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Online Book Club Discussions > Let The Great World Spin

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 371 comments Mod
Here's December's pick. I haven't read this one yet, but it won the Nation Book Award and got tons of great reviews. If you've read it, please get the discussion going!

message 2: by Lahni (new)

Lahni Just started this one. Not very far into it but loving it so far.

message 3: by Lahni (new)

Lahni Overall I liked the book. I didn't really know what to expect when I picked it up so having all the characters narrate their stories took some adjustment. I didn't care for a couple of the stories but I liked the way things came together in the end. I'm glad I read the book.

message 4: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 11 comments I was hooked immediately as the first few pages describing the tightrope walker's walk between the twin towers was so well written. In addition I had just seen the documentary movie"Man on Wire" which is about the walk. I was equally impressed with the rest of the book which elicits a whole range of emotions while describing some gritty scenes in the mix with other stories. I thought it was the best book I read last year. It stays with me to this day which in my mind means the book is very well written.

message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 371 comments Mod
I just barely finished this book, and it took me forever. While I have to agree with Suzanne that it is amazingly well-written, I didn't love it. I felt it was too dark, and never was able to lose myself to the characters or the story. Like Lahni, I enjoyed seeing the way the character's lives all touched each other's, but I just really didn't care for a lot of the characters. Also, I just couldn't stop thinking about The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.

Which makes me wonder- how important is it to have likable characters? Some of my most favorite books (like, for instance, Lolita) star extremely repugnant characters, so I can't say I don't enjoy that type of story. So what's different there? Maybe there needs to be a level of fascination with the unlikable character that I just didn't feel this time. Any comments?

message 6: by Lahni (new)

Lahni For me its not so much if a character is likable but I have to be interetested in them and care about their story. In that way even an unlikable character becomes "likable". When I read Frankenstein I cared more for the monster than the man.

In LTGWS there was an entire section or two that I cared nothing about and could have been left out all together. Like the guys in California calling on the pay phone.

message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 371 comments Mod
Lahni wrote: "For me its not so much if a character is likable but I have to be interetested in them and care about their story. In that way even an unlikable character becomes "likable". When I read Frankenst..."

That didn't bother me so much, because I liked the idea that people's lives can touch each other, even if it's totally random and from really far away. Also, I liked the parts where the phone was ringing in the background of other sections of the story, to tie it together.
What I didn't care for was the whole Lara storyline. It felt a little tacked on to me, even though it was pretty central to the book. I guess it didn't feel organic.

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