Reviews: LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award, was reviewed by a handful of Vietnam War Reading Challenge participants in recent weeks.  Here are excerpts from their reviews; click on the links to read their complete thoughts.

You’ve GOTTA read this! says, “McCann tells the stories of these people in such clear, vivid voices, you will feel like you have shed your own skin and inhabited their bodies. . . . You are the Park Avenue housewife who wants to break down all barriers of social status and find someone…anyone who can understand the pain of losing a son to a senseless war. McCann interweaves these lives, their humanity, and the irony of fate with such grace, that by the end of the novel, you want to weep with gratitude. Or recognize his rock-star status and throw your panties at him.”

Savvy Verse & Wit says, “The Vietnam War plays a significant role in the novel, touching lives in immediate ways and peripherally.   In many ways the tightrope walker symbolizes the perceived precariousness of the world at large in the 1970s, with the threat of communism and the deteriorating situation in Vietnam.”

She Is Too Fond of Books says, “McCann varies the perspectives, and even the points of view, which makes for an interesting read.  Some chapters are heavy with dialogue, quickening the pace and sharing the emotions of the speakers.  We learn the various background stories, as well as what the characters were doing on and around August 7, 1974.  The central story about the funambulist (there’s a great new-to-me word!) brings these disparate threads together.”

Diary of an Eccentric says, “McCann tackles some heavy topics, like the Vietnam War, addiction, and faith, through the eyes of people who are anything but ordinary.  It was like a disaster, with part of me wanting to shield my eyes from all the tragedy and part of me unwilling to stop staring. ”

**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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