I am finishing up at one job and about to start another, so my life has been a little hectic lately as I try to wind down, clean out, and get organized. I apologize for not posting as frequently this week. And I am sad to report that I haven't been able to get much reading done either.
At its core, Let the Great World Spin is a novel about a particular city—New York City—at a particular point in time—the summer of 1974. McCann illuminates his subject through a series of stories that overlap in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways. Tying the whole thing together is Philippe Petit's daring tightrope walk between the newly constructed towers of the World Trade Center, representing the idea that the “core reason for it all [is] beauty.”
I have gotten really interested in the Philippe Petit tightrope walk lately – spurred by this documentary (which I haven't seen yet) and this children's book – and I love the idea that this book is loosely organized around that daring and mind-boggling act.
McCann is a magician with language and I enjoyed the novel just for that, but it felt too jumbled up. I don’t know, maybe this chaos was completely intentional and I missed something. I found some characters more true than others, some parts fit, others felt like bits of a jigsaw puzzle crammed where they didn’t belong. It made me sad. I wanted to love all of it and I just didn’t.
Anyone read this yet? Worth it?