Exceptional writing and narration. Will Patton is phenomenal, it sounds as if the writer wrote this for Patton to read. This is an epic work of the human spirit. The vietnam war is only a background, in this one. The story is not confined by mere historical facts. I think some of the reviewers must have come into this wanting a Vietnam War story. The battles this work explores rage in the hearts of its characters and if you are listening/hearing probably your own.
This IS non-linear/stream of consciousness writing but I was able to keep up with the intended story. I laughed and cried, but don't think this is a sentimental comedy. Very few books have affected me this deeply. I predict this will be in our educational canon. After listening to the audiobook, I purchased the book ... at times I just open it randomly and fall in.
In response to the negative reviews, who claim that the book is without or thin on plot. The plot is not the center-point or focus of the novel, I assure you though it has plot(s). McCann does not spoon feed you though.
The beauty of of this book, however, is discovered in the novels characters. McCann has fleshed out characters so masterfully that it is difficult to believe they are fictional. You get to step into their minds and lives as if you are their closest friends. He lays out their actions and thoughts without condemning or defending them. The novel isn't sentimental, pretentious or judgmental. You will walk on the wire beside each character, watching as their decisive steps carry them back to the safety of the ledge or... you get the point.
I must say, also, the readers are exceptional.
As I listened and/or read, I did not have a sense that I had merely heard a good story, rather that McCann increased the size of my soul. Put another way, Let The Great World Spin, made me feel more deeply human.
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