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Truth Like the Sun

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  1,314 Ratings  ·  299 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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Jun 06, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
B the BookAddict
Apr 15, 2016 B the BookAddict rated it really liked it  ·  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 that 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 ...more
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
Apr 19, 2012 Jenny Shank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"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
Julie Christine
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
Jul 16, 2012 Mr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 26, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2013 L rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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,
Nov 08, 2016 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a novel set in a city other than New York. The plot was so-so, but the writing was good, and the mentions of the Space Needle, the Bremerton ferry, the University of Washington, Queen Anne’s Hill, the monorail, the Olympia brewery, the Pike Place Market, and so many other places, made this book a worthwhile trip down memory lane for me.
Oct 11, 2013 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Charlie Quimby
Dec 28, 2013 Charlie Quimby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A high 4. 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 Ro
Apr 18, 2012 Ilya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 31, 2013 Cheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expertly written, complex, and interesting. A story about Seattle politics, the World's Fair, and the challenges of investigative journalism. Not a "fun read" but it will keep you turning the pages.
Apr 15, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laird Bennion
Jun 11, 2017 Laird Bennion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really solid book, thoroughly researched and beautifully staged to get to the soul of a changing city. The historical tidbits are mesmerizing (only one howler about Edward R Murrow, who was raised in Washington) and the main character is infectiously likable. Other Seattle ghosts (Marty Selig, Gov. Rosselini, Edith Macefield) pop up with pseudonyms and photographic rendition. I'm still undecided on whether this is an excellent book all around or whether its an excellent book for Seattlites. Th ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2012 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
Nov 23, 2012 Anna Janelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
"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
Feb 01, 2013 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-club
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
Andy Miller
May 27, 2012 Andy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2014 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2012 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 26, 2012 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 16, 2013 Rrshively rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 06, 2015 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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Jim Lynch is the author of the novels The Highest Tide, Border Songs and Truth Like the Sun, all of which were performed on stage and won prizes, including an Indies Choice Honor Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and a Dashiell Hammett Prize finalist. His next novel, Before the Wind, will be released in April 2016. As a newspaper reporter, Lynch has won national awards, including t
More about Jim Lynch...

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“The word he used was coup, and I'm not speaking French just to arouse you.” 1 likes
“Know something though,” Teddy says on the inhale. “Been meaning to tell you this: enough is never enough with you. And it’s not healthy. It’s like an addiction. “
“To what?”
“To more.” Smoke flares out of his nostrils. “You can’t get enough of anything.”
Roger rubs his cheeks and averts his eyes, wondering if it’s that obvious he’s increasingly driven half-mad by the limitations of having only one life. All the things he’ll never see or do or understand. All the people he’ll never know. “Whatever you say,” he finally says.”
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