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The Truth

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  925 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
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 Orissa and the environmental hotspots of India. The ...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,487)
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Maya Panika
Aug 24, 2013 Maya Panika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not at all what I was expecting when I started reading - or in a book from Michael Palin. I'm not sure what I was expecting; something closer to his travel books, something more overtly comic, or earnest, I suppose (it is a book, in part, about a renowned environmentalist). What I found was a beautifully understated mystery about a well-meaning, investigative journo who has sold out, mainly, it seems, to finance the demands of a failing marriage. Failing marriage aside, it feels like there's a l ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Tracey rated it it was ok
Omy! Thank goodness that's over. A very dull book with dull characters who were mislead from the start by many people but I could see it immediately. Sorry Mr Palin apart from the bits in India and the descriptions of the places this just wasn't for me.
Poor writing.
Terrible plot.
This is about an 'investigative reporter' who couldn't investigate his way out of a paper bag.
Don't waste your time reading it.
I want to go to a book club meeting - cos havent seen the people for ages. Tried to start this Pile of Palin several times: my whole being balked at reading it - when I got a reminder saying the book was short and could be read fast, I took them at their word and gulped it down very quickly - like nasty medicine. Sadly, unlike the nastiest of m
Pavel Dobrovsky
Oct 17, 2016 Pavel Dobrovsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kniha odráží Palinovu zkušenost s cestováním (trefné popisy cizích míst, například Indie nebo Karlových Varů), médii (hlavní hrdina musí mediálně překrucovat pravdu), imigrací (manželka hrdiny je Polka, jeho dcera se zamiluje do Íránce) a osobním životem. Pakliže hledáte pythonovskou komedii, nenajdete jí. Najdete zkušeně sepsaný příběh o tom, že neexistuje objektivní pravda, vše se dá vykládat různými způsoby, ale i tak se zlé v dobré obrátí a i přes velice nepravděpodobný konec ve vás zůstane ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Biogeek rated it it was ok
This is not Palin's best writing endeavor. It isn't even his best novel, as this is far less colorful and engaging than his 1990s's novel, Hemingway's Chair. This is an oddly unemotional, almost drab, novel about very important subjects, and that may be the problem. In an effort to craft a book about multinational destruction of ecosystems, while also casting a critical eye on the publishing world, the problems of middle age, the nature of the British family, the true meaning of integrity ...jus ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book at Stafford's book store while on vacation in London. On the heals of reading Rachel Joyce's "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry," I found myself again in the neighborhoods and Underground stations I'd just visited, in the company of yet another older Baby Boomer working his way through the last tangles of a messy mid-life. Don't get me wrong--I love their company. And I love that both these books took time to smell the roses along the way. In "The Truth" the roses are inst ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Mira rated it really liked it
Begin with a confession first. I'm a huge Palin fan. He can do no wrong in my eyes. I feel like I should be wearing a blue shirt and beige chinos to write this review!

This is the first Michael Palin fiction I've read. It's about a writer, who used to write to defend his beliefs as an angry young man but who has slowly been sucked into writing books for The Man and covering up shady events by rewriting or omitting facts from history.

When he receives an offer to write about his hero, the elusive a
Isaura Pereira
Sep 21, 2015 Isaura Pereira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leituras-2015
Depois de ter visto algumas opiniões de livros deste autor fiquei curiosa com este último romance do autor Michael Palin. Cada vez que via o nome do autor tinha a sensação que o nome não me era totalmente desconhecido. Após uma breve pesquisa percebi a razão desta minha desconfiança. Michael Palin além de escritor, é actor, comediante, apresentador de tv e fez parte dos Monty Python. Um grupo de comédia que muito aprecio. Logo, fiquei ainda mais entusiasmada com esta leitura.

