cheryl's Reviews > Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
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's review
Nov 25, 11

The tie that binds the characters in Let the Great World Spin is a daring (and illegal) stunt in which a man walked on a tightrope strung between the Twin Towers in 1974. The book has a wide-range of characters including two Irish brothers living in a rough Bronx neighborhood, a wealthy woman who lost her son in Vietnam, and a prostitute who is a grandmother to two despite only being in her 30s. The chapters focus on different characters but they do connect up to each other so it feels more liked linked vignettes than short stories.

I'm landing back on my 3.5 star rating here, rounding up to 4. I enjoyed the book. I think it is natural in this type of novel to find some characters more compelling than others and I did sometimes regret not spending more time with some of them. This isn't a happy read, although there are some inspiring moments. I'd call it gritty realism with a hint of hope. At times, I felt like it dragged but there were parts where I definitely looked forward to the next time I could pick it up. Mixed feelings but still worth the read and I rounded up because I do think the author shows skill and took on an ambitious project that is not just the standard fare.


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