Tag: Colum McCann

Apeirogon by Colum McCann

August 26th, 2020 — 9:43pm

Apeirogon By Colum McCann

The title of this book means “a shape with a countable infinite number of sides.”

The book is divided into a thousand different sections and they are not exactly in order. This personally made it somewhat difficult for me since every time I picked up the book, I was not quite sure where I left off (it did not help that my iPad did not always open exactly where I shut it down).

The essence of this book is that we are learning about the story of two men, an Israeli and a Palestinian, each of whom has lost his daughter as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Elhanan’s 13-year-old daughter Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber. Aramin’s 10-year-old daughter died by a rubber bullet shot by an Israeli soldier. The two bereaved fathers meet through an organization called The Parents Circle – Families Forum. They connect and have made it their life’s work to travel around the world sharing their experiences of losing their children and the pain and healing with which they are struggling.

The book is filled with flashbacks, which include everything from analysis of the migration of birds to the Crucifixion of Christ with homage to Albert Einstein and the Stern Gang included. The net result is an emotional experience which will intensify any hope, desire, and prayer that there could be peace in the Middle East (2020).

Comment » | FH - Fiction Historical, HI - History

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

May 4th, 2010 — 2:46am

Buy now on Amazon: Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World SpinThere are novels, which have a great plot, or story, which grabs the reader and takes them to a new place with new ideas. Then there are books which present fictional segments of life which may or may not flow together but give the reader a worthwhile journey . This work falls in the latter category and I haven’t yet made up my mind how glad I am that I took.this trip.  Mr. Mc Cann certainly provided a very insightful look at the meaning of the famous high wire walk between two world trade center towers which took place more than 30 years ago. The hundreds or perhaps thousands of New Yorkers who looked up in the sky that morning were united for a period of time just as New Yorkers would be united on 9/11 many years later. This time however people seemed to share a single focus on this distant figure on a wire  in their ultimate appreciation of one person’s determination to achieve something  which very few people on earth would even dream could be done. In contrast to this amazing feat we are exposed to the lives a series of people who had very little control over the defining moments of their lives. We meet a group of disparate women who are drawn together because their sons were killed in combat. A young man who was a kind of a Priest but really just wanted to help people but never got a chance to realize love once he found it. We follow the sad lives of New York City street hookers whose lives lead nowhere . Even the daughter of one who finds a way out of poverty which would have led her to the streets,  escapes it only  by a quirk of fate. If we needed to be reminded, we see how New York City is a melting pot of an untold number of untold stories. I recall riding the subway many years ago  in this enormous city and wondering how many of these anonymous people might somehow be connected by some degrees of separation. There is no special meaning to the causal connection which some of the characters in the book have to each other . There is no real reason why most of the people should be in the same book. The world spins and the author clipped a few people who were living in New York and told us about part of their lives. He did a good job but it might have been a great book  if there had been a well thought out story ( but that would have been a different book).

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