Cloud Cuckoo Land (15 hours) by Anthony Doerr chronicles the intersecting lives of an orphaned teenage girl and a village boy living in 15th-century Constantinople, an elderly librarian and a troubled teenager in present-day Idaho, and a young passenger aboard an interstellar ship generations into the future. It’s a dreamy, dynamic interweaving of stories about conflict, grief and hope.
Narrators Marin Ireland and Simon Jones make each character’s story feel personal, valid and alive—a challenging task with a cast this extensive and settings that span hundreds of years and miles. Ireland’s performances anchor every chapter in a myriad of voices and accents, surrounding the listener with an immersive experience. Between chapters, Jones playfully narrates excerpts from a fictional ancient Greek text whose relevance to each storyline is revealed gradually.
Listening to Cloud Cuckoo Land will transport you. It is magical and comforting, and likely to leave you with a new perspective on the power of resilience and the meaning of human connection.