Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann: Book Cover

Links for the East Side Readers' discussion.


P. Morgan said...

Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend tonight’s meeting. For the record, I couldn’t stand Let the Great World Spin. I couldn’t get into it and gave up when the women were having tea at the Park Ave. apartment. I was really hoping to attend tonight to hear what others thought of the book.

RkC said...

Good turnouts, interesting comments, new people, new ideas. BTW, please come even if you don't like the book or don't finish -- it still makes for great conversation

Email research is now at the website, plus a link to "Locksley Hall" by Tennyson, which supplied the novel's title.

In no particular order:

* Most everyone liked it.
* Everyone -- even total strangers who crashed the party -- thought the writing was terrific, lyrical, poetic, alliterative.
* Some found it hard to transition from story to story, until the connections were more fleshed out.
* Phone phreaks were related to Joshua (Claire's son), but seemed far-fetched & unrealistic in their technological foreshadowing.
* Ditto the kid riding the subway, but he also represented dark side, underground, opposite of man on wire. Also note false copyright notice on photo p. 237 with the subway character's name; real photog is named in Acknowledgements.
* Corrigan & Jasslyn symbolized the fallen twin towers; however, we did not think that they died for their sins.
* The 2 young girls represented the healing and return to "normalcy", made possible by the emotional & physical connections of the white Claire and the black Gloria, & a trick of fate & timing.
* The judge had a couple of moments of grace.
* There are really coyotes in NYC. See, for example, Coyotes Have Invaded Chelsea. They might also be a symbol.
* A real NY novel, but a little too much hooking & shooting. Realistic, for the most part, about 1974, although Nixon resigned the day after Petit's walk, which meant that week had been especially permeated with Watergate, which was missing from the novel. However: Colum McCann was born in Dublin in 1965 and began his career as a journalist in The Irish Press. In the early 1980's he took a bicycle across North America, then worked as a wilderness guide in a program for juvenile delinquents in Texas. After 1.5 years in Japan, he and his wife Allison moved to NYC. So he was 9 yrs old & in Dublin at the time.
* His website says: McCann’s powerful allegory of 9/11 comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the tightrope walker’s “artistic crime of the century.” So an allegory of 9/11; perhaps that's why I was also reading The Second Plane. September 11: Terror and Boredom by Martin Amis.

Anything else? Feel free to comment at the website.

Monica K said...

I humbly acknowledge that I'm behind on Let the Great World Spin. So, I draw your attention to pages 128 and following for about 3 or four pages....Nixon. This may not satisfy your political nerve, but it is there.