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Lunch » Tags » Book » Reviews » Let the Great World Spin: A Novel » User review

The Turbulence of the Big City Comes Alive on These Pages

  • Jun 20, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+2
Let the Great World Spin is an interconnected series of stories of love, loss and pain spanning decades and socioeconomic levels but illuminating the truth of the greatest city in the world--New York City. 

It is a time of great change in the U.S., the mid-1970s, and one man dares to climb above all of New York City and walk in the air on a tightrope between the newly minted Twin Towers. Thousands of people witness it, but we are presented with several very special characters in the crowd. Claire, the mother of a boy who died in Vietnam, and her unlikely friend Gloria, resident of the Projects. Claire's husband, Solomon, the judge in a case of two spirited hookers that hang out under the Major Deegan bridge. Their close friend Corrigan and the many people that love him. 

Just like New York City, these tales are awful and beautiful and real. Things happen, and other things result from that. The judgement call of wonderful or terrible is never answered, never explored. McCann creates characters that are profound in feeling and reflection, and guides us along with them in quick snapshots of time. 

When the Twin Towers went down, there was history and symbolism and feeling. This book subtly lets us explore that-- the significance of these towers and this city and these Americans. 

The character development in this story will take your breath away. 
The Turbulence of the Big City Comes Alive on These Pages

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More Let the Great World Spin: A No... reviews
review by . September 05, 2010
I have a lot of friends who read and suggest books to me. This book was suggested by a number of people and reviewed glowingly on Amazon and on other websites. It sat on my shelf for a long while but I finally read it and finished it recently.      McCann takes a real-life event--Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the twin towers (World Trade Center) in New York--and then weaves a number of different tales about people who saw the walk or crossed paths with the …
review by . September 05, 2010
I have a lot of friends who read and suggest books to me. This book was suggested by a number of people and reviewed glowingly here on Amazon and on other websites. It sat on my shelf for a long while but I finally read it and finished it recently.    McCann takes a real-life event--Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the twin towers (World Trade Center) in New York--and then weaves a number of different tales about people who saw the walk or crossed paths with the walker …
review by . August 31, 2010
Still Spinning...
Now and then, and not so very often, a writer is more of a magician. Perhaps even a medium, channeling other voices, the medium between the reader and the world he creates before our very eyes--out of nothing, a great something. Such is Colum McCann. It wasn't long before I was reading this book with reverence, with realization that I was holding in my hands a work of art.      The opening of the novel is a view of the sky, a mile and some up into the sky, where a tiny dot …
review by . February 23, 2010
Immediately, I was pulled in by Colum McCann's writing and characters. However in books like this, regardless of how good the writing is and how compelling the characters are, if something doesn't pull the vignettes together, it doesn't stand up as a novel to me.    Colum McCann did this masterfully. He pulled these characters together in ways that were not at all predictable, and the theme of the world turning in the midst of everyone's separate lives runs through it completely.  &nbs …
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Emily ()
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Member Since: Jun 15, 2010
Last Login: Jun 27, 2010 03:18 AM UTC
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Amazon Best of the Month, June 2009: Colum McCann has worked some exquisite magic with Let the Great World Spin, conjuring a novel of electromagnetic force that defies gravity. It's August of 1974, a summer "hot and serious and full of death and betrayal," and Watergate and the Vietnam War make the world feel precarious. A stunned hush pauses the cacophonous universe of New York City as a man on a cable walks (repeatedly) between World Trade Center towers. This extraordinary, real-life feat by French funambulist Philippe Petit becomes the touchstone for stories that briefly submerge you in ten varied and intense lives--a street priest, heroin-addicted hookers, mothers mourning sons lost in war, young artists, a Park Avenue judge. All their lives are ordinary and unforgettable, overlapping at the edges, occasionally converging. And when they coalesce in the final pages, the moment hums with such grace that its memory might tighten your throat weeks later. You might find yourself paused, considering the universe of lives one city contains in any slice of time, each of us a singular world, sometimes passing close enough to touch or collide, to birth a new generation or kill it, sending out ripples, leaving residue, an imprint, marking each other, our city, the very air--compassionately or callously, unable to see all the damage we do or heal. And most of us stumbling, just trying not to trip, or step in something awful.

But then someone does something ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0812973992
ISBN-13: 978-0812973990
Author: Colum McCann
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
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