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Sunday, January 25, 2015


In 1974, Philippe Petit and coconspirators managed to stretch a high wire between the two World Trade Center Towers in New York City, during the night.  On the next morning, August 7, Petit proceeded to walk that high wire from one tower to the other.  Colum McCann took this historical event and wrote an absolutely intriguing novel, Let the Great World Spin, around it (2009).  

CM weaves a marvelously written tale about the interwovenness of the lives of Petit and numerous New Yorkers who just happened to be among the thousands of observers of that historical anomaly.  In the tradition of great story tellers, CM gives us a glimpse of how the lives of humans in chronological proximity share connections unbeknownst to them (six degrees of separation? or possibly, just two degrees?). 

CM is not only a masterful story teller, he adds the element of some interesting and unconventional writing structure with a superb word-smithing ability.  

Those of you who love literature will want to stick your nose in this one, I think.  Certainly glad I read it, and thankful that TR recommended it to me. 

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