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Publisher's Summary

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 it’s 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)

"Sets him comfortably alongside Tolkien, Rowling and David Mitchell, and he is a much more elegant writer than two of those.... Cloud Cuckoo Land is an impressive achievement and a joy to read. Serious novels are rarely this fun." (The Times)

"A humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences. Cloud Cuckoo Land is ultimately a celebration of books, the power and possibilities of reading." (New York Times)

What listeners say about Cloud Cuckoo Land

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Codfish
  • 10-01-21

STUNNING!

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

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  • Kurt
  • 10-12-21

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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  • JDL
  • 11-17-21

Complex and brilliant

A rare author who can weave a myriad of complex strands into a beautiful, illuminated tapestry.

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  • Carrie
  • 11-16-21

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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  • Mrs B.
  • 11-11-21

Beautiful with real insight in a non preachy way. Loved this!! a

Haven’t been so wrapped up in and impressed by a book in years. Cleverness and imagination to die for!

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  • corina
  • 11-08-21

Fabulous!

what a wonderful entwined story with believable characters both from the past , but also the present and the future.
I loved it, it was on a par with Booker prize winners

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  • karen sinclair
  • 11-07-21

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!

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  • jss
  • 11-07-21

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-21

Magical

Cloud Cuckoo Land takes you into these magical and wonderful places in time as clearly as though you had lived there.

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  • Clare
  • 11-06-21

Brilliant, captivating, thought provoking

Lovely book. The inter connecting plot strands were brilliantly developed and the novel brims with memorable characters. I cannot rate this book highly enough. It feels timely without being gloomy. More than anything it celebrates the human spirit, how we are hard wired to thrive and to survive. A treat to listen to and one to which I shall most certainly be returning.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-21

A magnificent adventure

The story is wonderful - stories within stories. Cleverly woven together with characters that are achingly human. It is about love, family, heroes and the small folk who go unnoticed,and the interconnection of our world. Above all it is about hope.
I feel I must read the hard copy to understand all the nuances of this great saga!!

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  • miss sally-ann ninian
  • 09-30-21

What a load of waffle!

I'm going to be honest I have only gotten to chapter 6 before giving up! I would never normally do this, I've read & listened to some books that I've not overly enjoyed but out of principal I would always normally get to the end. Even if it's just because I've paid for it! But I just had to stop - the first 6 chapters jumps to so many random characters nothing making a bit of sense. Maybe if I could drag myself to listen long something might click but so far it's so had I really can't bring myself to.
Maybe I'm just not intellectual enough, I don't know but I just couldn't waste any more of my time. I'd rather waste the money!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-24-21

Absolutely brilliant!

What an imagination! Such a clever book and so beautifully written. I have to admit I wasn't sure about it to start, but after a couple of chapters I was hooked. I loved the different storylines, connections and resolution. The narrator was excellent. I'm really going to struggle to find something to captivate me as much as this book did.

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  • jpatrickp
  • 10-04-21

Extraordinary novel

A web of tales across time and space becalmed one story. Doer is a masterful novelist- highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful