Let the Great World Spin

  • by Colum McCann
  • Narrated by Richard Poe, Gerard Doyle, Carol Monda, Johanna Parker, Ramon De Ocampo
  • 15 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter-mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in best-selling novelist Colum McCann's stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.
Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author's most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wish I'd chosen the book, rather than audio.

Parts of this book I loved, and parts I just wanted to get through... but I suspect my troubles with it were due to the uneven (and sluggish) performances in the audiobook. I generally prefer narration that disappears, when a single reader just reads the book in a lively voice (and PLEASE--don't "do" voices). When that's the case, the narrator essentially becomes my own voice internal reading the book, rather than a "performance" by a "cast." This story switches the POV frequently, and each time a new actor comes on to read--and I just found it distracting and annoying. Also, the narration was mind-numbingly slow. It's beautiful prose, but it's supposed to be set in New York, and no New Yorker speaks that slowly. (I had to listen to much of it on 1.5x just to make it sound normal).

It's a lovely story, though, with a diverse array of characters--some I would have like to have heard less from, some I wanted to know more about. It's beautifully written and captures a New York that I remember seeing, mostly out of my peripheral vision, when I was growing up along the city's edge.

I'd recommend the book, but not the audiobook. I found myself regretting choosing Audible for this one; I think this is just one that was meant to be read.

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- narrowback slacker

Great story, less great narration

I did manage to finish this great story in spite of one of the male narrators I could barely stand. He did the voices of the guys from Palo Alto, among others. Everyone else was great, and it was fun finding out how many of the characters finally related in some way to another character.
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- christy dana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-16-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio