annapear, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by annapear)
This is probably in the top five best books I've ever read. With eleven main characters, the stories twist themselves together in unexpected and refreshing ways, giving a new perspective on New York in the 70s and humanity as a whole. Each new voice that speaks brings more substance to this novel, and the varying viewpoints force the reader to reexamine what they had first thought.
ace88, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by ace88)
McCann's character and story development are superb. While one might not care for some protagonists' lifestyles, you end up caring for the people themselves because you better understand them and the choices they made trying to find balance in their lives. On many levels, and the more you think about this book, it is most interesting and satisfying.
Taylor Ball, January 13, 2013 (view all comments by Taylor Ball)
It wasn't until two or three days after I finished this book that I realized how much I had enjoyed it. I missed reading about the characters; I missed the details of their lives; I missed getting entangled in their emotions. Even now, months after finishing the last page, I find myself daydreaming about this book, wondering what the characters might be up to now, forgetting that it was fiction.
I think the book stays with you like this because of its powerful writing. Simple as that. McCann has some truly beautiful sentences here. His words tap into a subconscious part of you and stay there.
jcrids, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by jcrids)
A wild ride through the hearts and streets of brooklyn, ny a rare combination of insight, grit, and whirling, beautiful language. everyone i know will be getting a copy this year!
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ERBrown , January 1, 2013 (view all comments by ERBrown )
Best book I've read this year, and I read a lot. The language is a joy to read, and the characters tear at your heart. Not so much a novel as a series of connected stories, and McCann is one of today's finest short story writers.
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Random House Trade -
McCann chooses to describe one day in the life of New York City, the day in 1974 that the aerialist walked between the not-quite-finished Twin Towers. The chasm between rich and poor, the joy of connection, and the inevitability of our mortality are told through the lives of six different New Yorkers, including that incredible man dancing on that thin wire who epitomizes joy and triumph, if only for a short and precarious time. If you love New York, you’ve got to read this book. If you love the human journey towards the possible, you’ve got to read this book.
by Booklist (starred review),
"[S]himmering, shattering....In McCann's wise and elegiac novel of origins and consequences, each of his finely drawn, unexpectedly connected characters balances above an abyss, evincing great courage with every step."
by Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times Book Review,
"One of the most electric, profound novels I have read in years.... It is a mark of the novel's soaring and largely fulfilled ambition that McCann just keeps rolling out new people, deftly linking each to the next, as his story moves toward its surprising and deeply affecting conclusion."
by The Boston Globe,
"McCann gives a superb account of the walker's long practicing....And if some of his other attempts to elevate work into myth are strained, he succeeds with his image of a flight that lifts the heaviness of a whole city."
by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
"McCann has written more than a supremely woven tapestry of imagined lives; through their struggles, he clears a path for healing and redemption from the cataclysm of a later time."
by Dave Eggers, editor of McSweeney's and author of What Is the What,
"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 humor and pure lifeforce on every page of Let the Great World Spin that you'll find yourself giddy, dizzy, overwhelmed."
McCann's most ambitious work to date offers a dazzling and hauntingly rich vision of the loveliness, pain, and mystery of life in New York City in the 1970s.
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