It bothered me that I took so long to finish reading Colum McCann’s “Let the Great World Spin” – but in the end it was simply of question of ‘it’s me, not you’… I needn’t have worried that it was a reflection on the quality of the book, because it isn’t: “Let the Great World Spin” is a successful knitting together of various characters’ threads and lives, linked through their relationship to a single event – Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between New York’s twin towers – and then, as it transpires, to each other.
In addition to the interweaving, one of the other things McCann does successfully is to create distinct voices for each of the characters, probably most notably that of the hooker, Tillie.
“Let the Great World Spin” is an intelligent and well-written and, at times, paints a start picture of elements of 70s’ New York life. If the pace stalls a little at times, that’s okay. Well worth a read.