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Truth Like the Sun

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  1,107 ratings  ·  269 reviews
A classic and hugely entertaining political novel, the cat-and-mouse story of urban intrigue in Seattle both in 1962, when Seattle hosted the World's Fair, and in 2001, after its transformation in the Microsoft gold rush.

Larger than life, Roger Morgan was the mastermind behind the fair that made the city famous and is still a backstage power forty years later, when at the
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2012)
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Hot damn. I really liked this book. As a result I don't have a lot to say about it. It's so much easier to trash a bad book then to laud a good one.

So here's a sentence I quite liked from page 16:

Her eyes panned the glistening skyline as a cruise ship peeled away from the waterfront like an entire city block calving into the bay.

Pretty great, eh? I'd recommend this book to just about anyone, especially those with a fondness of Seattle.
Martin McClellan
I live one mile from the Space Needle. Seattle Center is, literally, my local park. Lynch gets the details of the place right, including how unchanged it is to this day. Only over the past few years have they started modernizing and sprucing the place up, taking the hard choices the nostalgic and better memories kept opposing. The stories he tells are like stories I've heard, and many of the characters based on real Seattle old-time characters I've read about.

I also work in the old Post-Intellig
Jenny Shank

"Truth Like the Sun," by Jim Lynch
By JENNY SHANK Special Contributor
Published: 13 April 2012 03:21 PM

Fifty years ago, Seattle hosted the World’s Fair, a six-month extravaganza whose approach prompted private investors to rush the Space Needle through construction, completing it in time to serve as a symbol of the futuristic image the 1962 fair hoped to project.

As Jim Lynch writes in his taut and accomplished new novel, Truth Like the S
This is the third Jim Lynch book that I've read. His books are quirky. This was my least favorite. His first book, "The Highest Tide" was especially enjoyable because I loved his gifted young protagonist. His second, "Border Songs" was set just a few miles away from where I live and featured eccentric characters who were humorous, if not completely believable. The beginning of this novel was really underwhelming until I began to wonder who was going to win the tug-of-war between the main charact ...more
"I don't have a plan," Elvis volunteers. "I just have a feel. Trying to get a better understanding of myself. The mistakes I make always come back around. Truth is like the sun, isn't it? You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away."

That snippet from a conversation between Roger Morgan and Elvis Presley in September 1962 gives Jim Lynch's novel its title and is a quick summation of the plot. Indeed, it could be the summation of the plot of many novels and many lives. The mistakes tha
As a native Washingtonian (yes, we do exist), Seattle was long the city of my dreams. I have lived in magnificent and unforgettable places on four continents, yet none of my fond memories of those lands compares to the deep affection I have for Seattle, the first place in nearly forty years of wandering which truly feels like home. And home it has been, since December 2007.

In other words, I dig this town and I dig reading about it. So I'm pretty darn predisposed to wax poetic about a novel that
Roger Morgan is kind of an Elmer Gantry of municipal boosterism, hustling “father” of the 1962 Seattle World’s fair. Helen Gulanos is a violin-playing single mom with a head of hair like a tumbleweed who, in 2001, is building a career as an investigative newspaper reporter. When Roger, still a Seattle-area legend, unexpectedly makes a run for mayor at age 70, Helen’s newspaper reluctantly takes a run at puncturing the reputation of “the grand exalted dreamer.” Roger’s life-long friend and adviso ...more
B the BookAddict
Oct 06, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a gripping read.
'Hard-nosed yet profoundly humane' is cover description for this book and one I would have applied myself. It is listed on the New York Times Best Books of 2012 and has won critical acclaim. Set in two moments of recent history just prior to times when America lost her innocence; 1962 in the shadow of the looming Cuba missile crisis and 2001 in the months preceding 9/11 although the story does not deal with either subject directly. It does not matter that I was not even born in '62, Lynch's rese ...more
Ambition and corruption, power and politics, the boom and bust times of a city are all elements of Jim Lynch’s latest novel Truth Like the Sun. Set in Seattle in 1962 and 2011, the novel explores the resiliency of the city. In 1962 the eyes of the world are on Seattle as it hosts the World’s Fair. The theme of the fair is focuses on the promises of the future; the monorail, the Space Needle, the microwave oven and the gains being made in the scientific world are all to be featured. Meanwhile the ...more
I've been wondering lately if my standards are too low, because I seem to be loving every book I read and giving them pretty high ratings. Well, I don't have to wonder anymore.

