Miranda's Reviews > Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
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's review
Jul 22, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: one-of-my-favorites, wishlist
Read from June 23 to July 15, 2010

It was hard to trace this book back to what others were calling a "9-11 book". All I could think about was people while reading it, not events. And although it is an actual event that intertwines the multiple stories, it was just people I saw.
There was no character with an uplifting story. But really there is no scene in real life with the boy rushing through the airport to tell his girl not to go. This is especially noted with the relationship of Claire and Gloria as well as Corrigan and the nurse he loves. There lies a sort of hopelessness between people or within the relationship. As if things could never meet in the middle.
And that could be where the Twin Towers come in. Two parallel structures standing to represent something, not quite reaching the heavens but close enough. A space between them occupied by a tightrope walker. A thin steel cord and a nimble acrobat bringing these massive structures together. Bringing people together.
McCann impressed me most with his take on New York City in the 70s. There are a lot of cliche things that can (and have been) written about it. Poverty, chaos, fast, lonely, crowded. But McCann made the city seem new. As if we've never heard of the Big Apple before.
I could have done without the judge's and Adelita's view on things but we had to pump the breaks somewhere. It didn't take away from how generous I found this book to be.
It wasn't an event that drove the story. Not the tightrope walker nor the eventual collapse of the WTC towers. It was people. Whether or not it relates to 9-11, it starts to not even matter anymore.

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Quotes Miranda Liked

Colum McCann
“Some people think love is the end of the road, and if you're lucky enough to find it, you stay there. Other people say it just becomes a cliff you drive off, but most people who've been around awhile know it's just a thing that changes day by day, and depending on how much you fight for it, you get it, or you hold on to it, or you lose it, but sometimes it's never even there in the first place.”
Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

Reading Progress

06/25/2010 page 83
24.0% "There are a lot of cliche things that can be (and have been) written about NY. But McCann makes the city seem new."
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