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Publisher's 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 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!

6 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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!!

4 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written but hard going.

A complex story with multiple interwoven story lines, timelines and characters. It's as if Doerr set himself a challenge to see how many different threads he could bring together in one story. The writing, as usual is gorgeous and evocative but it can be confusing. An interview with the author said that he had to make a large schematic diagram to keep track of all the characters and story lines. I wish he'd shared it with his readers.

3 people found this helpful

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Extraordinary novel

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

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely amazing 👏

I absolutely loved this book. So clever, the beautifully interwoven plot lines, the complex and engaging characters, the combination of the believability and the simultaneous complete craziness of the narrative is magical.

The narrator is fantastic also. I can't wait to listen to this one again!!

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely incredible

I would encourage anyone to listen to this book. It can take a little bit to get into because of the number of interlaced tales but each one of incredible. It’s beautiful… a real piece of art.

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Beautiful listen

This is an entrancing story. I loved the narrators and the interlinked story lines. Thoroughly entertaining

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An utter joy

Everything about this book, and the audio adaptation, is wonderful - with the sole exception of the Australian accents. I’ve never yet heard a passable Australian voice created by a non-Australian audiobook performer. Best not attempted!

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passed the time. guessed the end. easy to follow.

good story passed the time. not wonderful. the substitutes are simple, understanding the links became clearer as the stories progressed

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  • Marcie
  • 17-10-2021

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 03-04-2022

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
  • 02-03-2022

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
  • 19-02-2022

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
  • 04-01-2022

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)

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  • Kurt
  • 12-10-2021

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Codfish
  • 01-10-2021

STUNNING!

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • karen sinclair
  • 07-11-2021

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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  • jss
  • 07-11-2021

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Udderprivacy
  • 11-12-2021

utterly captivating!

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carrie
  • 16-11-2021

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!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kelly S.
  • 16-05-2022

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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  • drrobc
  • 10-05-2022

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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  • Lesley
  • 03-05-2022

brilliant!

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-04-2022

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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