The Truth: Book summary and reviews of The Truth by Michael Palin

The Truth

By Michael Palin

The Truth
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2013,
    272 pages.

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Book Summary

For the first time since his much-beloved tale Hemingway's Chair was published in 1998, Michael Palin pens a new novel featuring the warm and witty story of an everyman, a tantalizing offer, a journey to India, and the search for the truth.

Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life.  A professional writer of some repute, he has reached the age of fifty-six with nothing resembling the success of his two great literary heroes, George Orwell and Albert Camus. When he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a widely respected and highly influential activist and humanitarian—he seizes the chance to write something meaningful. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Mabbut to the lush landscapes and environmental hotspots of India.

The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him—and the more he connects with an idealist who wanted to make a difference. But is his quarry really who he claims to be? As Keith discovers, the truth can be whatever we make it. 

In this wonderful, heartwarming novel, Michael Palin turns his considerable skills to fiction in the story of an ordinary man on an extraordinary adventure.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With passion and flair, Palin (of Monty Python fame) details a journalist's quest to discover the truth about a reclusive environmental activist…. It's been a long time since Palin's first novel (Hemingway's Chair, 1998). The wait for this compelling book has been more than worth it." – Kirkus

"Well-crafted, warm hearted—and wholly recommended." - Reader's Digest

"The Truth is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written and hugely enjoyable book that raises tricky questions about the cost of progress, and even trickier ones about our need for heroes, the price of personal compromise, and what Palin calls 'the uncontroversial assumption that the truth is immutable.'" - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Entertaining...delightfully funny." - Sunday Express (UK)

"Part environmental thriller, part biting swipe at the publishing industry...a thoughtful and generous study of failure." - Daily Mail (UK)

"An entertaining story of hero worship, compromise and grubby trade-offs." - Tatler (UK)

"It's a feel-good story leaving the reader on a real high." - The Observer (UK)

"Palin's dryly understated exasperation with the absurdities of daily life and his ear for dialogue raise an appreciative smile." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"Reads like a dream." - The Daily Express (UK)

"The Truth is a compelling and zippily paced book." - Time Out (UK)

"It's an enthralling and almost Kipling-esque tale for our times." - Metro

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Michael Palin is a comedian, novelist, actor, playwright and Python. The Truth is his second novel. He lives in North London.

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