Melody's Reviews > Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
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Sep 26, 09

Read in September, 2009

If you've seen the documentary Man on Wire, you've heard about Philippe Petit's high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974. This book fictionalizes that event, and uses it as the focal point of several other interlinked stories occurring at roughly the same time and place. The book was lyrical and well written, but I had a hard time putting it together into a coherent whole.

Part of the reason may be that I read it in small bites before going to sleep at night. But for whatever the reason, I found it difficult to keep the numerous characters straight, especially since there wasn't really one main character. And now that I think about it, that's what was missing (for me): a hero or heroin who is the star of the show. This book seemed like it only contained a supporting cast, each with a subplot that somehow touched on the highwire act, which was itself just another subplot. At the end, I couldn't really say what the book was about.
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