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Cloud Cuckoo Land (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

[warning: lots of exclamation points ahead....]

My friends have already heard me talk about Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr ad nauseam, and it won’t be published until the end of September! This book is the best thing I’ve read—and the most complex and sophisticated—since Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Three story lines tied together by the mythical quest of a man named Aethon: 1400’s Constantinople, present day Idaho, and a futuristic voyage of a ship called the Argos!  Suspense and adventure! The beautiful writing we admired in All the Light We Cannot See! A great book for falling into and emerging in a fog of wonder! That gushing sound you hear? Not the waterfall of your dream vacation, but me continuing to talk about this amazing book.

I’m telling you: this is one you must put on your list. Preorder so you don’t forget.

— Mamie

A brilliant conveyance that took me across centuries, Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land had me drinking in the words from its pages one moment, and spontaneously embracing the book the next. These bound pages affirmed for me how transcendent a story is and evidenced its power when passed from one, to another, to others. Doerr's talent and skill guides the characters through the challenges and circumstances of their lives as they try to define their place and purpose - from Constantinople in the 1400s, to a library in modern day Idaho, to a space ship bound for a planet light years from Earth. The threads that connect them are a fantastical story and their determination to understand their worlds. Cloud Cuckoo Land is a deeply satisfying read that brings well deserved attention to stories and their caretakers and their vitalness to our world.

— Belinda

October 2021 Indie Next List

“I haven’t felt this hopeful after closing a book in a very long time. What does it mean to be alive? An ageless question, yet throughout time the answer is always human connection and the stories we tell to live, thrive, survive.”
— Julie Slavinsky, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA


"If you're looking for a superb novel, look no further." -The Washington Post

The instant New York Times bestseller and finalist for the 2021 National Book Award is "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

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, comes Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr's gorgeous third novel 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 Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness-with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we're gone.

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a 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. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna's will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five 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. She has never set foot on our planet.

Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of gravest danger. Their lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr's dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own. Dedicated to "the librarians then, now, and in the years to come," Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship-of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781804220139
ISBN-10: 1804220132
Publisher: Anthony Doerr
Publication Date: September 28th, 2021
Pages: 220
Language: English