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A novel following an assortment of characters through their lives in New York over a period in August 1974, when they are linked by a fatal car accident and the experience of watching a man walk a tightrope strung between the towers of the World Trade Center. A New Yorker friend spotted this in my bag while we were in the pub, and expressed scepticism that any writer could properly capture his native city; I can't judge that, but I did find it a satisfying and dramatic read, McCann capturing various voices to make an interesting story which is also fairly obviously an allegory for the impact of 9/11.

It was interesting to read this at the same time as both Lavie Tidhar's alternative take on 9/11 and Van Wyck Brooks' examination of New York culture in the early nineteenth century.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
pgmcc
Feb. 11th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
Let the Great World Spin didn't work for me. I agree it was well written and felt it described life in New York very well. However, the litany of misery seemed pointless to me, his pieces about family back in Ireland felt false, almost too stereotypical, and when I realised he had changed the facts regarding the tightrope walk to increase the excitement I felt cheated.

I've just started Neal Stephenson's "Reamde". I'm only forty pages in, but I think it's got me on the hook.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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