Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2021
It only happens about once every 15 or 20 years: Poisonwood Bible. Lonesome Dove. Now Cloud Cuckoo Land: a book that I will talk about forever, a book that changed the way I think about the world.

How much should I write? There is a magic in discovering it for yourself, how all these pieces fit together to answer the most essential question we are all facing in 2021: is the world ending? And if so, how do we go on?

Anthony Doerr addresses this question in no expected ways: by telling the story of Anna, an orphan living behind the walls of Constantinople under siege in 1409, who climbs a rock wall to discover hidden treasures; Omeir, a "demon" boy with a cleft palate, who is conscripted into the invading army because of the strength of his beloved oxen Tree and Moonlight; the story of Seymour in Idaho 2020, a budding environmental terrorist after the loss of his beloved great owl friend; and of Zeno, an 86 year old man hiding in the library as Seymour plants his bomb; and of Konstance, on a space station hundreds of years after the end of Earth, hurtling towards a planet that she will never live to see.

And interwoven among them all, a myth of Aegon, the shepherd who longs for a better world, who sets off to find that elusive Eden in the sky, Cloud Cuckoo Land.

It reads like three stories in one; the story of Constantinople, Omeir and Anna; of Idaho, Zeno and Seymour, and of the space station, with Konstance; and amidst them all, the myth of Aegon.

There is writing so gorgeous that I had to stop and read it again; writing, especially, about the power of story itself, how stories can be magic, can save our lives, can give our lives meaning.

Above all else, this is a story about our longing for a better world, what we owe to each other in this one, and whether it is possible -- even a little bit possible --- to hope, in the face of unimaginable hardship, that a better world might still exist, maybe even, possibly, not so far away as Cloud Cuckoo Land, not so far away as the clouds in the sky.
251 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink

Product Details

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
4,020 global ratings