I heard about Truth Like the Sun when it first came out and was really looking forward to reading this story set in the Seattle Worlds Fair and also 2001. But the thing about historical fiction is that in order for it to work, either the historical part has to be so well researched that it leaves you wanting to learn more,
Charlie Quimby
I plan to read another Jim Lynch based on this novel. A good read that adeptly juggles two timelines in the main character's life to shed light on contrasting American eras as well as stages of individual wisdom. Conceptually, it's very strong, and I found the intrigue around development, boosterism and crime entertaining in a PBS-meets-FX TV series sort of way.

But the young reporter who helped bring down the Father of the Seattle World's Fair 40 years later was really no match for Roger Morgan
well written, smart, but failed to really deliver. Author failed to get me excited enough about the mystery and its ultimate resolution. The chapters set in 2001 were consistently more interesting than the ones set in 1962, but the device of toggling back and forth between the recent past and the more distant past didn't really work for me.
I was born and raised in Seattle, but when our book club picked this book, it wasn't because of me! I had no idea that the main story was about Seattle. While I loved the nostalgic story of Seattle in the early 60's and recognized so much of what was described (I was born in '68, so much of it was still around when I was young), I found that I didn't fall in love with the characters like I would have liked to. I think the author made a mistake by bouncing back and forth between 1962 and 2001. It ...more
A book about Seattle with "sun" in the title? That kind of threw me. But once I got over it I thought the book was a good read and a very sophisticated piece of story telling that explores the question of, "What is truth?" And, "Can we ever really know what a person is like based on an investigation of their past?" Or, "Is it possible to characterize a city in a couple of hundred pages of prose.

Jim Lynch seems to be quickly establishing himself as a regional writer with a book set on the tide po
I thought this was an average book, but must admit that my opinion is influenced by the fact that the book I read just before this one, Mountains of the Moon (I. J. Kay), was one of the best books I have read in a long time. Its inventive use of language left Lynch's writing feeling flat to me. I know a book reviewer shouldn't base his review of a book on his feelings about another book, but I am a reader - not a reviewer - and I feel that part of this community is to share feelings about books, ...more
Truth Like the Sun, a novel by Jim Lynch set entirely in Seattle and immersed in the local politics thereof, sat on my Amazon wish list* for well over a year, and I can't even remember who suggested it, nor the reasons why I put it there, but I was in the mood for something plotty and muscular last week, and it seemed to fit to bill. And for the first two-thirds or so, the gamble paid off! In telling the story of how Seattle grew up (or tried to), moving from frontier town to world-class destina ...more
As different as this book is from the author’s previous two books, in one way there is continuity: in his advocating that we expand the terrain of our vision to see what is around us; that we don’t get so caught up in the quotidian that we miss all the wonder and beauty and excitement around us every day. And does he ever make a case for the wonder, beauty, and excitement of Seattle!

On this fiftieth anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, Lynch has created a story about the fair’s construction
Andy Miller
This novel alternates chapters between the 1962 World's Fair and 39 years later when the "founder" of the fair, a fictitious character, runs for mayor of Seattle. The best of the book is the nostalgic story of the World's fair with a deft balance between the novel's fictional characters and the real events and real people from the time. The descriptions of Lyndon Johnson, Ed Sullivan and Elvis Presley visiting the fair are just great.

The weakness is the plot; a young woman reporter who has just
I'll admit that I wasn't sucked in at first. The set-up between past and present and the two viewpoints seemed tenuous. The reporter character Helen Gulanos never really struck me as that true, more of a character created to serve a purpose. However I'd enjoyed The Highest Tide and the book was a gift (thank you again Venetia) so I kept reading. And got totally sucked in. Roger is a great character. His past and present got me caught up and fascinated by the backstory of the 1962 World's Fair. W ...more
Although I grew up all over the South, my father's mother and her second husband moved to Seattle when I was in the third grade - 1970/1971 or thereabouts. I visited every summer - sometimes for two weeks, sometimes for a month, and once for the entire summer. When I was in college I visited them at Thanksgiving - I lived in New Mexico and couldn't go home at Thanksgiving and Christmas both so my grandmother claimed Thanksgiving as her own.

As an adult I moved to Seattle in 1991 and lived there
Anna Janelle
"I don't have a plan," Elvis volunteers. "I just have a feel. Trying to get a better understanding of myself. The mistakes I make always come back around. Truth is like the sun, isn't it? You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away." (148)


Spoiler alert: As convincing as that professional in the above meme seems, Seattle’s Space Needle was constructed as part of the 1962 World Fair.

