Mahatma Grafton is a disillusioned university graduate burdened with a famous name, and suffering from the curse of his generation — a total lack of interest in the state of the world. The son of a retired railway porter from Winnipeg, he returns home for a job as a reporter with The Winnipeg Herald. Soon Mahatma is scoping local stories of murder and mayhem, breaking a promise to himself to avoid writing victim stories.
As Mahatma is unexpectedly drawn into the inflammatory issue of French-language rights in Manitoba, with all its racial side-channels, he is surprised to find that he has a social conscience. Combating his boss’s flair for weaving hysteria into his stories, Mahatma learns that to stay afloat he must remain true to himself.
Populated with colourful characters — including an unlikely welfare crusader, a burned-out fellow reporter, a French-language-rights activist, and a visiting journalist from Cameroon — Some Great Thing is a fascinating portrait of a major urban newspaper and a deeply perceptive story of one man’s coming of age.