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The Whole Truth

(A. Shaw #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  30,685 ratings  ·  1,557 reviews
"Matt, I need a war."

So begins David Baldacci's new book--a thriller unlike any he's written before. "Matt" is Mathew Pender, of Pender Associates--a shadowy organization that specializes in managing seemingly impossible situations for its clients. Sometimes, those services extend to managing--and creating--armed conflict. When Matt Pender is asked by his client--the large
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by Grand Central Publishing
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Donna He doesn't have a first name. His mother never gave him one at birth. In the Catholic orphanage, there was lettering over the bed across from him that…moreHe doesn't have a first name. His mother never gave him one at birth. In the Catholic orphanage, there was lettering over the bed across from him that was supposed to say "AMEN" but letters had fallen off the wall and all that remained was "A". So he gave himself this first name for use on identification -- A Shaw. But he was always called Shaw.(less)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The Whole Truth carries the stamp of Baldacci all over it. He recycled some of his plot points from the Camel Club.

If Oliver Stone had had a flashback sequence about his distant past, this book, partly, could be just that. This book behaved like the page turner it was. Though it didn't hit the high notes that I've come to expect from the author, it was a pleasure to read. I liked that the platonic distance between Shaw and James was enacted with natural effortlessness. There was something that
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
This has action flick printed all over it. Scary to think that this could happen - at least the premise that PM "Perception Management" could be used to make the world believe whatever the person paying for it wants them to believe. Not so believeable: that any human could be so close to being an actual Super Hero as Shaw is but that's what makes it so action packed and fun. I. too, would like to see Baldacci bring Katie and Shaw back for more.
kartik narayanan
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Whole Truth is the first underwhelming Baldacci that I have read.

The story is disjoint and goes all over the place. The characters are stereotypical. The hero is your typical strong alpha male type and the villain a campy old school james bond type. In fact he even has a sub in his yacht like Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me and his nefarious scheme reminded me of Eliot Carver's plan to start a war in Tomorrow Never Dies.

Overall, it was unsatisfying and I am pissed off since I have to
Marty Fried
This starts out with a premise that seems all too possible, and pertains to a problem that I feel is way too prevalent - the power of social media to spreat fake news to overly-gullible sheeple who don't have the time or inclination to question what they read before spamming it to all their hundreds of "friends" across the world. After all, nobody would make a fake video and post it, would they? Isn't it illegal to post false news on the internet? 🙄

Unfortunately, it started going downhill from
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Rated: 3.5 stars

Looked up Perception management and it is a real concept, and folks can learn about it. I learned a new term with this one, “perception management”. The DOD even has manuals on it. It is the process of creating facts as “truth” and publishing them in as many ways as possible so that they are actually perceived as true. In this case a billionaire armaments supplier is falling on hard times and is upset with all the little brushfire wars, so he hires a PM company to stir up hostili
Jul 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Baldacci's "Whole Truth" is particularly relevant right now, because it deals with the idea of "managed truth" versus "actual truth." "Managed truth" is what people in power--governments, large corporations, believe to be true, and the book explores what can happen when "manged truth" becomes more influential than real truth.

Longtime readers of Baldacci will appreciate the difference between this book and the previous ones. It has the powerful "agent type" who follows an internal code that is mo
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-spy-a-thriller
I give this book 3.5 stars and found it an enjoyable read. I liked the Shaw (main) character, though he seemed like every other CIA/FBI/Special OPS character out there. I really liked the premise of the story and the build up to the final confrontation, but I thought the last quarter of the book tried to wrap things up a little to quickly. A few of the plot twists seemed a little too predictable and one of the "discovery" of a "Good Guy" secretly a "Bad Guy" seemed forced and unrealistic. (I won ...more
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Heidi, Lisa, Beth
The concept of perception management in this novel introduces a concept more troublesome than spin doctors.
Rather than spinning a different slant on an actual occurrence, PM spreads a fictional , yet believeable, "truth" which awaits discovery so opinion and beliefs are created that will benefit the manufacturer of that "truth".

The statement in the beginning of the book summarizes this concept:
"Why waste time discovering the truth when you can so easily create it?"

In a world where we choose to
Terence M (Temporarily Indisposed)
Audiobook - 11:22 hours - Narrator: Ron McClarty
One of David Baldacci's "ok" novels.
3.5 stars Review to come.
Benjamin Thomas
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
David Baldacci is almost always a safe bet for me and this one was no exception. It’s the first of a duology featuring “Shaw”, a man with no first name (he uses the letter A. in place of a first name) who works for an unnamed secret international intelligence agency. He begins this novel ready to retire, wanting to get out of the dangerous business and marry his successful girlfriend. However, his boss has different ideas, informing Shaw that there is really no way to leave the business short of ...more
Kevin Rubin
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
The Whole Truth is in truth, a very mediocre Baldacci book… Not that he writes the best books of all, his best is only mediocre…

It's one adventure about a man mysteriously named A. Shaw, a James Bond like covert operator working for some organization that's never named. It's not clear if the organization even belongs to a country or not, or if it's international. All we know about it is his boss is named Frank Wells.

