Sandi's Reviews > Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
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's review
Apr 06, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads, literature, 2009
Read in June, 2009

Do publisher promote books for the Pulitzer Prize? When I received the advance review copy, that's the first thought I had. It didn't have the final cover art on it, just a plain cover with a bunch of glowing, hyperbolic review excerpts. It's obviously being promoted as a masterpiece. I generally avoid books that receive a lot of hyperbole. Usually, it's just BS. However, "Let the Great World Spin" truly deserves the accolades and I really believe it deserves the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2010.

It's kind of difficult to describe this book. According to the blurb, it's about the guy who walked between the Twin Towers on a high wire back in the Seventies and how that walk connected people from different walks of life. It's not about that. Yes, the man on the wire is part of the story, but his walk isn't really a catalyst for anything. Instead, this book is about people and how they come together across lines that otherwise divide them. It's a microcosm of New York City in the Seventies. It's a series of short stories told from different viewpoints that are all interconnected the way people are interconnected.

Probably the most amazing thing about "Let the Great World Spin" is how real the characters are. In each section, a different character tells his or her story and each one sounds completely unique and authentic. Whether whether the narrator is an Irish immigrant, a coked-up artist, or an aging whore, you truly believe each one is real.

This is an incredibly fascinating book and one that any literature fan should read.
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05/16/2009 page 11
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sandi Looks like I'm getting it way before the release date.

Sandi I got my ARC today. I'm wondering how it can be called a "masterpiece" when it hasn't even been released yet.

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