Cloud Cuckoo Land Review By Glenda

Cloud Cuckoo Land Review By Glenda

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Review by Glenda

Mamma I’m Coming Home!


The cover didn’t draw me to this book. The author did. I didn’t even read what the book was about before I purchased it. When I started it, it made my head spin and I scrunched up my face and went, “Whhhhaaat?” 

“What the heck, was this?”

Well I found out!




Momma, I’m coming home. The cry of the mythical ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ placed strategically within Doerr’s fictional ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ threads together five lives over eight centuries. It seems fitting that Ozzy Osborne sings its theme song!

You need the end to understand the beginning.

This happens in life quite often, you don’t understand why you are going through something, or why things are happening in the sequence they are. It is only afterward, when your eyes bounce down the timeline of life that it becomes clear. Sometimes amazingly clear. It is only then that you sigh in absolute wonder and breath in joy, ‘That’s it! That’s why!’ Holy hockey sticks! Bloody amazing!

I, like many of the ‘one-star’ reviews on Amazon, had difficulty with the beginning of Cloud Cuckoo Land. I felt like I was treading water in a sea of information. An ancient Greek story that I don’t care to read somehow on this stage with future Konstance and recent history Zeno with 5 kids in a play. What does the geeky autistic awkward antagonist in Seymour from 2020 have to do with a girl named Anna and the gentle ugly human, Omeir from 1439? How the heck were all these people in all of these eras going to connect?

Why am I reading about Constantinople? For ‘F’ sake. Can’t I just read Doerr’s beautiful prose in a simple story? Why is he pushing my mind to think? Instead of super simple he’s spooning Greek Text into my morning coffee, I really wasn’t sure how I felt about that!

My mind ached. I wanted to put it down.

But then the words of my best friend from 1940 whispered in my ear. “Glenda, keep reading. If you put it down you learn nothing. If you read to the end you may only understand 10 percent but that’s 10 percent more than you have if you put it down.

“Yes, Mortimer Adler. We’ve danced this dance before. I know what to do.”

I picked the book back up.

I continued.

Cloud Cuckoo Land was not a book to read anywhere but by myself in quiet with no distractions.

‘Holy hockey sticks’ started slapping midway. I wanted to read it quickly to get to the ending but that’s not what one does with a Doerr book.

Some books are a piece of Hubba Bubba. You unwrap it, put it in your mouth, chew quickly to extract all the flavor, and spit it out. Be done with it. A Doerr book is a piece of Worthers. Chocolate-coated Worthers with a crystal or two of sea salt on top. It is to be savored. And you must take time, if you bite through it quickly you will miss the pleasure of it.

Every character and even supporting characters in Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land hit ‘Worther’ status. I was flying with Trusty Owl and blinking flies away with Moonlight and Tree. Classic Doerr! His words had me hearing the scratching in Seymour’s brain and feeling the Greek text under Anna’s fingers. I saw nature I’ve never seen, and will never see. Doerr created his own perambulator with words and had me walking, and touching, and feeling, and seeing and smelling and brilliantly he connected it all. This is a Five Star Book that I will keep in my library and read again and again.

You need the end to understand the beginning.