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on September 11, 2015
Great read, have bought 2 more of his books, including the new one just out this week
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on March 12, 2014
Not finished yet--so far very good, I read his book of Negroes, one of the best I've ever read sure I will enjoy this one
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on November 19, 2010
Une histoire somme toute assez simple mais si bien racontée qu'elle en devient passionnante. Des personnages si bien décrits qu'ils prennent vie et on voudrait les connaître, quand on ne croit pas, tout bonnement, les connaître déja.L'écriture est aisée, claire, tout coule et s'enchaîne avec une facilité qui témoigne du labeur d'un grand écrivain. On voudrait lire tous ses livres tout de suite.
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on January 20, 2007
Colin McAdam's 'Some Great Thing' is a book that explores the lives of the creators of Ottawa; its two protagonists, Jerry McGuinty and Simon Struthers are responsible for the expansion of Ottawa, but much like their lives, this expansion spirals out of control before either of them realize it.

Its braided narrative is quite a nice touch and gives us insight into both the characters' personal lives, and their business endeavors. Jerry McGuinty is clearly the hero in McAdam's novel, but although Simon is unlikeable, his desperation, obsession and letdowns are remarkably redeeming and endearing, though they are indeed pathetic.

The novel has some mildly interesting side characters, very strong and ambitious dialogue, great poetic structure and word play, and very relatable for anyone who has spent time in Ottawa, past or present.

Although not the best read in the world and at times, if you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the building industry, a bit tedious and confusing, McAdam has great insight into the human psyche and the saddest and happiest most human moments of 'Some Great Thing' are absolutely inspiring.
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on October 26, 2004
MacAdam's novel is a great and lasting achievement, a book that will be read for year's to come in this country and around the world. That he should have such a deft ability to create such different and convincing voices in what is his first novel is deeply impressive. MacAdam displays a brilliant range of tone and emotion. The book is funny, sad, dark, scabrous and ultimately humane and optimistic. One gets to know the characters as if one has walked in on the middle of their lives. There is no omniscient authorial presence telling us how to feel or who to trust. As in life, one works this sort of thing out as events unfold. While some might find this cimematic, even epigrammatic, style to be difficult at first, it ultimately proves to be one of the great strengths of the book. The scenes jump cut from one to the next, and jigsaw-puzzle-like, one gradually develops a view of the whole world the the book contains. One arrives at the end of the book with an organic sense of how the lives of the characters came to be the way they are. The journey along the way is filled with brilliant, poetic, hard-edged, profound and engaging writing. Get this book and read it.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2004
I found it interesting to try and figure out which real people the author had in mind with this story of family breakdown, and the building industry in Canada. The style is quirky, and can be hard to follow as the voice changes. I found it a bit of a struggle. I don't think I would recommend it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2001
Mahatma Grafton is a university graduate who, having no idea what he wants to do with his life, returns to his hometown of Winnipeg to work for a newspaper. Over the course of his first year on the job, he discovers purpose in his life, with the help of a colourful array of characters, including a welfare crusader, a burned-out fellow reporter, an unlikely french-language-rights activist, and a visiting journalist from Cameroon.
Aside from being incredibly well-written and entertaining, this book is an intelligent reflection of Canadian issues, including race, language, government policy and opinions regarding our American neighbors.
Some Great Thing is loosely connected to Hill's second book, Any Known Blood, which is also a fabulous read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 1999
I don't read much but I would like to say that this was a very good book. I read it for a school project and it was very interesting. I like the characters and it never makes you bored. Hope you like it just as much as I!
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