16 Sep 2014

THE TRUTH ~ A NOVEL by MICHAEL PALIN.

THE TRUTH ~ A NOVEL by MICHAEL PALIN.

SOURCE: Bought for Mr T as a gift.

THE BOOK {According to the inner flap}: Keith Mabbut was a writer. Of that he was convinced. He lived in London on two floors of a red-brick, gabled house in Upper Holloway. Mabbut and his wife Krystyna, who was Polish, were separated. Though he had made a career out of the written word, and indeed had a British Gas Award to show for it, he had reached the age of fifty-six with nothing resembling the success of his great literary heroes, George Orwell and Albert Campus, both of whom had died in their forties. Setting aside the clear, if unpalatable correlation between genius and early death, he had formed the opinion that his best work was yet to come. And in a way he least expected, so it was .....

Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life. When he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a 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 the environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with the man he once was, 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 ....
  
FIRST SENTENCE {Part 1: The Problem}: Keith Mabbut was a writer.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 26}: In his tiny study, off the landing at the top of the stairs, Mabbut drew up the blind and welcomed in the chilly morning light. He settled himself at the computer, interlocked the fingers of both hands, then sipped the remains of his coffee, cleaned his glasses, blew his nose, eased a blackberry pip from between his two front teeth, sighed heavily and began.

MY THOUGHTS: 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. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

15 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

Everyone seems to think his life story would make a great book--I think this is why most don't. Even if you're a celebrity, you try to pack too much in because real life is just messy. Our stories aren't neatly packaged like a fictional character's are!

Brandi Kosiner said...

The multiple threads that made it seem too much is sad to hear abotu

Kelly said...

This just doesn't sound like one that would interest me.

Literary Feline said...

At least you gave it a try. I don't know that this would be a book I would pick up to read.

Sherry Ellis said...

Multiple threads can make it tough to follow the main plot.

Melliane said...

It's sad when everything is finally week and you can't connect. I didn't know about this one but I don't think it's for me either...

themethatisme said...

She made me read it first! No I wasn't taken with it particularly, it just didn't go anywhere meaningful. His personal diaries are a much better read.

Kelly Steel said...

Doesn't sound like something for me too.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Hmm, my husband would be drawn to this because of the author. What did Mr. T think? I appreciate your thoughts!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

So sorry this wasn't a better read for you! Thanks for sharing. :)

Suko said...

Tracy, hopefully the next book you read will "knock your socks off". :)

Brian Joseph said...

Too bad that this did not work as I think that the main theme has a lot of potential.

I agree that too many unresolved threads and themes in a book can leave one very unsatisfied.

Tracy Terry said...

You can read his thoughts, brief as they are, yourself Mary as Mr T is the
themethatisme as above.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I agree with Brian, that this storyline has so much potential, that it is a real shame that Michael failed to capitalise on it, given his reputation for excellence in both his presenting style and travel writing.

The synopsis is definitely intriguing, although I definitely prefer the cover art on Goodreads to that which you feature in your post.

You always review with such personal honesty and integrity, thank you.

Yvonne.

Betty Manousos said...

this doesn't sound like a book i would enjoy either..
thanks for another brilliant review, tracy.

big hugs!
xx