Neste livro Verdade
Malcolm Frawley
May 05, 2016 Malcolm Frawley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I loved Palin's first novel, Hemingway's Chair, & he has finally gotten around to a second. Can't imagine what he's been up to in between. Lazy bastard. Palin is a born story teller with a lovely feel for character. Keith Mabbat's roller coaster ride as he attempts to complete a biography of famous environmentalist, Hamish Melville, is chronicled adeptly & provides the author with opportunities to shine a light on the nefarious activities of multi-national corporations as they spread lik ...more
Claudia Janeiro
É um livro extremamente agradável de se ler. Um livro que nos transporta para outros países, para outras culturas e que, portanto, nos faz viajar.
O livro fala-nos de Keith Mabbut, um jornalista de meia-idade, dedicado nos últimos anos a escrever livros "ambientalistas", onde, no fundo, lhe pagavam para que as empresas (nada ambientalistas) ficassem sempre bem na figura. O que o desmotivava, já que o grande impulso da sua carreira foi precisamente uma peça jornalística que escreveu onde denunciav
Jan 15, 2014 Josie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Monty Python fan, it was Michael Palin, the entertainer, that drew me to this book.

A middle aged, award winning journalist, Keith Mabbut, somehow lost his way from the young, investigative, pro-environment writer he was to become a corporate hack whose latest work extols the virtues of an oil refinery. When a slick publishing firm offers him a plum assignment to write a biography on one of the world's most notorious and successful crusaders against corporate injustices, Mabbut sees an oppor
Jan 18, 2015 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expecting a clever comedy from renowned ex-Python Michael Palin, what I got instead was a thought-provoking treatise on progress, family, and passion, all encompassed in the adventures of an everyman called Keith Mabbut. It might be easy enough to sum him up simply as a middle-aged man, what with the implied unfulfilled goals, sense of life passing by with a whimper instead of a shout, frayed relationships between ex-wives and adult children, compromises made, integrity cheated, and fleeting sen ...more
May 30, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keith Mabbut wants to be a good bloke. He supports the right causes. He donates to the right charities. He gives his daughter's Iranian boyfriend a huge sum of money to help him get some family members out of trouble. He wants to be friends with his estranged wife, if that's possible. And mostly, he wants to write a novel, but ends up working on books about other good people, altruistic, brave champions of the little guy, like infamous raconteur Hamish Melville, a man he's long admired.

When we
Michael Charton
Oct 25, 2013 Michael Charton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey, I am a Python fan and I participate on Mr. Palin's site Palin's Travels. Some may find this review slightly biased, but there you have it. No question, I wouldn't have read the book were it not for Mr. Palin being the author.

The protagonist, Keith Mabbut reminded me a little of John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey when Rumpole calls himself a Bailey hack. Keith Mabbut in his writing career might also be described the same way.

Keith Mabbut's agent gets him a deal to write a book about elusi
A sad gentle tale about a man passing middle age and realizing that he's not fulfilled the promise that he thought he had when he was younger. Kieth Mabbut who once had been an award winning investigative journalist finally wakes up while writing a book paid for by an oil corporation about said oil corporation and realizes that he's really going nowhere fast. A rather late midlife crises occurs as he loses his wife and is losing his kids and ends his contract and he decides to do something about ...more
Oct 03, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2013 Lois rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The book started out very slow and flat, I didn't enjoy part one very much at all. However it really picked up with parts two and three, once Mabbut travels to India.

Although very well written, the first part of the story is about feeling stuck, disillusioned and discouraged, which I have experienced enough in my own life that I didn't need eighty pages to describe it for me. It wasn't really the kind of story that pulls you along in the beginning, but something you have to push through reading
This novel deals with an intriguing theme of great contemporary relevance: a publisher hires a once well-regarded journalist to investigate the life of a highly successful environmental activist whose means and methods are a closely-garded secret. The journalist, who is at a crossroads in his personal and professional life, is initially most reluctant to take up this suspiciously lucrative offer, but finally embraces the challenge and finds out a lot more than he bargained for. Although the pace ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Maddie rated it really liked it
For those expecting Python-esque hilarity, this isn't the book for you. A quietly thoughtful, and profound allegorical view of the world and media today, The Truth highlights what is wrong with people, the media, the news; it shows that nothing should get in the way of a good headline.
Why read about difficult subjects that actually will an impact on everyone's day to day lives, when you can keep up with the Kardashians?
Well done Mr Palin, well done. I finished the book with a grin on my face, as
May 19, 2015 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to forgo an actual review here (an easy and tepid read, if you must have one) and talk about something else.

Let's be honest: nobody would have read -- or published -- this book if its author weren't Michael Palin. *The* Michael Palin, as it were, of Monty Python fame. So it's not unfair to judge "The Truth" in that context. How does it measure up?

