it too lofty for the common reader to enjoy and take something away from it? Honestly, I'm personally concinced that other reader was impatient, gave up, and completely missed the point. The magnitude of the characters and their stories is intentional and a plot device that is necessary for this epic to make sense. Without their individual tales-- it would not weave itself together with the greater reason and point of this story. Give this book the time it needs to delve within all of their tales and you'll find that the Ancient text of a "dull-witted mutton-headed lamebrain" is the spine that interweaves each of the main 5 stories together that truly is timeless. If you want something that's 'light'-- this may not be for you right now. There is something within each of the 5 stories for everyone, but if you don't accept that because 'the pace didn't pick up': go read a thriller or romance, the weight of this book will be wasted if you're impatient. Come back to this when you want to commit to the journey..Score: 5/5

FascinatingAn incredible tale woven by a master storyteller..Score: 4/5

DisappointingI loved all of Doerr’s previous masterpieces. This one was such a disappointment. I felt like I was reading an whacko-environmentalist sermon disguised as a novel. I’d give it zero stars if I could..Score: 1/5

Enchanting charactersIt's slow burn but man does it burn bright by the end. Beautiful story..Score: 5/5

An interwoven storyWhile concentration is necessary to follow the story line at the outset, it is well worth the effort. The characters emerge with every segment and the attachments to each abound..Score: 5/5

Imaginative and MovingI did not want to say goodbye to these characters. Yet another thoughtful, beautifully interwoven story from Mr Doerr, that also allowed me to learn a little ancient history along the way. Spectacular read..Score: 5/5

WowLoved it.Score: 5/5

Read this bookProbably the best book I’ve ever read in my entire life!.Score: 5/5

MagicalWhat a wonderful journey this book provides! The author, like in “All the light we cannot see,” has a way of weaving narratives together that is compelling, satisfying, and beautiful. One of the best books I’ve read in quite a long time. So, so good!.Score: 5/5

Time travel through centuriesWoven together in a fascinating way.Score: 5/5

WowI ALMOST stopped reading this because I was so confused. I’m so glad I kept reading. When it started making sense, I couldn’t put it down. Very creative how the author wove everything together..Score: 5/5

Beautiful, surprising storyFor how long it is I was consistently captured by deep character development and intriguing and surprising story lines..Score: 5/5

Strange but great readA very unusual book. You have to concentrate to keep all the characters straight, but well worth your time. A blending of ancient time and future. I can't say I understood all the Greek references so I know I missed part of the magic of the book..Score: 5/5

Captivating ReadSo very interesting how several storyline threads are woven into a tapestry which is antique and modern at the same time..Score: 5/5

Didn’t want the story to endLove the writing! Love the characters and their amazing, interconnected stories. Great read!.Score: 5/5

ExquisiteDoerr writes so humanity so beautifully it breaks your heart while simultaneously giving you hope..Score: 5/5

A rare page turner!Loved the characters, with all their flaws, thoughts, and passions for the truth and a better world I’m so glad I got to know them and experience their stories and times..Score: 4/5

Cloud Cuckoo LandWonderful book. Highly recommended.Score: 5/5

Great readI took a bit to get into this book but loved it once I did. Great lessons very engaging..Score: 5/5

StunningEnthralled from the first sentence..Score: 5/5

Keep reading, it’s worth itAt first I thought I wouldn’t keep reading because the book was confusing. I’m glad I kept reading. It didn’t take long for the book to make sense and come together. It’s a wonderful book..Score: 5/5

Cloud Cuckoo LandThe way Doerr weaves the past, present and future together with Diogenes’ story of Atheon always in the background keeps the reader in suspense all the way through. It is so beautifully written that it sometimes took my breath away..Score: 5/5

Psychosis or the power of storytellingThis book is hard to invest in due to the multiple characters in different times, past, present, and future. You spend a significant part of the novel's first half trying to build empathy with the protagonists, but their point-of-view is short and seemingly unconnected to the other segments. It feels to me that the use of classic Greek is an intentional throwback to the oral history tradition you encounter with The Odyssey and Iliad, which I believe is the intention of this novel. A story presented as a tale told about a history lived. The value of the work is not in the individual lives but in the totality of the woven tapestry, with each life contributing color and texture to the whole. In this recognition, stories from before the common era got to us in 2022 because many people touched them, cared for them, and passed them on. The strength of humankind is our ability to tell stories that carry forward and become knowledge and entertainment many times removed from the source. The book is a bit of a slog until you invest in the characters. The end, however, is worth the work. A connection that, in the end, frees the future protagonist..Score: 4/5

DisappointingThis book was incredibly difficult to follow. I too was intrigued by the initial reviews. However, I could not figure out the characters nor the storyline. Very disappointing..Score: 1/5

Beautiful.I couldn’t put this book down. An absolute pleasure to read..Score: 5/5

Wow!I didn’t want it to end. Read it..Score: 5/5

Incredible !Intriguing, poetic prose, fascinating tale to keep you wanting every word to go on forever..Score: 5/5

Homage to literature and the love of books.All glory to this author! The subtle craft of a sentence which turns your gaze upon something unseen remembering a sentiment of something forgotten. Or, that distinct smell as you cross the threshold into the library or other such repository that transports your memory to favorite characters, scenes, daydreams of other times…the story that awaits. All theses glories are touched upon in this truly remarkable book. This would make a memorable present to anyone who loves the art of storytelling and a treasure to pass forward..Score: 5/5

AstonishingThis is the first book I have ever reviewed on Apple Books - it it simply the best book I have ever read. It will change your life, and more sentences than you can count will make you pause and catch your breath. Read it..Score: 5/5

Can’t get into itI rarely give up reading a book once I’ve committed to 120+ pages... but this one just won’t catch me. It’s all over the place, hard to follow, and I’m not able to relate with any of the characters. I’m so disappointed because I love the last book!.Score: 1/5

Best book I’ve read so far this yearI loved this book! It has beautiful storytelling, really amazing characters, and the imagery is outstanding. I really felt invested in the characters. This was one of those books where I wanted to hurry up and see how it ends, but at the same time I didn’t want it to end at all..Score: 5/5

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