Let the Great World Spin
Colum McCann writes poetically, and the structure of this novel that stretches between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre is clever and fitting. But sometimes a novel that everybody else extolls just doesn’t vibrate on your personal frequency, and so it was for me with Let The Great World Spin. There are moments of beautiful language, arcs of feeling pinned onto the pages in careful prose. But something about these characters remained distant, almost unreal to me, and there is a self-consciousness to the prose style that takes from its emotional resonance. There is music here, and beauty, and an intelligent craftsman at work, but Let The Great World Spin finally fails to complete the human connection. It’s a novel that never reaches the heights that make for its central metaphor, and to which it so clealry aspires. But that’s just what I thought: the New York Times was enamoured and the National Book Award judges clearly impressed. Anyone else remain unconvinced?