And against which Michael Palin are we going to measure? The core member of Monty Python? Or the star of dull travelogues? (I'm not the only
Joe Follansbee
Aug 30, 2014 Joe Follansbee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can read a book through different lenses. Most reviewers of The Truth, the second novel by ex-Monty Python comic Michael Palin, read it as mainstream literature. I read it through a narrower lens, as a writer interested in how fiction makers work with environmental themes. Seen in this way, Palin’s book is about hero-worship, and how emotional closeness to a subject can obscure the truth.

Protagonist Keith Mabbut is a divorced, middle-aged writer personally and professionally adrift. In his y
Sep 15, 2013 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can usually read a Michael Palin book in less than a week. He is a terrifically lyrical writer. Because of life's circumstances, finishing this book took a lot longer than usual. However, I stayed with it and am glad I did. This is a contemporary plot with intersecting storylines - each a great story on its own. For the first time in a long time, I found myself casting the characters for what would eventually be a thrilling movie.
Jun 30, 2015 judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Because I discussed it with a friend a few days ago, I remember how bummed I was with Rowling's Casual Vacancy and how hard I worked to rationalize it into something I liked. Here I am with Python Michael Palin and in that same place again. The difference is that I'm not going to rationalize it or trick myself into finding redeeming value. The simple truth is I'm as much an idealist as Palin's main character. "The world is too much with us". Who knew that decades later Wordsworth's poem would co ...more
I'm starting this review although I've barely started the book, because I want to remember my first impressions.

I wish he'd started the story at Chapter 4. In the first few pages, it felt like he'd forgotten he was writing a novel and thought he was back writing travel books, we got so much unnecessary description of the Shetlands. Then we got three chapters setting up Mabbutt's character and history, nine-tenths of which was superfluous. I couldn't help feeling that if an unknown author had sub
Niall Young
Apr 27, 2014 Niall Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wondrous book that lifts one out of the ordinary by perfectly describing the same very ordinary that most of us live it - at yet… Palin explores the trials of life and the challenges that face us through the humdrum of everyday, and yet transposes us to a world that is well beyond our norms. Just as the protagonist is 'getting it together' and you think you've worked it out, and just when the ending appears to be in sight and beings to leave you with the , 'No, don't end it like that' feeling ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Also posted to Jen in Bookland

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,
Stephanie Allen
Mar 04, 2016 Stephanie Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Palin navigates the protagonist, former journalist and writer Keith Mabbut, through the minefield of environmental activism and politics, with the task of writing a biography of one of the world's most well known 'eco warriors' - a man who doesn't want to be written about. As he follows this heroic recluse, Mabbut finds himself progressing deeper into issues of environmental protection, with big multinational corporations warring with local villagers and tribespeople, but is everythin ...more
This book surprised me in several ways. Being written by a comedy legend, I was expecting it it be a little more funny and a lot less serious than it turned out to be.
Not that that's a bad thing. There are several humerus moments, but it is the main character that us surprising. Initially you think he's going to be a stereotypical failed author with delusions if grandeur, but there is a lot more to Keith Mabbut than that - despite a shaky start he is actually a very well rounded and believable
Mar 17, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this read. I would call it a gentle adventure within a person and into the conflict of human needs and corporate greeds. I liked many things about this book, one of which was that I felt like if I met the main character (Keith), I might actually like him. It annoys me when I read a book about a character I would not like to know. I liked that people had foibles and quirks. The details of this book are enchanting, easy to visualize each step along the way. I appreciated the depth ...more
Hilda Reilly
I don’t understand why Michael Palin wrote this book. On the one hand it dealt with important issues, ones which would merit serious, in-depth treatement, and on the other the overall impression it gave me was of a potboiler hurriedly dashed off for no obvious reason and with a plot full of holes. Palin surely has no need to keep on churning out books if his heart isn’t it. There was a carelessness about the writing which reached its acme on page 87 in a dialogue where one character tells the ot ...more
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Michael Edward Palin, CBE, is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries.

Palin wrote most of his material with Terry Jones. Before Monty Python, they had worked on other shows such as The Ken Dodd Show, The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Palin appeared in some of the
More about Michael Palin...

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