Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin

A Novel

Book - 2009
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In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400063734
Branch Call Number: F McC


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Jul 08, 2019

Oh, this book. A big, fat, very stuffed piece of fiction about many (somewhat) connected people in mid '70s NYC. I got some whiplash as I spun from extremes reading it. I settled on 3 stars, but it's an average from the roller coaster of feelings from a 5 from some exquisite writing to a wish-I-could-give-it-a-0 desire to throw the whole tome out of the window. (Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook is my spirit animal.) What I disliked: the entire conceit that held the disparate stories together - Philippe Petit's tightrope walk across the Twin Towers in 1974. Really felt that didn't work at all. Could barely read the chapters centering on it. Also didn't like the heavy handed symbolism at times. And the unrelenting hopelessness that began to feel false. Sometimes the writing was so self-consciously "literary" that I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. What was good: McCann is certainly a masterful and skilled writer. He managed so many voices in this one novel that I couldn't do anything but marvel. His chapter centering on Tillie and the one on Corrigan's lover were astonishing: stunningly real for the first and exquisitely beautiful for the second. Bottom line: very glad I read this. I was in the right mood to wrestle with a book and exercise my sometimes too complacent gray matter. But I'll never look for another title from him.

Mar 19, 2018

A great weaver of the lives of people with six degrees of separation. All tied together by the wire-walker on the World Trade Center.

Jun 09, 2015

A winner of the IMPAC Dublin Award - The author has based his story on an historical event, tying together the stories of 4 different people who witnessed it. I found the characters to be very well developed and their stories were unique. A pleasure.

Oct 04, 2014

A wonderful bittersweet look at life.

Aug 31, 2014

Very best book. Wonderful characters and unexpected storylines.

Aug 15, 2014

Beautiful inter-weaving of characters and time come together for a satisfying conclusion. McCann is a gifted storyteller!

May 29, 2014

this book is damaging,heartrenching.i dont see how he could have told us all about Coregon and then tragicly kill him off,IN THE FIRST CHAPTER!!!!!i would not suggest ever reading it to anyone who can get very attached to characters, Colum Mccann is a SICK CREEP!!!!!

Mar 06, 2014

I'll have to watch the movie Man On Wire again after reading this engrossing and at times heartwrenching book about the intertwining lives of several residents of NYC in the 1970s.

kellnerm Dec 18, 2013

NYT re; Colum Mcann author

Aug 06, 2013

This is a beautifully written book. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was the occasional careless use of anachronistic slang.

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Jun 15, 2011

The person we know at first, she thinks, is not the one we know at last.

Jun 15, 2011

I gave them all the truth and none of the honesty.

Jun 15, 2011

A row of smokers stood out in front of Metropolitan Hospital on Ninety-eighth and First Avenue. Each looked like his last cigarette, ashen and ready to fall. Through the swinging doors, the receiving room was full to capacity. Another cloud of smoke inside. Patches of blood on the floor. Junkies strung out along the benches. It was the type of hospital that looked like it needed a hospital.


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May 29, 2014

beatrice81 thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and over

Bettylg Feb 04, 2011


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