Let the Great World Spin: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2009 - Fiction - 375 pages
171 Reviews
In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

Let the Great World Spin
is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.
Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
81
4 stars
56
3 stars
25
2 stars
5
1 star
4

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ma_Washigeri - LibraryThing

And another half star. I saw the 'Man on Wire' documentary before the 2001 Twin Towers attack and was already entranced. I guess from the acknowledgements that the author put a great deal of work into ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - christinejoseph - LibraryThing

NYC — 1974 tightrope walker bet. W Trade Blg's Many stories intertwined Irish brother priest (unconventional) Brooklyn w/ Hooters — Read full review

Contents

THOSE WHO SAW HIM HUSHED
3
All Respects to Heaven I Like It Here 11
9
A Fear of Love
115
O O K
167
OOK THREE
246
OOK FOUR
325
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Colum McCann is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and Songdogs, as well as two critically acclaimed story collections. His fiction has been published in thirty languages. He has been a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was the inaugural winner of the Ireland Fund of Monaco Literary Award in Memory of Princess Grace. He has been named one of Esquire’s “Best and Brightest,” and his short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review, he teaches in the Hunter College MFA Creative Writing Program. He lives in New York City with his wife and their three children.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information