Even Shaw's fiance refers to him by his last name, Shaw, which doesn't feel at
Joe Stamber
Mar 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio, read-2015
I've been meaning to try Baldacci for a while, and now I have I can cross him off my list. The Whole Truth was a heavy handed slice of boredom. Each time a main character was introduced, Baldacci felt it necessary to give the reader that character's life story, including how amazing they were at what it was they had chosen to do. There was the impoverished orphan who grew up to be an all action hero, the beauty queen who could speak 156 different languages, the arms dealer who had come from the ...more
Jim  Hassett
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Once again Baldacci writes a good mystery with his usual "page turner" pace. However, this time he adds something to think about as he does a good job bringing in "perception management" as a topic. He shows how PMs could manufacture facts and then sell them to the world as truth. This is much easier today with the web (thanks Al Gore!) and little verification of facts. As Baldacci says in his Postscript, "And by using these methods, a major untruth can be established so quickly and overwhelming ...more
It's been a while since I've read a Baldacci book, I still have quite a bit of his books to read, but The Whole Truth was enjoyable, I really liked the storyline and the characters, I also found the plot to be well thought out. The main character is only known as Shaw, no first or last name, and he works for a secret group that works to keep the world at peace. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good spy novel or political thriller.
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this book well enough but it wasn't as strong as the Maxwell King, Robie or Camel Club novels. Still an intriguing concept I'm sure no one wants to contemplate in real life.
Jun 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Nicolas Creel is a man on a mission. He heads up the world's largest defense contractor, The Ares Corporation. Dick Pender is the man Creel retains to manage his company to even more riches by manipulating international conflicts. But Creel may have an even grander plan in mind. Shaw, a man with no first name and a truly unique past, has a different agenda. Reluctantly doing the bidding of a secret multi-national intelligence agency, he travels the globe to keep it safe and at peace. Willing to ...more
May 15, 2008 rated it liked it
I love David Baldacci and this was no exception. The premise of The Whole Truth involved a conspiracy to bring the U.S. back into conflict with Russia rather than focusing on the Middle East. Poses the question, which world is safer--cold war type conflict versus terrorism. It raised some interesting points, and made me feel like I was back in political science classes. Also, a good storyline and interesting characters.
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was action packed, easy to read and to follow. Not alot of detail, but sometimes all the details can bog you down. I liked the premise because I think it is so much easier to believe a lie than taking the time to find out the truth. Because of the lie, the world is at the brink of another World War III. The characters were strong, but flawed so easy to relate. Looking foward to reading the rest of the series.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
interesting. one of those books where you just think that could never happen, but that's why you enjoy reading it!
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This was a good read. I liked the characters, the personalities, the suspense and action, emotions, twists and a somewhat HEA. Great for reading anytime. Some parts can definitely suck you in and have you losing track of time. I'm thinking this is going to be another great series. We'll see. Enjoy!
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was painful to read.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s a Baldacci book! Doesn’t that say it all?!!!!
Nov 26, 2019 added it
As always David Baldacci grab's you from the first sentence and you are hooked. A fast read, and you never know what is going to happen next.. Loved it.
Good introduction to a new character (and hopefully🤞) characters!

Bring on the next one!
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If this had been the first book that I'd read by the author then I wouldn't have bothered reading any more - ludicrous storyline and characters!
Thankfully, I do like a lot of his other stuff.
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
James Bond meets Jason Bourne, May 13, 2008

In, The Whole Truth, Nicolas Creel, an international arms dealer slash world philanthropist, creates conflicts to fuel the demand for his products: weapons of mass destruction. When Creel targets Russia with a smear campaign, things start to get ugly.

On the flip side of the coin, to keep out of prison, Baldacci's hero, Shaw, a man with a shady past and a reluctant future, does the bidding of a multinational intelligence agency. When Shaw's fiancé is
Jul 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
I finished this book only because I started it on an airplane and couldn't find an alternative. After a few chapters it became a little interesting as a story line, but it really was very disappointing ~ especially the writing. I've never found Baldacci to be a very good writer. There's always some clumsiness in the narrative, though the dialog is usually decent and the story line suspenseful and believable. This time, however, it was very poor across the board. The characterization of Katie was ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Learned a new term with this one, “perception management” . The DOD even has manuals on it.It is he process of creating facts as “truth” and publishing them in as many was as possible so that they are actually perceived as true. In this case a billionaire armaments supplier is falling on hard times and is upset with all the little brushfire wars, so he hires a PM company to stir up hostilities between Russia and the world as well as with China. As the misinformation spreads and tempers flare the ...more
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
I really hate it when an author wants to use a novel to make a political point but doesn't have the literary ability to make that happen without the reader feeling as though the point has been pounded home with a baseball bat.

That's the case here. Baldacci is a decent spy thriller writer. He is not an "artist," though, and for him to attempt to pull off scathing political commentary via his novels is like me trying to slam dunk a basketball while wearing heels on a freshly waxed court. It ain't
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Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 16 May 20, 2019 10:12AM  

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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequ ...more

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