Sunday, March 06, 2011

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

In 1974, New York City stops for a few minutes to watch a man cross between the World Trade Centre buildings on a tightrope. This novel picks up the threads of different characters that saw the man walk his tightrope and interweaves them all together in ways you wouldn't expect.

We meet Corrigan, an immigrant from Ireland who studies his religion closely, but is struggling between his religion and the woman he loves. Corrigan helps prostitutes that work near his home in the projects, including mother and daughter team Tillie and Jazzlyn. McCann also introduces us to the artist Lara and the grieving mother Claire who lost her son in the war. These characters all heard of or saw the man walking across the tightrope and after this, their lives start to weave together.

I hadn't read what this book was about before I started it because I was reading it for a book club. Because of this, it took me a while to figure out what the point of the novel was. Was it about the tightrope walker or about the characters McCann was narrating. Once I figured it out and settled in, I found parts of this book really interesting. I enjoyed reading about Corrigan and Tillie's stories. When it got to Claire and her husband though, I found them monotonous and had trouble getting through those parts. Due to this, I don't think I would recommend this book to others.

First Line: "Those who saw him hushed."


No comments: