Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann...a review

Someone once said, "They say Los Angeles is the city of angels...I didn't find it to be that exactly." That is pretty much how I feel about Let the Great World Spin. The New York Times book review claimed it to be, "an emotional tour de force...one of the  most electric,  profound novels [...] read in years."

I didn't find it to be that exactly.

Colum McCann unites the lives of a handful of individuals into a patchwork representing New York City life in the early seventies; a mother missing her son lost in the Vietnam war, a mother/daughter prostituting duo, a young bohemian couple, a judge, and an extremely zealous Catholic. A pivotal component to his tale is the true story of a tightrope walker who plans to face his biggest challenge--traversing between the towers of the World Trade Center some one hundred and ten stories off the ground. It is this feat that links together some of the plot and characters. The other story lines are linked in a domino effect of sorts as the moments leading up to, and those following one specific clash of characters ultimately determines their fate. 

I actually read this book a few months back but had a real difficult time making myself sit down to write about it, which I believe is indicative of how I felt while reading it. This book is by no means horrible. In fact, I really liked some of the characters, especially those relevant to the story of Corrigan, as well as the pieces from the tightrope walker's point of view. But for me...the book was neither electric, nor profound. Unbroken, The Help, Cutting for Stone...these are books I would define as such.

[Thanks for the start Tyler!]


  1. Wooooooooooooooo! A Big Lebowski reference! Awesome!


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