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Let the Great World Spin

McCann, Colum

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In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

Let the Great World Spin
is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.
Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.

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Review:

`This is a gorgeous book, multilayered and deeply felt, and it's a damned lot of fun to read, too. Leave it to an Irishman to write one of the greatest-ever novels about New York. There's so much passion and humour and pure lifeforce on every page of Let the Great World Spin that you'll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed' -- Dave Eggers

"I worry about Colum McCann. What is he going to do after this blockbuster groundbreaking heartbreaking symphony of a novel?"
-- Frank McCourt

'Every character...grabs you by the throat and makes you care. McCann's dazzling polyphony walks the high wire and succeeds triumphantly'
-- Emma Donoghue

`Colum's book is astounding. What a wager! And he wins! He shows us that everyone is a funambulist!' -- John Berger

`In his own gritty and lyrical voice, Colum McCann has lifted up a handful of souls to the light in this bighearted, adroit, and probing novel, and brought forth a spectrum of the painful, the beautiful, and the unexpected' -- Amy Bloom

Review:

`In his own gritty and lyrical voice, Colum McCann has lifted up a handful of souls to the light in this bighearted, adroit, and probing novel, and brought forth a spectrum of the painful, the beautiful, and the unexpected'

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