Sunday, May 16, 2010
Book Review: Some Great Thing
I finished Lawrence Hill's first novel Some Great Thing this weekend. I read Book of Negroes last year (twice) and LOVED it, as well as Any Known Blood (it was okay). Some Great Thing was good-but it was no Book of Negroes (also known as BOOK OF MY LIFE!).
Some Great Thing was mainly set in Winnipeg and dealt with: language and cultural rights of Franco-Manitobans (and French Canadians for that matter), welfare, living by your morals and values, as well as what being black in Canada means. I thoroughly enjoyed these issues but felt that at times were overshadowed by the competition between the main character Mahatma and another journalist Edward Slade. While the relationship and competition between these characters helps the main character (and us) to examine what is it more important to get a good story, or to stick to your values, it was a bit overdone.
Also interesting were a few familiar characters from Any Known Blood. I recognized Yoyo, Mahatma, and Helene Savoie's names-although they play minor parts in Any Known Blood they are the main characters in Some Great Thing.
All in all a good first novel, but not one I would read again.