Discussion Questions for Let the Great World Spin




Colum McCann's

Let the Great World Spin

is a profound, thought-provoking read, and now that we've read the stories, its time to answer the questions:

1. If you had to give the book a letter grade, what would you give, and why?

2. Why did


set the stories in the 1970's?

3. In what way were the main characters from each story similar? How are their stories tied together?

4. The

New York Times

says this book captures the "soul" of New York. Do you agree?

5. Why does McCann open the book with a description of Philippe Petit's tightrope walk? How does this set the scene for the stories to come?

6. How would these stories have been different if the book took place in Boston rather than New York?

7. Why does the book jump forward in time at the end? What is the purpose of this?

8. Would you agree that

Let the Great World Spin

is an American masterpiece? 

BONUS: Who would you cast as the main characters in a movie version of the book?

- Cameron