About Me

My photo
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Great Thing

This is the story of two men in Ottawa in the 1970s: Jerry McGuinty, a tradesman who grasped the brass ring and became a high-powered developer at just the right time and Simon Struthers, a civil servant living in the shadow of his influential father. Jerry is married to Kathleen who was on the scene and supported him when he made the first critical decisions that made his career. She's a drunk, a shrew and a dreadful mother to their son but Jerry doesn't seen to notice any of this. We are expected to believe that he is too distracted by business to pay attention to what is going on in his own home. Simon is the ambitious, philandering son of a member of Parliament. Greed, power and corruption are the ingredients of this novel by Colin McAdam and Jerry and Simon, both part of that fetid mix, are drawn together like ingredients in a blender. In my opinion this novel could have benefitted from some ruthless editing as whole sections seem to drag on relentlessly but, as the daughter of a civil servant, in those days I lived in an Ottawa sub-division that Jerry might have built. I have some insights into the world that McAdam describes and that kept me hanging in. I'm not sure this book is for everyone but I'm not sorry I read it.

No comments: