Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel

Written by:
Anthony Doerr
Narrated by:
Marin Ireland , Simon Jones

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2021
14 hours 52 minutes
AudioFile Magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2021

On the New York Times bestseller list for over 20 weeks * A New York Times Notable Book * A National Book Award Finalist * Named a Best Book of the Year by Fresh Air, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press, and many more

“If you’re looking for a superb novel, look no further.” —The Washington Post

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, comes the instant New York Times bestseller that is a “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).

Among the most celebrated and beloved novels of recent times, Cloud Cuckoo Land 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 the 15th century, an orphan named Anna lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople. She learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds what might be the last copy of a centuries-old 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. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the army that will lay siege to the city. His path and Anna’s will cross.

In the present day, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno rehearses 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.

Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders whose lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own.
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Molly Z.

I had high hopes. This was terrible.

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Kristen N.

What an amazing tale, interwoven beautifully, fascinating characters on all storylines and just great fiction. This narrator was INCREDIBLE. She absolutely NAILED the voices without being annoying or over-acted. A rare talent. I want to listen to this again and I rarely have that urge.

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Took a long time to come together for me but I was intrigued enough to grind through…and very glad I did. A clever novel with compelling characters. Really glad I stuck with it!

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Mitch S.

This book is a bit confusing at first but the author ties different story lines together beautifully. The prose is beautiful.

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Nicolas V.

So so so so good. I really loved this book. So beautiful funny and moving. Everything about this is excellent.

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I was intrigued at the beginning of story by the way the main character simplified her life, saved money, and then went off on her adventure. Then the story became mundane, and nothing much happened in the end.

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Kathryn G.

Excellent! One of the best novels that I have listened to or read! The story does weave in and out of chronological time but the narratives are intertwined in a way that is so interesting and satisfying—delicious prose. Love

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Nancy C.

The writing is enjoyable to listen to. The characters were well developed and interesting. The story takes place over different time lines that are entwined. It is one of those books I will need to re-listen to because it became confusing at the end. Worth the read but you need to stay attentive.

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Frieda V

I found this book to be long and extremely confusing. It jumps around several different stories. I liken this book to listening to the rants of a crazy person rambling for 10 hours and you’re trying to follow their train of thought Is there a genius in this book? Probably. I just couldn’t find it.

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Ms. W.

At first I was wary of listening to this book on audio, due to the possible confusion of multiple narratives across different time periods. The opposite was true; in my opinion the narration adds even another element of beauty to this already incredible book. Highly recommend.

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Amy F.

Excellent book! The narrator did a fantastic job of moving back and forth between time periods and avoided confusion. Clearly convinces of our need to protect literature!

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Melissia D.

Whoa! I started still hv 5 hrs left to “read”. Awesome book, confusing at first. I’ll be back when I finish it.

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Complex tale with interwoven threads. spanning interesting events across centuries. The author managed to work all the threads convincingly and imbued all the very different main characters with humanity. I never thought that I would see both sides of the fall of Constantinple in 1453 depicted in such a compelling, humane way. Or the tale of the young, autistic boy who in desperation resorts to eco-terrorism, vs the old Korea vet. Recommended.

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Sally M.

Could not get into this story despite 3 tries. Narrator was good. Disappointed.

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Nancy G.

Fabulous storytelling! Initially it seemed to be several very different tales and it was hard to imagine how they related. In the end they were woven together beautifully and as a reader it was such fun to see that come about.

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Connie W.

Anthony Doerr can write but this book is a hot mess. Not entirely sure what he was going for, but whatever it was, it didn’t need 640 pages to get there. Characters were not developed sufficiently for me to invest in caring about them. Where was the editing? Would not recommend.

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Ada H.

Unless u can listen to this book on a long ride, I would not do it via audiobook, its too confusing. Between the storyline jumps and start stopping on a audiobook, it was too confusing and wasn't enjoyable.

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Melissa M.

Narrator was great but this book was very confusing. This book was highly rated for it to be so so and quite boring the build up too so long with only one hour left I really haven’t learned anything or fell in love with any characters. The narrators did great but the story just drags and flip flops around.

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slow start couldn't get past ch 2

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Enjoyed this! the only issues I had was the jumping back and forth through time. Although it all came to fruition at the end of how the stories tied into one another, if you walk away for a second you will be lost. Overall, another one down, on to the next book.

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Emily B.

Very different book!! It has it all. Mythology, history, current events and futuristic spaceships. It does jump around quite a bit in chronology, but the narrator changed their style for each timeline.

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Paige G.

Great story and good narration. This book can be a bit confusing until you get a good grasp on all the main characters, but it’s totally worth it once you get going. Really enjoyed listening and finished this book in just a few days bc it was so hard to stop!

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