Our driving forces are sex, power, money and knowledge.
Nick is born in Dublin, in a place devoid of power, money or knowledge. All that is available is Catholic indoctrination and the acceptance of poverty that is forced into the minds of the poor. He rejects that even before puberty.
He has strong impulses for sex and knowledge, and arrives in London as a young man, where he meets Miles and Naomi, a married couple. Miles has education, brilliance and ruthlessness, all that's required to become a billionaire. Miles does indeed become a billionaire. Nick has to settle for millions. Their lives intertwine until their differing impulses bring them into conflict. There can be only one winner, a third party: the Devil.