Cloud Cuckoo Land

Anthony Doerr


Anthony Doerr is one of the most beautifully lyrical authors writing today. "All the Light We Cannot See", winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Literature and 2014 National Book award finalist, set in Nazi occupied France, reads like a prose poem, the characters both vivid and dreamlike. "Cloud Cuckoo Land", also a National Book award finalist for 2021, is a more intricately plotted novel and less dreamy but no less beautifully written. In his latest work, Doerr interweaves three plot threads, the first from Constantinople in the 15th century, a more current thread set in 2020 in Idaho and a third futuristic plot set in an interstellar spaceship. All these plot lines have in common an ancient Greek comedy called "Cloud Cuckoo Land" which impacts the lives of all the protagonists. Doerr celebrates the magic of books and their ability to transport us far from the everyday stresses of our lives. He focuses on our interconnectedness across time, ethnicities and species, promoting an appreciation for the natural world.

For those that enjoyed "All the Light We Cannot See", Doerr's newest novel is a more difficult book to get into because of the wide divergence of the plot threads but the way all these threads are woven together is surprising and satisfying. The characters are each unique and their lives detailed.  Doerr's joy in the beauty of the natural world is enchanting. We strongly recommend this book.