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Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel por Anthony Doerr
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Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel (original 2021; edição 2021)

por Anthony Doerr (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,9451693,178 (4.2)207
"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are children trying to figure out the world around them, and to survive. In the besieged city of Constantinople in 1453, in a public library in Lakeport, Idaho, today, and on a spaceship bound for a distant exoplanet decades from now, an ancient text provides solace and the most profound human connection to characters in peril. They all learn the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world. Twelve-year-old Anna lives in a convent where women toil all day embroidering the robes of priests. She learns to read from an old Greek tutor she encounters on her errands in the city. In an abandoned priory, she finds a stash of old books. One is Aethon's story, which she reads to her sister as the walls of Constantinople are bombarded by armies of Saracens. Anna escapes, carrying only a small sack with bread, salt fish-and the book. Outside the city walls, Anna meets Omeir, a village boy who was conscripted, along with his beloved pair of oxen, to fight in the Sultan's conquest. His oxen have died; he has deserted. In Lakeport, Idaho, in 2020, Seymour, a young activist bent on saving the earth, sits in the public library with two homemade bombs in pressure cookers-another siege. Upstairs, eighty-five-year old Zeno, a former prisoner-of-war, and an amateur translator, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon's adventures. On an interstellar ark called The Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault with sacks of Nourish powder and access to all the information in the world-or so she is told. She knows Aethon's story through her father, who has sequestered her to protect her. Konstance, encased on a spaceship decades from now, has never lived on our beloved Earth. Alone in a vault with sacks of Nourish powder and access to "all the information in the world," she knows Aethon's storythrough her father. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Konstance, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, the young Zeno, the children in the library are dreamers and misfits on the cusp of adulthood in a world the grown-ups have broken. They through their own resilience and resourcefulness, and through story. Dedicated to "the librarians then, now, and in the years to come," Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land is about the power of story and the astonishing survival of the physical book when for thousands of years they were so rare and so feared, dying, as one character says, "in fires or floods or in the mouths of worms or at the whims of tyrants." It is a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship-of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart"--… (mais)
Membro:skipstern
Título:Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel
Autores:Anthony Doerr (Autor)
Informação:Scribner (2021), 640 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

Informação Sobre a Obra

Cloud Cuckoo Land por Anthony Doerr (2021)

  1. 50
    Cloud Atlas por David Mitchell (nicole_a_davis)
    nicole_a_davis: Both have stories that span multiple time periods and are seemingly unconnected until the end.
  2. 40
    Station Eleven por Emily St. John Mandel (JenMDB)
  3. 20
    The Golden Ass por Apuleius (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: The Golden Ass is the basis, together with The Birds, for the ancient story Cloud Cuckoo Land. It also happens to be a tremendously entertaining novel from the days of the Roman Empire.
  4. 10
    Bewilderment por Richard Powers (Tinwara)
    Tinwara: Seymour in Cloud Cuckoo Land strongly reminded me of the young Robin in Bewilderment. If Seymour was your favorite character in Cloud Cuckoo Land, go for Bewilderment next!
  5. 10
    Fahrenheit 451 por Ray Bradbury (JenMDB)
  6. 10
    Sea of Tranquility por Emily St. John Mandel (Dariah)
  7. 00
    The Dream of Scipio por Iain Pears (martitia)
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Inglês (166)  Holandês (2)  Italiano (1)  Todas as línguas (169)
Mostrando 1-5 de 169 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Doerr's story incorporates several contemporary issues, almost memes, yet the characters and plots are seamless so the resulting story feels nothing like a jeremiad or manifesto. Frankly the lighthanded marketing almost beggars belief: typically, several plot points and identities would be spoiled in jacket copy and cover design, but for whatever reason that was not the case here. (I deliberately avoided the flap jacket copy until completing the novel, fortunately so as it revealed a major plot point and hinted at other spoilers.) The novel is all the more impactful for going in blind.

Doerr's subtlety in handling separate genre storylines impressed me, not only incorporating genres traditionally marketed separately but which don't hold particularly affinity for one another: this isn't a mashup of detective fiction and science fiction, for example. I was impressed at how fully what started as unrelated genre subplots felt like a wholly-realized story by the end. Initially I found the story structure distracting, and took separate pages of notes: one page as usual, recording anything I found interesting; the other to systematically track the POV-storyline of each chapter, and timeframes across storylines. This second quickly situated me, allowing each chapter to whisk me wherever it wanted without worry I'd lose the thread. I settled on that fairly early on, and once established any distraction was easily sorted.

