Danielle's Reviews > Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
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's review
Jul 30, 2010

really liked it
Read in July, 2010

I actually got a free pdf copy of this book ages ago, but never read it because I never felt like sitting down and reading it on my computer screen. However, having bought a Nook a few months ago I downloaded the book to that and was finally able to read it.

The book takes place mostly in 1974 surrounding the tight rope walk by Philippe Petit on a high wire strung between the Twin Towers. As an aside if you haven't seen the movie Man On Wire, which chronicles this feat you really should.

There are several threads going throughout the book and you don't really find out how all the characters connect until the end. The story begins with two brothers who emigrated to New York from Ireland. The one brother, Corrigan has been over several years and is a priest of sorts. He lives in tenement housing and spends his life trying to help out and fight on behalf of prostitutes in the area. Some of the prostitutes have their story told, as well as a couple who are involved in an accident with the priest and some of these prostitutes. There is also a judge and his wife who lost their son in the Vietnam war who figure into the novel as well as the support group of other women who lost their sons that the judge's wife meets with. Petit's walk becomes the background for the story and in some ways touches off the events that lead them to all be connected in the end.

I really enjoyed the book at the beginning, but found myself langering somewhat in the middle because I couldn't figure out where it was going or how all the characters that were being thrown at me were related. I was satisfied at the end though, and felt like McCann brought it together well in the end.

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