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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
60
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Truth
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£1.99


on 30 August 2017
Great read. Liked the characters and the twists in the story
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on 19 March 2017
Came exactly as desribed
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on 2 April 2013
Once the story gets going and the viewpoint character travels to India, it is fascinating and brings these remote areas to life. 'The Truth' gets across an important message about the complexities of environmental campaigns - nothing is quite as straightforward as it seems. You may be put off at first by the plethora of pluperfects in the first few chapters, where Michael Palin keeps telling us the hero's backstory - using "he had been" instead of finding a way of taking us straight into thecharacter's head. Do stick with the book because it will take you on an inspiring journey to places you have never even heard of but are well worth a visit, but I do think Michael's editor should have told him that the action needed to start as soon as possible.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 22 July 2013
The thing that I've found when reading fiction written by very famous people, is that I tend to see the author when I'm reading, rather than the characters. So, for me, Keith Mabbut looks like Michael Palin, although really I doubt that they have too much in common.

Keith is a man who regrets a lot, he is gazing back at this life and wondering just where to go next. Having just completed a book about an oil company in the Shetlands, he is determined that at last he will write his long-planned fiction novel. His agent has other ideas and despite (little) protest he finds himself off to India to track down Hamish Melville.

Michael Palin has been able to draw on his experience in the world of television presenting and travel writing to create a realistic sounding if not very pretty backdrop for this novel.

A gentle, fairly slow at times and dry-witted story that moves slightly into the 'thriller' territory in the second half. Michael Palin writes well with great insight into the environmental nature of the plot.
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on 13 August 2012
'How appropriate that Michael Palin should choose the subject of a writer for his new novel. Michael seems to be in total command of any genre of writing that he chooses, from comedy scripts to TV plays, from diaries to films. Now he has created a story that is as compelling as it is topical. The plot combines an engaging kaleidoscope of ambition, cunning, deceit, light and darkness. Michael handles all the twists and turns with the skill of a master novelist, with The Truth, for once, being the winner.'
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on 6 July 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's beautifully written, and I found all the characters interesting, both the appealing and the unappealing. All of them seemed very real and well-rounded, and all of them illustrated the point that no truth is absolute, to perfection. Mr Palin is very skilful at creating one impression of a character for his readers and then gradually altering the direction in which the spotlight falls and revealing another side to them.

I've read comments that there's too much 'environmental preaching' in the book. I didn't think so. I think the issue of environmental activism was dealt with very fairly, and it's clearly one the author knows something about.

Lastly, the descriptions of India were absolutely wonderful; I could taste the dust in the air. A really enjoyable read. I hope Michael Palin will find the time to write fiction more often!
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on 16 September 2014
Presuming he had drawn on his experience as a travel writer and television presenter I would have thought The Truth would have a great sense of people and place about it, that Michael Palin would have done just as good a job telling us as his TV persona does showing us. Alas not so, I'm afraid I found both the plot and characters weak.

Sadly not at all to my taste. With too many threads (battling big business, the publishing industry, being middle aged, etc, etc), none of them really going away, I feel this would have been a far better novel if only the author had either stuck to one or two of the strands or fleshed the story out a bit and thus created a longer book.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper.
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on 28 May 2017
I like Michael Palin, but this was very mediocre.

Written in a pedestrian style, I find it hard to believe it would have got published by an unknown author. Cliched scenes and two-dimensional stereotypical characters abound, along with a very earnest but obvious plot helped along by dollops of deus ex machina.

I kept thinking, hoping, that all this might be the setup for some kind of twist or inversion towards the end. After all, the title of the book is "The Truth"... so do we get any exploration of the complex notion of truth? (Spoiler: nope)
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on 16 March 2014
I've seen a lot of Palin's TV and film work, and read one volume of his autobiography, but this is the first time I've read his fiction. I was surprised to find it a serious novel and not a comedy, as it follows a journalist commissioned to write a biography of a recluse.

Palin's own travels have clearly informed a large portion of the narrative, and you can easily imagine that many of the events and character are based on his own experiences, particularly in the middle section of the book. Having said that I found the middle the least engaging - possibly as it's the part where the main character has less agency and is just flowing with events rather than influencing them.

A good tale overall, but it didn't really stand out as something special.
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on 18 August 2013
This is a book about dignity and compromise. The sufferings of the hapless central character are quite Pyhonesque to begin with but this is gradually shed as the story reveals the grounding of self-identity. The book is broken up into three distinct acts. In the latter two, one gets the impression that Palin is writing about all the gritty stuff that he could never quite get into his travelogues. It feels as if he has really experienced some of the environmental stuff and that makes it all the more concerning to read about. The satirical style is reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh. The book is ultimately hopeful and genuinely heartwarming.
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