The time is the seventies. The place is Ottawa, a developing city ready for the taking. Two men from very different backgrounds take up the challenge: Jerry McGuinty, plasterer turned builder, a simple, self-made man; and Simon Struthers, whose inherited wealth and position cannot fill the hollowness he feels inside. As the men's careers and successes run parallel, we see how love is suffocated by work and how individuals are crushed by greed and "progress." With skill, energy, humour and poetry, Colin McAdam creates a world of ambition and desire, power and corruption. Some Great Thing is one of the most thrillingly original novels in years.