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Truth or Fiction

2.64  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Desmond Fitzmaurice is famous, ancient and mysterious: a literary giant of the thirties whom no one has seen for years. And Caroline, a London journalist, hasn't the faintest interest in going to Dublin to interview him; what are the chances, after all, that his life story will feature 'lots of sex and some violence', as the old man claims? She'll stay for a couple of nigh ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 139 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Charnwood (first published January 1st 2009)
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2.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  88 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Sheila Quealey
This was hugely disappointing. I am a big fan of Johnston but this story was weak, the characters were 2 dimensional and the plot was feeble. I never felt at any point they I knew or cared about anyone of them.
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I've just gotten off of a crammed bus ride sat next to an old biddy wittering on for the last 3 hours and my walkman was broken. Where to start with this dismal book? The horrible characters, all of whom are dislikable, boring and annoying? The plot, which is invisible? The story, which is barely there?

Here's the story: a journalist goes to interview an aged and forgotten writer about their long out of print work. That's it. This is merely a framework for Johnston to write about an
...more
David Butler
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Generally I'm a fan of the author. This novella, though, is dull and inconsequential. The characters are flat, undeveloped, and not particularly likeable. One gets no sense of the 'forgotten literary giant' as an author, nor is the incident of the dead Nazi particularly credible. Dalkey and environs is nicely sketched, but is that enough?
Tazzie Dee
A London journalist called Caroline goes to Ireland to visit the famous author Desmond Fitzmaurice. He tells her stories about his life and Caroline is left wondering is he telling the truth or has he been painting a fictional account of events to her. Hence the title, Truth or Fiction.

I like the idea for the book but I thought it was sooooo boring. I wouldn’t recommend.
Denis Vaughan
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Really enjoyed this, read in one glorious sunny session!!!!!!
Martina
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was the weirdest book I've read this year.
The story is really simple, at first: it starts with a journalist named Caroline, not completely satisfied with her life, wondering how it would have been if Herbert (her partner) had asked her to get married. They've been partners for long, they've lived together for more than ten years and she doesn't get why he didn't ask her. On top of that,'she who must be obeyed' asks her to go to Ireland and work on some articles about an old author call
...more
S'hi
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is the type of writing the keeps me away from writing groups. A writer writing about another writer who goes to interview a once well-known writer and comes away deciding its time to get on with her own life. Oops, should I have given that away?

The main image I had throughout this book was of Beckett’s play Krapp’s Last Tape. Luckily a few other characters played around the old fellow to provide a bit more life than that, but as they hardly had lives of their own it’s a bit of a wonder that
...more
Belinda
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I need to stop reading Jennifer Johnston books because they irritate me to no end! Like This is not a Novel this book was very short - more novella than novel. Again I found the main female character frustratingly incomplete and inconsistent. The characters were unlikeable, and rather than caring what they were talking about, I just wanted them to shut up, which they did very quickly because the book was over in approximately 150 pages.

I think what I find so frustrating about Johnston is that sh
...more
ReaderSP
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found this book completely strange. Nothing really seemed to happen and when I finished I was left really confused. The story follows journalist Caroline Wallace as she is asked to go to Dublin to meet Desmond Fitzmaurice, a literary giant of the thirties. She goes to interview Desmond and gets involved with his life slightly and then goes home. That's all. I found the flicking between times confusing and get a bit lost as to the relationships between the characters. I was pleased when I finis ...more
Katie Grainger
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
This is not a taxing book to read by any means. A short story in effect charting a journalists meeting with eccentric writer. The novel centre's around the journalist trying to discover if the writer is telling the truth about his life or giving her a fictional account of events. An interesting quick read.
Fionnuala
A clever little book which sets the reader up for some great mystery/coincidence to be revealed before the end. But the author knows that real life rarely goes in for spectacular endings. I liked it all.
Donna Irwin
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
A bit disappointed with this as a Jennifer Johnston fan. Weak compared with her earlier works especially. Neither characters nor story gripped me at all.
T.A.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book showed an insight in to human nature and growing old that I had not expected. An interesting read.
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Roubeeni Mohan (bookish_owl06)
One of the driest books that I have ever read.
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