Let the Great World Spin – It’s What We’re Reading


January 2016

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin
McCann, Colum

Let the Great World Spin is a richly textured novel that takes place in NYC on the day in 1974 that Philippe Petit crossed the twin towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope.

Throughout the book, we meet many individuals, rich and poor, upstanding and outcast alike, whose lives are all connected in someway. Of these, is Corrigan, an Irish monk of sorts living in the Bronx. Early on, Corrigan says he is looking to be in the peaceful center while the great world spins. This imagery is used again, with Petit almost the physical manifestation of the stillness at the center of the bustling city. While he has trained in all kinds of conditions, it is this ability to be at the quiet center that without which, he would not have been successful.

Alternative Country, Folk Rock singer Brandi Carlile employs a similar metaphor in “The Eye” as she sings, “You can dance in a hurricane but only if you’re standing in the eye.” I think McCann would agree.

Not without heartbreak, this book is peppered with tales of unlikely friendships and impish humor. Both restoring your faith in humanity while suffering with its depressing truths, Let the Great World Spin, is a captivating read.

Let the Great World Spin is part of the Library collection and is available in the Popular Reading Section in the Post Learning Commons: PR6063.M24 L47 2009