Fiction 2021, 623 pages
Yesterday I stepped out of my kayak in a rocky cove and my feet sank more than a foot in wet sand. I nearly lost a shoe. I feel as though my feet are like this, reading Cloud Cuckoo Land ... stuck in mushy sand. I keep trying to wend my way through this novel (especially since it's our September "Casting Crew Book Club" read) but I fear I will not succeed. I am on page 234 of 623 pages, and I find it a chore every time I pick up this large tome.
There are parallel stories of Anna and also Omier in Constantinople in the 1443; and Seymour in Idaho in 2020; and Zeno in 2020 and also fighting in the Korean War in 1953; and Konstance, some millennia in the future, on a spaceship. They are tied together, very loosely so far, by an ancient text. But I find the characters singularly unilluminating. Each time we return to one, I have to pause and go back to remember who the character is and why they matter.
I (momentarily) perceive myself as not very scholarly, struggling with this long, disjointed, and not engaging book, as though, if I were smarter, I would enjoy it more. I know it has won awards, but I have way too many books on my shelf and it has taken me about ten days to make it this far, and I am about to abandon this disappointment. Perhaps I will have a more enlightened and positive view after our book club discussion, but right now I cannot in good conscience recommend Cloud Cuckoo Land.
With my apologies, Linda! Sigh.