This fictional story incorporates elements of non-fiction in its retelling of the events that surrounde
I like so many things about this book! Obviously I like the World's Fair backdrop, that, that might as well be put in a can and labeled DEANS CATNIP or just DEANSNIP or something. I knew 0 things about the Seattle World's Fair before I read this and had a real good time learning. Also Seattle in 1962 is just a super-rich place and Lynch is clearly invested in it, which is lovely, it is so lovely to watch someone get up to his elbows in a historic setting. (I read this just prior to visiting Seat ...more
The depictions of the seedy side of life in a big city were not as fun to read and that part would only get three stars from me. However, the author created interesting characters including the city of Seattle and wrote a tantalizing story basically the old story of cat and mouse as the journalist chases down the real story about Roger, the fictional dreamer who created the Worlds Fair in Seattle. Bouncing back and forth between 2001 and 1962 and the points of view of Roger, Helena, and several ...more
Christine Sumption
A quick read. I'm a fan of Skid Road by Murray Morgan and other books about Seattle history, so this hit my sweet spot. Lynch gets the tone just right. Seattle is a city that has always wanted to be bigger and better than it is, fertile ground for boosters and hucksters, with more graft and corruption than anyone would like to admit. But it's also a city of genuine optimism, where people really do care about quality of life. And where power has always resided in the wealthy.
Howard Cincotta
Superb evocation of Seattle's boom and bust cycle in the 20th century. The central figure, Roger Morgan, is the driving force behind the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and construction of the Space Needle who, in 2001, unexpectedly decides to run for mayor. But Morgan has some ghosts in his past, and a new journalist in town, Helen Gulanos, is determined to unearth them.

The characters are rich, but the drama is curiously under-developed, even as we learn the secrets in both Morgan's and Gulanos's liv
Scott Wilson
This was the last novel I read in 2012, and I forgot to add it until something over the weekend put it back in my head. It's that kind of book, then: absorbing while you're in it, a bit forgettable afterward. The period sequences are the best parts; they alternate with a present-day reporter looking for a big story. So, yeah, there's a "newsrooms are crazy social terrariums!" thing going on, and it's not without amusement but is also as tiresome as virtually every other recent attempt to conjure ...more
Janis Williams
So far so good. Since I am one of those who remains besotted by my childhood experience of the 1962 World Fair, this is a good book for me. Shifts between 2001 and 1962. Oddly, there is no mention of the earthquake in Seattle in 2001. Since I am a crankypants about writing--I think this is probably a pretty good novel. I am reading it after coming off some heavy-hitters and am not annoyed. Friends and fmaily will remember that I chose badly when I tried Watership Down after reading Tolstoy. Real ...more
The New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin gave Truth Like the Sun a big shout-out in her end of the year wrap-up of ten books she enjoyed in 2012. On the strength of that, I decided to read it, even though I have yet to read a good novel about newspapers and journalists. Most recently, I was disappointed in Tom Rachman's newspaper novel The Imperfectionists, but I still liked it better than this wooden account of Seattle circa 1962 juxtaposed with Seattle circa 2001.

Overall, this novel feels like
I absolutely loved his novel "The Highest Tide". This book I liked but it doesn't have that same wow factor for me. I think this is because I could never quite figure out the main character Robert Morgan. Is he who is seems to be? Is he really that smooth, visionary and a dreamer who can put all the right people in the right places together for something as great as the Seattle World's Fair AND at the same time not see his "friends" corruption, greed and graft, some of whom turn up dead?

Also wh
In Jim Lynch's Truth Like the Sun, a rising star politician finds that his political future may hinge on both the investigative prowess and the ethical integrity of a muckraker newspaper reporter. It is a story of graft and corruption, political ambition, and personal integrity.

It is also a story about Seattle. The story flashes back and forth between the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and the present-day Seattle mayoral election. In some ways, Seattle is as much of a character in the book as the peo
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The New York Times has called Jim Lynch "a gifted and original novelist." He is the author of three novels set in Western Washington. His most recent offering is Truth Like the Sun (April, 2012), which has received international acclaim and will be released in paperback on January 22. NY Times reviewer Janet Maslin picked Truth as one of her 10 favorite books of 2012.

His first novel, The Highest T
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