When describing to family and friends, I take care not to specify too much about plot or character: not only would such shortcuts spoil the experience, they'd be cheap. The unorthodox structure asks a little effort from readers, but they're rewarded. A summary I would be content to share: "Cloud Cuckoo Land has a complex structure, at the heart of which is the story of a book, and the wonder that book brings to those willing to hear its story. And by its story I don't mean, the story told in the book, though that's interesting enough; rather, the story of the book."

On the strength of Cloud Cuckoo Land, suspect Doerr will be an author I can be confident of enjoying but which I won't feel compelled to seek out. ( )
1 vote elenchus | Jul 7, 2024 |
Loved this. Towards the end I slowed down my reading to make it last ( )
  iamnader | Jul 6, 2024 |
I listened to the audiobook which was very well narrated but, in retrospect, I think this book would be better read and not listened to. There are a number of threads and the connection between them doesn't really come clear until the end. Nevertheless, I thought it was excellent and far different from his previous book, All the Light We Cannot See.

People who are more versed in Greek literature than I probably know what the title refers to and that would maybe make things more clear. Cloud Cuckoo Land is a utopia in the drama "The Birds" written by Aristophanes. In Doerr's book there is a story within the story in which a man called Aethon seeks out Cloud Cuckoo Land by being transformed from a man into a donkey, then a fish and finally a crow. Since only birds can go to Cloud Cuckoo Land it is as a crow that he is able to get there. This story is integral to all the other threads in the book. One thread takes place in 1453 when Constantinople is besieged by the Ottoman Empire. Anna is a young girl who works, with her sister, as an embroideress of church vestments. But Anna is not really very good at embroidery and she is often sent out on errands. One day she comes across a teacher who is willing to teach her to read if she can find the time. Once she can read she is anxious to get her hands on reading material and she is delighted when she and a friend find an abandoned building filled with manuscripts. Because of the coming invasion she can only take one book which, of course, is Cloud Cuckoo Land. In a contemporary thread, Omeir, from a farming area in Bulgaria, is conscripted by the Ottoman army with his oxen to assist in the seige on Constantinople. Anna, fleeing from the city, encounters Omeir who just wants to get back to his farm. Anna has no-one else so the two join forces and as they travel Anna tells Omeir the tale of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Another thread is set far in the future aboard a generation ship (a ship that will take so much time to reach its destination that there will be multiple generations on board). Konstance is still quite young when a disease breaks out on the ship and her father puts her in a room that houses the ship's AI with instructions to the AI to not open the door for Konstance until it is safe to do so. There is enough food for Konstance for years and she can use her virtual reality treadmill to get exercise and access a virtual library. One of the books is an atlas that allows Konstance to explore any place on Earth as if she was really there. Konstance's connection to Cloud Cuckoo Land is that her father used to tell her the story which he knew from a translation produced by a man from the 21st century.

In the 21st century thread, Zeno is an elderly gay man living in (fictional) Lakeport, Idaho. He was a prisoner of war in the Korean War who got to know a British POW, Rex, who was a Greek scholar. To pass the time, Rex taught Zeno to read Greek and Zeno fell in love with Rex. They lost touch during the war but found each other decades later. Rex passed on an old manuscript to Zeno and suggested he work on translating it. Of course, this manuscript was Cloud Cuckoo Land. Zeno did his translating work in the local library. One day, the librarian suggested he help her out by telling five youngsters the story. The kids were so enthralled with it that they decided to put on the play in the library. It is during the dress rehearsal that Zeno encounters the final main character. Seymour is a teenager who lives with his mother in a trailer on the outskirts of Lakeport. Although it is never spelled out, Seymour is probably on the autism spectrum and much prefers being in the woods and nature to being with people. His neighbourhood is abruptly changed when a realty company develops the land for new houses, many of which are vacation homes. Seymour encounters an eco-terrorism group on the dark web and he decides to blow up the realty company as a sort of initiation rite. Except he can't get into the realty office to leave a bomb, so he decides to plant it in the library which adjoins the company's headquarters. The night he chooses for his action is the night the dress rehearsal is taking place.

This book combines historical fiction and science fiction and storytelling and the importance of libraries which just checks so many boxes for me. Of course I loved it. ( )
1 vote gypsysmom | Jun 29, 2024 |
Absolutely stunning book. ( )
  aseikonia | May 26, 2024 |
My apologies to Mr. Doerr, but I just cannot finish this book. I loved All The Light We Cannot See but I am throwing in the towel on this one. Just when I start to get a little invested in one character's story, then whoosh, it's onto another character and different time period. For the most part I am not a huge fan of the more traditional, dual-timeline anyway, so the construction of this story was really over-the-top for me. I thought about pushing myself through it, just for the satisfaction of finishing the book but it just isn't worth it to me. For now, I am going to refrain from giving this book a rating.
  Ann_R | May 25, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 169 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Yes, libraries are awesome, and we all love books. But the artificial convolutedness of “Cloud Cuckoo Land” is not enough to confer any additional depth on Doerr’s simple, belabored theme, a theme that thumps through the novel insisting that every character kneel in reverent submission.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarThe Washington Post, Ronald Charles (sítio Web pago) (Sep 28, 2021)
 
