Nancy McKibben's Reviews > The Truth

The Truth by Michael Palin
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bookshelves: reviewed
Recommended for: readers who like a serious, but entertaining read

The Truth
By Michael Palin

Keith Mabbut is a journalist whose environmental convictions have curtailed his career. Now in his mid-fifties, he is a successful but unhappy corporate hack whose latest tome extolls the history of a North Sea oil company.

Separated from his wife and taking stock of his life, he decides that he’ll stop writing about things he doesn’t believe in and begin the novel that he’s always wanted to write. But then his agent contacts him with an intriguing assignment that he ultimately finds himself unable to refuse: write a biography of the great and mysterious environmentalist Hamish Melville.

Melville is celebrated for living what he preaches, for advocating for the poorest of the poor, and for being elusive. Mabbut nearly loses his life following Melville in the jungles of India, but he manages wins his trust, allowing Mabbut to write the kind of book that he believes a saint like Melville deserves.

But why should Mabbut’s otherwise grasping publisher be so interested in a book about an altruistic environmentalist? Is Mabbut’s real task to be the discrediting of his idol?

The truth that Mabbut pursues turns out to be more elusive and many-faceted than he could have imagined, making this a truly enjoyable book. And here’s another interesting truth: author Michael Palin, should you not recognize the name, is a former Python, and this is his second novel.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 20, 2013 – Finished Reading
August 21, 2013 – Shelved
August 21, 2013 – Shelved as: reviewed

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