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Summary

A National Book Award finalist

A New York Times best seller

A Guardian Best Fiction pick of 2021

One of Barack Obama’s Favourite Books of 2021

When everything is lost, it’s our stories that survive

How do we weather the end of things? Cloud Cuckoo Land brings together an unforgettable cast of dreamers and outsiders from past, present and future to offer a vision of survival against all odds.

Constantinople, 1453: an orphaned seamstress and a cursed boy with a love for animals risk everything on opposite sides of a city wall to protect the people they love.

Idaho, 2020: an impoverished, idealistic kid seeks revenge on a world that’s crumbling around him. Can he go through with it when a gentle old man stands between him and his plans?

Unknown, sometime in the future: with her tiny community in peril, Konstance is the last hope for the human race. To find a way forward, she must look to the oldest stories of all for guidance.

Bound together by a single ancient text, these tales interweave to form a tapestry of solace and resilience and a celebration of storytelling itself. Like its predecessor All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr’s new novel is a tale of hope and of profound human connection.

©2021 Anthony Doerr (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A bittersweet and moving novel that lingers in the mind." (Daily Mail)

"An epic work about bravery and the power of attachment." (Rose Tremain, Observer)

"Doerr can bring a scene to life in a single paragraph.... Delicate and moving...the novel takes hold and will not easily let go." (The Times)

What listeners say about Cloud Cuckoo Land

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What a disappointment

I read many slow burners in my life, but few as useless as this. The author had one message to give (no spoilers), once you figure it out, all the narrative becomes a long and tiring read. I really didn't enjoy it.

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STUNNING!

One of the best books I have ever read. This is an astonishing piece of writing.

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Please take this audio book back and refund my credit

I have loved Anthony Doerr’s books especially ATLWCS but I have tried with this new novel on a number of occasions. I think the plot or narrative is simply too complex for me to absorb audibly. I am confused by the characters and the change in settings. Please refund me. I am going to buy the novel and see if I can get somewhere with that!

3 people found this helpful

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Alpha to Omega: brilliant!

As someone with no knowledge of Classical Greek, I may be wrong in my assessment of this book that seems to celebrate the Greek writers. Certainly it made me aware of the few-of-the-many writings that remain, and to feel I must pride them off shelves and read them at once as treasures. This novel interweaves times, places, people: Librarians, medieval embroiderers, fishermen, ox-handlers, children-in-space, the young, the old, the deformed, the Saracen and the Greek and the US army in Korea….Just the edge of the tip of the iceberg of the variety of people in this brilliant story. Perhaps this is why it so successfully reads like a book for everyone. I loved it.

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utterly captivating!

emotionally draining and surprising at every turn. I still can't decide which storyline I enjoyed the most.

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Wow!

This book started slowly and, to be honest, I was a little nonplussed by it. However, as the story developed and the scope of the author’s ambition became clear, it was obvious that it is an absolute masterpiece. I am completely blown away by it’s vastness, originality and beauty. Wonderful!

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couldn't put it.....

couldn't put this audiobook down... what an amazing piece of work... I fully suggest anyone looking for a magical globe trotting story to invest in this piece of art... several stories entwined into one... Great work!

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A feast for lovers of word snippets that bring joy

A masterpiece of crafted prose and epic tales brilliantly and subtly narrated. Thank you!

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brilliant!

I loved this book set in 3 different tme periods that gradually weave together. immensely readable.

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Does not work as an audio book

This is likely to be great as a novel but it doesn’t work in audio

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  • Marcie
  • 17-10-21

An important, deeply thoughtful & satisfying book

This book is one of those novels that stitches together a number of stories but it is so much more. From the broad expanse of human history, down to the microscope of a fascinating social history, the book is part science fiction, part historic fiction, part fantasy. If is about how humans both build and destroy. The most intrinsic of truths that life is a paradox.
The book is both a great pleasure and something that warrants thought and discussion.
Hello Simon Jones! You have grown so as a talent since the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Marin does a superb job as well.
However, it is not a book you can listen to with one ear. It is a work that requires and deserves your full attention.
Oh and the ending does not disappoint.

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  • Sharon
  • 03-04-22

Absolutely sublime

Took a while to get into it but once hooked, I couldn't put it down. Multi-layered.

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  • LR vd Westhuizen
  • 02-03-22

A memorable tale

A tale so ludicrous, so incredible - absolutely brilliant! Beautifully narrated by Marin Ireland and Simon Jones.

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  • Greg Latter
  • 19-02-22

Wow! Brilliant!

The best book I've listened to in a long time and I am certain I will revisit Cloud Cuckoo Land in the future. It has everything - myth, history, philosophy, sci-fi, sexuality, ecology and it's also an exciting story with lots of drama as well as unexpected twists and turns. I was captivated and intrigued from the very first chapter. The breadth and depth of this novel is astounding and yet the various characters are instantly relatable and the reader cares about them and about what happens to them. The threads linking the different narratives across continents and centuries is ingenious! The narration does justice to the beautiful writing. Although I didn't want it to end, the conclusion was very satisfying. I strongly recommend a trip to Cloud Cuckoo Land!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-01-22

Too complicated as an audiobook

This story is very poetic and complicated because of all the descriptions.. too difficult to listen to (for an audiobook)