Doerr does not overstate the importance of the story-within-a-story. If anything, he makes a point of reminding us again and again how easy it is for books to be lost across the ages — the staggering number of histories, tales, songs, account books, speeches, poems and stories that never made it through the meatgrinder of history....There are no heroes or villains, no global plots, no secret societies bent on controlling this lost manuscript. There's just a book thief, a boy and his ox, a messed-up kid who lost his best friend, a man putting on a children's play, a girl talking to a supercomputer....It is a book about books, a story about stories. It is tragedy and comedy and myth and fable and a warning and a comfort all at the same time. It says, Life is hard. Everyone believes the world is ending all the time. But so far, all of them have been wrong.It says that if stories can survive, maybe we can, too.
 
This is a novel so full that, if it can be said to be 'about' anything, perhaps it is about how things survive by chance, and through love. But the book is also keenly aware of the fact that humans have basically exhausted our chances, and it is time for a fierce and tenacious love to step up – by sharing and passing on what is mended and changed, like Diogenes’s book, with its delights and consolations – to save what we still have on Earth, and what is ours, as well as what we enjoy here, though it isn’t ours ... With all its tenderness for human life and animal life, and libraries, this novel nevertheless acknowledges that civilisation continues to insist on not going anywhere without packing its poisons.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarThe Guardian, Elizabeth Knox (Sep 24, 2021)
 
“Cloud Cuckoo Land" ... is, among other things, a paean to the nameless people who have played a role in the transmission of ancient texts and preserved the tales they tell. But it’s also about the consolations of stories and the balm they have provided for millenniums. It’s a wildly inventive novel that teems with life, straddles an enormous range of experience and learning, and embodies the storytelling gifts that it celebrates. It also pulls off a resolution that feels both surprising and inevitable, and that compels you back to the opening of the book with a head-shake of admiration at the Swiss-watchery of its construction.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarNew York Times, Marcel Theroux (sítio Web pago) (Sep 24, 2021)
 
“Stranger, whoever you are, open this to learn what will amaze you” wrote Antonius Diogenes at the end of the first century C.E.—and millennia later, Pulitzer Prize winner Doerr is his fitting heir. Around Diogenes' manuscript, "Cloud Cuckoo Land"—the author did exist, but the text is invented—Doerr builds a community of readers and nature lovers that transcends the boundaries of time and space....As the pieces of this magical literary puzzle snap together, a flicker of hope is sparked for our benighted world.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarKirkus Reviews (Jun 29, 2021)
 

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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Anthony Doerrautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ireland, MarinNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jones, SimonNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are children trying to figure out the world around them, and to survive. In the besieged city of Constantinople in 1453, in a public library in Lakeport, Idaho, today, and on a spaceship bound for a distant exoplanet decades from now, an ancient text provides solace and the most profound human connection to characters in peril. They all learn the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world. Twelve-year-old Anna lives in a convent where women toil all day embroidering the robes of priests. She learns to read from an old Greek tutor she encounters on her errands in the city. In an abandoned priory, she finds a stash of old books. One is Aethon's story, which she reads to her sister as the walls of Constantinople are bombarded by armies of Saracens. Anna escapes, carrying only a small sack with bread, salt fish-and the book. Outside the city walls, Anna meets Omeir, a village boy who was conscripted, along with his beloved pair of oxen, to fight in the Sultan's conquest. His oxen have died; he has deserted. In Lakeport, Idaho, in 2020, Seymour, a young activist bent on saving the earth, sits in the public library with two homemade bombs in pressure cookers-another siege. Upstairs, eighty-five-year old Zeno, a former prisoner-of-war, and an amateur translator, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon's adventures. On an interstellar ark called The Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault with sacks of Nourish powder and access to all the information in the world-or so she is told. She knows Aethon's story through her father, who has sequestered her to protect her. Konstance, encased on a spaceship decades from now, has never lived on our beloved Earth. Alone in a vault with sacks of Nourish powder and access to "all the information in the world," she knows Aethon's storythrough her father. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Konstance, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, the young Zeno, the children in the library are dreamers and misfits on the cusp of adulthood in a world the grown-ups have broken. They through their own resilience and resourcefulness, and through story. Dedicated to "the librarians then, now, and in the years to come," Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land is about the power of story and the astonishing survival of the physical book when for thousands of years they were so rare and so feared, dying, as one character says, "in fires or floods or in the mouths of worms or at the whims of tyrants." It is a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship-of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart"--

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