Cloud Cuckoo Land
This is the story of a book – a fictional novel by a classic Greek author – and how it moves through the lives of five people over thousands of years.
The book tracks through three time periods.
1400s in Europe. A boy is conscripted into The Ottoman Army to sack Constantinople, and a girl in that city wonders what her future holds. THe girl discovers the book, and is united with the boy.
20th century in Idaho. A closeted gay man spends time in a Korean POW camp, then returns home to a lonely life. He learns Ancient Greek from an unrequited love, and uses it to translate the book, At the same time, a neuro-divergent youth is radicalized into eco-terrorism and plans a bombing attack.
The Future, in space. A girl is onboard a starship bound for another planet when disaster strikes, and she is forced to spend time with the book.
All of these time periods have their own conflicts, but they intertwine with the history of the book.
It’s entertaining. It’s one of those books where you don’t have any idea what’s going on, even 3/4th of the way through. But then everything kind of comes together in the end.
What was the larger point? I don’t know. It’s interpretive. Clearly, the narrative is centered around the love of a book, and how the preservation of experience can transcend time. But is there a larger point? Perhaps every timeline has its own point?
I’m not sure. But it’s a lovely story. I would get immersed in every timeline for what it was – each one stands on its own, and they sort of come together around the central core.
I enjoyed reading it. It left me very thoughtful.
- I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on March 17, 2023.
- A hardcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.