Let the Great World Spin; Colum McCann
I was a little hesitant to read this book, but peer pressure won over, and I am so happy I caved. This is one "audio book" that is just terrific. It is read by a full cast : Richard Poe, Gerard Doyle, Carol Monda, Johanna Parker, Ramon de OCampo, Chris Sorenson and Patricia Floyd. The story begins on a summer morning in 1974, in New York City as a man balances on high above on a tight rope between the Twin Towers in NYC. As people below stare up in disbelief, the lives of other every day people continue on as usual.
The novel is almost like a series of short stories, but before long their stories begin to connect: a Jesuit priest, a judge, a prostitute, a wealthy, but grieving Park Avenue woman are a few of the characters that appealed to me. My favorite story/character was Tillie, a prostitute, down on her luck, and now in jail reflecting on her life and that of her grandchildren. (You MUST listen to the audio version to fully appreciate all that Tillie has experienced).
Without going into the details about all of the stories, I'd just like to say that this was such a beautiful novel. It was about human beings -- their every day struggles, and the circumstances and vulnerabilities that make all of us who we are. Each unique character was captured perfectly, as the author skillfully weaves together the dysfunctional lives of some of the most memorable people I've met, through a book, in a long time. For me, truly a sign of an exceptional literary work. McCann shows NYC at its finest and at its worst: all classes, all races -- all truly memorable. Toward the end of the book, although 9/11 is not mentioned, the story jumps to 2005 with a story about the war in Iraq and references to airport security etc,. It was here that I was reminded of just how precious our days are, and just how connected each of us are no matter where we reside.
Read this Book, better yet listen to the audio version. I doubt that you will be disappointed.
RATING - 5/5 stars - Library audio book