Wednesday, July 7, 2010


 Let the Great World SpinLet the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have a feeling I was supposed to like this book more than I did, but why? Why did I hear that it was so wonderful? A lot of it seemed forced, contrived--it just didn't sing to me. Is it because New Yorkers have to love a novel that is about (however obliquely) September 11th? I thought I was going to love it, but it didn't take long for me to realize I didn't. I kept trying, though. Of course I love the story of Philippe Petit, but this book added little to my appreciation of that story. Several of the characters were drawn too strongly against type, as if to prove some point--an ascetic Irishman, a fat African-American woman who lives in the projects, but is college-educated, does not go to church, and loves opera. I appreciate the effort that went into the writing, and there are some nice moments, but it never came together for me.

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  1. There is nothing worse than trying to force your way through a book. I feel a failure, somehow when I don't complete one and leave it unread. I have such a book sitting on my bedside table gathering dust. It is a good story, and a true one, I'd really like to finish it. However, I am not motivated in the least to pick it up and continue on. And so, there it sits, taunting me and I wonder, why don't I just put it somewhere out of site? A question for the ages.

  2. I know, I feel the same way, but I try to see it as the book's failure, not mine! It's probably a perfectly OK book, but if it's not for you I would say forget it and move on to something you really want to read. I managed to muddle through Let the Great World Spin because it wasn't all that bad, but I don't like to waste my limited reading time.



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New York, NY, United States
Overeducated mom, addled by constant interruptions due to demands of family and dog, trying to read books and write coherent sentences about them. Luckily, yoga keeps me centered. Sharing my love of yoga through teaching helps make sense of it all. I have a yoga blog at Since 2015, it has been my pleasure to serve as a reader for Epiphany, a literary journal publishing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art; on Twitter as @epiphanymag.


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