Monday 22 July 2013

The Truth by Michael Palin

The Truth by Michael Palin was published in paperback by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Publishing on 18 July 2013.

Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life.  When he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a highly influential activist and humanitarian - he seizes the chance to write something meaningful.
The thing that I've found when reading fiction written by very famous people, is that I tend to see the author when I'm reading, rather than the characters.   So, for me, Keith Mabbut looks like Michael Palin, although really I doubt that they have too much in common.

Keith is a man who regrets a lot, he is gazing back at this life and wondering just where to go next.  Having just completed a book about an oil company in the Shetlands, he is determined that at last he will write his long-planned fiction novel.   His agent has other ideas and despite (little) protest he finds himself off to India to track down Hamish Melville.

Michael Palin has been able to draw on his experience in the world of television presenting and travel writing to create a realistic sounding if not very pretty backdrop for this novel.

A gentle, fairly slow at times and dry-witted story that moves slightly into the 'thriller' territory in the second half.   Michael Palin writes well with great insight into the environmental nature of the plot.

My thanks to the publisher for sending my copy for review.

Michael Palin established his reputation with Monty Python's Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns.  His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as The Missionary, A Private Function, an award-winning performance in A Fish Called Wanda, American Friends and Fierce Creatures.  His television credits include two films for the BBC's Great Railway Journeys, the plays East of Ipwich, Number 27 and Alan Bleasdale's GBH.

He has written bestselling books to accompany his eight very successful travel series, Around The World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil.  he is the author of a number of children's stories, the play The Weekend and the novel Hemingway's Chair.  He has also published two volumes of his acclaimed diaries.  1969 - 1979: The Python Years (2006) and Halfway to Hollywood, Diaries 1980 - 1988 (2009).

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