Anthony Doerr found great acclaim in 2014 with his book All the Light We Cannot See. If you enjoyed that book, you will find multiple points of view, a sweeping epic, and beautiful writing in Cloud Cuckoo Land too. In fact, his newest book is even more sweeping with five storylines (plus the text about Aethon) that will take you across centuries and countries.
As a reader, your tolerance for epics may vary. I found this book to be a very engaging read, but I also thought it was a bit long and too neatly wrapped up. Doerr is trying to say some very specific things here, but I wonder if it would have been even more powerful if there were fewer perspectives and some things were left unresolved.
Cloud Cuckoo Land is not a casual reading experience. At almost 700 pages, a reader has to commit to this journey with these characters and trust that Doerr will carry them through it. But if you can do that, it's worthwhile to experience this love letter to stories that asks why we keep stories alive and why that matters.
By Anthony Doerr
Scribner September 2021
Read via Netgalley