McCann, Colum. Let the Great World Spin. Random House, 2009. ISBN 978-1400063734 368 pp. $25
Let the Great World Spin is the convergence of multiple stories pivoting around the day that Philippe Petit’s performed his tightrope walk between New York’s Twin Towers in 1974. The tightrope scene at the beginning, which is lovely, lyrical, and draws the reader in very quickly, is overshadowed by the minutiae of the lives of a variety of characters, including a religious Irishman who lives in a slum and offers he streetwalkers use of his restroom to freshen up between customers.
I skimmed ahead after page 69, got enough of the “everything’s connected” sense, and found a really long, interesting, stream of consciousness section in the 200s written in the point of view of the classic whore with a heart of gold, all about what it’s like to “stroll.”