“An ingeniously plotted, beautifully written and hugely enjoyable book that raises tricky questions about... our need for heroes [and] the price of personal compromise.’”
—The Daily Telegraph
For the first time since his much-beloved tale Hemingway's Chair was published in 1998, Michael Palin pens a new novel featuring the warm and witty story of an everyman, a tantalizing offer, a journey to India, and the search for the truth.
Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life. A professional writer of some repute, he has reached the age of fifty-six with nothing resembling the success of his two great literary heroes, George Orwell and Albert Camus. When he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a widely respected and 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 an ordinary man on an extraordinary adventure.
"[Palin's] book is well paced, his prose, carefully hewn, his characters fully developed and convincingly human. And his comic timing is impeccable." —The Washington Post on Hemingway's Chair
"This book's strengths are . . . its dry, deftly, understated wit, its careful plot and character construction; it's clever, on-the-money dialogue . . . Those pleasures carry you a long way." —The New York Times Book Review on Hemingway's Chair
Praise for The Truth
“With passion and flair, Palin (of Monty Python fame) details a journalist’s quest to discover the truth about a reclusive environmental activist…. 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.” –Kirkus, starred review
“Palin's plotting is inspired, the writing is crisp, and the unexpected twists of the story are eye-opening and often hilarious. What starts as a book about a schlumpy hack writer looking to save himself turns into a layered, empathetic look at progress, hero worship and the slipperiness of truth and lies themselves.” –Creative Loafing
“The Truth is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written and hugely enjoyable book that raises tricky questions about the cost of progress, and even trickier ones about our need for heroes, the price of personal compromise, and what Palin calls ‘the uncontroversial assumption that the truth is immutable.’” —The Daily Telegraph
“Well-crafted, warm hearted—and wholly recommended.” —Reader’s Digest
“Entertaining...delightfully funny.” —Sunday Express
“Part environmental thriller, part biting swipe at the publishing industry...a thoughtful and generous study of failure.” —Daily Mail
“The Truth is the perfect example of his literary brilliance—here's hoping he won't leave it so long until his next novel.” —Stylist
“An entertaining story of hero worship, compromise and grubby trade-offs.” —Tatler
“It's a feel-good story leaving the reader on a real high.” —Rachel Redford, The Observer
“Palin's dryly understated exasperation with the absurdities of daily life and his ear for dialogue raise an appreciative smile.” —The Sunday Times Culture
“Winning characterization, clever plot and deep sense of humanity…it's an unmitigated delight.” —Choice
“Michael Palin has proved himself a major talent at many things. Storytelling is another.” —Entertainment Focus
“The Truth is a wonderful, heart-warming novel exploring the issues of media manipulation, private lives and public persona, and the balance of progress against environmental damage.” —LoveReading UK
“Reads like a dream.” —Christopher Bray, The Daily Express
“The Truth is a compelling and zippily paced book.” —Time Out
“It's an enthralling and almost Kipling-esque tale for our times.” —Metro
Praise for Hemingway’s Chair
"His book is well paced, his prose, carefully hewn, his characters fully developed and convincingly human. And his comic timing is impeccable." --The Washington Post
This book's strenghts are...its dry, deftly, understated wit, its careful plot and character construction; it's clever, on-the-money dialogue...Those pleasures carry you a long way."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Funnyman Palin brings a light touch to this yarn, treating his characters and their many weaknesses with an affection that will have readers rooting for his unlikely hero." --Pubishers Weekly
"The spirit of Hemingway is evident in Palin's prose." --The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"This comic novel should enjoy critical acclaim while finding popularity among readers who can't distinguish a Python from a garden snake. It is a tale of frustration that is both gentle and snappy, human to the core." --Library Journal