Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The truth / Michael Palin.

By: Palin, Michael, 1943-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2012Description: 261 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780297860211 (hbk.); 0297860216 (hbk.); 9780297860228 (pbk.); 0297860224 (pbk.).Subject(s): Biographers -- Fiction | Biographers -- England -- Fiction | Authors -- Fiction | London (England) -- FictionDDC classification: 823.914
Contents:
"As read on BBC Radio 4" --cover. -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. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Mabbut to Orissa and the environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with an idealist who wanted to make a difference. But is his quarry really who he claims to be? As Keith discovers, the truth can be whatever we make it...
Summary: Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life. After some early success as a writer, he has become a pen for hire, finding work when and where he can. He and his wife have separated and his son and daughter are both grown up. Then he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a highly influential activist and humanitarian. Not only does the offer come with the promise of rich financial reward, it is also a chance to write something truly meaningful. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Keith to Orissa, the jungle, and the environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with the man he once was, an idealist who wanted to make a difference. Gradually Melville takes Keith into his confidence and finally agrees to the book. He will feed Keith information and give him introductions to his friends. However when the first draft is ready, the publisher reveals their version of 'the truth' is far from the story Keith has written. They point to some dubious dealings in Melville's past and it becomes clear that perhaps Melville has not always been as pure as he seems to be. Or is he? As Keith becomes torn between his admiration for the man and his obligations as a writer, he finds that the truth can be whatever we make it.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Fiction Collection
Fiction Collection PAL 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Mabbut to the lush landscapes and environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with an idealist who wanted to make a difference. But is his quarry really who he claims to be? As Keith discovers, the truth can be whatever we make it... In this wonderful, heartwarming novel, Michael Palin turns his considerable skills to fiction in the story of a ordinary man on an extraordinary adventure.

Cover subtitle: A novel.

"As read on BBC Radio 4" --cover. -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. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Mabbut to Orissa and the environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with an idealist who wanted to make a difference. But is his quarry really who he claims to be? As Keith discovers, the truth can be whatever we make it...

Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life. After some early success as a writer, he has become a pen for hire, finding work when and where he can. He and his wife have separated and his son and daughter are both grown up. Then he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a highly influential activist and humanitarian. Not only does the offer come with the promise of rich financial reward, it is also a chance to write something truly meaningful. His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Keith to Orissa, the jungle, and the environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with the man he once was, an idealist who wanted to make a difference. Gradually Melville takes Keith into his confidence and finally agrees to the book. He will feed Keith information and give him introductions to his friends. However when the first draft is ready, the publisher reveals their version of 'the truth' is far from the story Keith has written. They point to some dubious dealings in Melville's past and it becomes clear that perhaps Melville has not always been as pure as he seems to be. Or is he? As Keith becomes torn between his admiration for the man and his obligations as a writer, he finds that the truth can be whatever we make it.

2 3 5 7 11 18 19 20 22 24 27 28 37 49 62 68 74 80 82 83 89 96 98 103 109 111 114 115 124 132 135 138 142 144 159 161 164 172 175 177 184 189

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Former journalist Keith Mabbut gets an offer to write the seminal biography of the iconic and elusive environmental activist Hamish Melville. He takes the job, finds Melville, gains his trust, and writes the book. Then his troubles begin. His publisher demands more dirt on Melville-and shows Keith where to find it. In his search for the truth about his subject, Keith discovers that truth is subject to interpretation. Palin (Brazil) captures the struggle between truth and justice on one hand and power and influence on the other. His story is both compelling and entertaining. Well read, with distinctive character voices, by Alex Jennings. Verdict Recommended to listeners who enjoy general fiction titles.-Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In Palin's second novel, Keith Mabbut is a corporate hack-writer with literary ambitions. When a lucrative opportunity to write about legendary activist Hamish Melville presents itself, Mabbut leaps at the opportunity. With his personal life falling apart, he finds inspiration in Melville. But the book he's written flies in the face of what his publisher wants and that creates all sorts of problems for Mabbut, his family, and Melville. Narrator Alex Jennings deftly delivers a variety of foreign accents and captures Mabbut's initial frustration and general disposition. Jennings also renders Mabbut's evolution and transformation, providing a clear contrast between the man Mabbut was and is by novel's end. The narrator also lends consistent, unique voices to secondary characters. And, best of all, Jennings manages to, at times, channel Palin, capturing the author's wry delivery and excellent timing. A Thomas Dunne hardcover. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

With passion and flair, Palin (of Monty Python fame) details a journalist's quest to discover the truth about a reclusive environmental activist. Once, London journalist Keith Mabbut was an award-winning crusader, exposing chemical polluters, but now he's just another hack, working on company vanity projects while mourning his separation from his Polish wife, Krystyna, who's just announced she wants a divorce (she's met somebody else). The good news is that a top publisher wants him to do a book on Hamish Melville, the elderly, widely admired environmentalist; the media-averse Melville works below the radar, encouraging native peoples to confront corporate power, so Keith must run him to earth. The publisher, hard-charging Ron Latham, will pay big bucks; he's chosen the 56-year-old Keith for his integrity. Krystyna's new beau, a well-connected one-time friend of Melville, gives Keith his first lead: The old boy is in Kalinga, East India. Palin ramps up the suspense as Keith arrives. He finds Melville with surprising ease before the canny agitator disappears. On his trail again, Keith is abducted by some Naxalites (Indian Maoists) who threaten to kill him: It's Melville who rescues him. Keith slowly gains his trust: Melville is as impressive as he'd hoped but also playful and irreverent. Keith is given a tour of the tribal areas. The indigenous people are threatened by a giant mining company that wants their bauxite. At the heart of the novel is the question: Can they assimilate change without losing their identity? Melville gives his blessing to the book, while limiting future contact. Keith meets his deadline, but Latham is not happy. Where's Melville's dark side, the dirt that will sell the book? There's an old adversary who may have damning evidence against him. The suspense continues as Keith is challenged by new revelations, some concerning the publisher's sinister corporate parent. It's been a long time since Palin's first novel (Hemingway's Chair, 1998). The wait for this compelling book has been more than worth it.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.