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Have You Been to Cloud Cuckoo Land?


I belong to a book club that reads heavy books. I mean, you know, books that weigh a lot.


Not really. We do read some books that weigh a lot, but usually, the weight has to do with the intensity and gravity of the subject matter.


Take Cloud Cuckoo Land, for instance. It is the latest book from Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anthony Doerr, and it takes the reader on a trip through time, a variety of settings, and a remarkable cast of characters.


It clocks in at 620 pages, which is a long damn book. But once Doerr hooks you, you have to keep reading to see how he will bring all the pieces together.


And bring the pieces together he does.


Doerr says in his notes that he intended Cloud Cuckoo Land as "a paean to books." He goes on to say that "the novel owes its greatest debt to an eighteen-hundred-plus-year-old novel that no longer exists..."


To me, the genius of the book lies in Doerr's conception of the story's framework itself, multiple strands of history which coalesce into a unified whole. It is really several novellas welded together with the solder of imagination.


I highly recommend the book to everyone. And writers and book coaches who hope to up their games should read it, not only for pleasure but also to note Doerr's technique which allowed him to build such an edifice with words and creativity.


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