Let The Great World Spin

Book: Let the Great World Spin

Author: Colum McCann

Short Summary:
On August 7, 1974 a tightrope walker walked a wire between the two towers of the newly built World Trade Center above the city of New York. Below, the residents of the city were looking up in awe while living their lives. As the book unfolds, the characters slowly begin to make unexpected connections to one another, spanning from 1974 all the way to a few years after the fall of the towers.  

My Thoughts:
I can’t stop thinking about this book and its characters. There was just so much in here to soak up. The characters were written with such vivid description and were so complex and interesting. The way they are all connected didn’t feel contrived or unrealistic to me. As vast as New York is, this book showed that it can be made intimate as well. Coincidences do happen.

The city of New York played a huge role in this book. It was almost a character in itself. McCann helped the reader feel the rush of the city, taking us from the fancy apartments of Park Avenue to the seedy and gritty slums and projects. The city was brought together by the rise of the man on the tightrope, just as it was brought together years later by the fall of the towers.

This book had so many levels to peel through and an abundance of themes. The use of the tightrope walker, to me, served as a metaphor for all the characters walking their own tightrope, just trying to keep their balance in life. It also showed the juxtaposition of the fall of the towers years later. Here something was being created, while later something was being destroyed, yet the world keeps spinning.

I would highly recommend this book. It makes an excellent book choice selection, full of great topics of discussion and conversation. This thought-provoking, well written book is one I think I could reread over and over and get something new out of it each time.

My Rating: 5/5 stars


11 Responses

  1. I’ve read such great reviews of this one, but I can’t quite seem to be interested. And I should be, because I love it when cities are characters. Maybe I just need more distance from Rutherfurd’s New York.

  2. How weird — Boyfriend and I just watched a documentary about the event this book starts with. I didn’t know it was the start of a book; I’m intrigued. It sounds really good!

  3. Looking forward to reading this one. At first I wasn’t sure if the subject matter would appeal to me but I keep hearing great things about it!

  4. I’m really looking forward to reading this one. I’m glad to hear you loved it!

  5. Wow! Sounds fantastic. I have a copy here so look forawrd to reading it soon.

  6. This book is definitely on my list and I look forward to reading it.

  7. Yours is the first review I read of this book. I am very interested in it after hearing so many reviews of it. Good review!

  8. I listen to audio books during my commute. I grab about half a dozen from the library at one time and usually one or two are good. Occasionally I hit the jackpot, this book was it. After 13 CDs I did not want it to end. The author does not end the story for you…life goes on, the world keeps spinning. I find myself thinking about the invisible connections, the events that happen daily that somehow affect my life. This story opened my mind to new ideas. Once I found out the tightrope walker story really happened (1974, New York), I loved the story even more.

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