Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let the Great World Spin

I tend to inwardly roll my eyes when I see a blurb that describes a book as "leaving you breathless", but I've finally found an instance where the blurb was true. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann tells the interweaving stories of several characters set against the backdrop of 1970's New York on the day that Phillipe Petit walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers. The descriptions of the crowds on the street watching the tightrope walker create such a buildup of tension that you really do feel a little breathless after reading them.

At the risk of gushing, I loved everything about this book.- the writing itself, the way the author connects the lives of characters that are worlds apart, the way its pre-9/11 setting takes on a post-9/11 meaning. I'm still thinking about it after finishing it. So many characters come in and out of the story, and some of the most fleeting moments between minor characters are the ones that have stuck with me the most.

I liked this book so much that I watched the documentary Man on Wire about Phillipe Petit's tightrope walk. It's a really interesting movie, and it's amazing how crazy his entire stunt was- beyond the actual craziness of tightrope walking in general. They actually strung the wire by using a bow and arrow to shoot fishing line between the two buildings in the middle of the night, then ran the steel cable across little by little. Crazy!

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea there was a book about this.... i saw the movie on netflix this past fall and was mesmerized by it! i guess it's the adrenaline junkie in me.... i'll have to add this book to my list!



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