The Truth by Michael Palin


The Truth

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

The Truth was a fun light read, though I cannot help but be a little disappointed it wasn't a bit deeper though. It didn't dig into the issues just a little bit more. It felt like it just skimmed over everything so.

The  book started off and I was really confused as to what it would be about. It was kind of boring with Mabbut up working on his oil rig story thing. I almost stopped reading it as it was just not that good. Then he gets the job of writing about Melville, who does not give interviews or anything of the sort. He is the golden boy humanitarian who many people look up to. The company offering Mabbut money to write about Melville wants to know if he really is as good as everyone thinks he is. Does he have a dark past? What makes up Melville?

Mabbut knows he has to be sneaky to try and get more info from Melville. He travels to India where Melville is supposed to be, in search of him. He quickly finds him and the two, after a little bit of a rocky start, hit it off and travel a bit together. Melville shows Mabbut some things that are going on in the area and it was interesting. Here is where I wish it would have gone a bit more into the issues. For example Mabbut thinks about the people who live in the small village and whether we should just let them live how they have been living, or should we bring some modern day things in to their village. If the modern day things would be better, help people, should we? Or should we just leave them be? Things like that are interesting. It was really just two sentences in the book, when I would have enjoyed more discussion about things like that. It started to make me think about some of the grey areas, but since it never really went anywhere or even went into the grey areas very much I just pushed it aside.

Then I was kind of sad by the end of the book. For the most part I felt like I should be out there doing more, but then the end...it is just like why bother. I just was a bit disheartening to find out the truth. Maybe that is the way it is, but I like to believe the dream instead.

Overall a fun, light read, but was a little disappointed it didn't go deeper.

Rating: 3.5/5

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