A review of Some Great Thing
January 25, 2010 Leave a comment
My second book in my “26 in 52 challenge” (#26in52 on Twitter) is “Some Great Thing” by Lawrence Hill. When I saw this book at Chapters I thought, “New Lawrence Hill book!? Must buy!” I didn’t find out until I was nearly finished, that this was actually his first book to be published, way back in 1992; they just republished it in 2009.
Thinking it was his latest and greatest novel, I was happy when I saw some a couple characters, Helene Savoie a journalist at the Winnipeg Herald and Yoyo, a journalist from Cameroon, had made appearances. If you’re familiar with Hill’s other books, appeared in Any Known Blood, Yoyo as a supporting character, and Helene Savoie as his former love who he met in Winnipeg once upon a time.
The main story followed Mahatma Grafton, who has Degrees, but no passion or drive to do anything. He decides to try things out as a journalist at the Winnipeg Herald, and moves in with his father, Ben, as he sorts things out during his four month work probation.
Throughout the novel, Mahatma has issues with the stories he’s writing, and the “editorializing” that’s done to them after he’s submitted. The more this happens it seems, the more we see him going from apathy for the job to being really passionate about what he puts his name to. This causes him to go from fighting to get his name in the paper to paying attention to the quality of his work. We see Mahatma grow as a person with the help of his coworkers, Yoyo as well as the subjects of articles.
Overall, not the best story I’ve read, but even though it was Hill’s first book, it was still written as amazingly as his other great works like The Book of Negroes and Any Known Blood. If you enjoy his writing style you’ll easily forgive the story. I give it a 3.5/5
Have you read Some Great Thing? Care to share your thoughts? And if you have any book recommendations please send them my way too!