Tag Archives: Let the Great World Spin

‘Let the Great World Spin’ by Colum McCann

There is one true story in this work of fiction. In August 1974, Philippe Petit walked between the Twin Towers on a high-wire. It was a daring performance that made headlines around the world.

McCann has intricately woven a beautiful story with many surprising connections, all united by this daring act that captivated so many. The characters tell their own stories: a young Irish monk who devotes his life to helping others, a group of mothers meeting to support each other and to mourn the loss of their sons in Vietnam, a hit and run accident, and two generations of prostitutes navigating life on the streets. McCann captures the heart of New York City from the Bronx to Park Avenue.

This is a profound novel, yet easy to read and compelling. McCann gives the high-wire performer this bit of wisdom as inspiration or warning – “nobody falls halfway”.