Michael Palin’s The Truth.

Actor/writer Michael Palin

Actor/writer Michael Palin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just finished reading  Michael Palin‘s novel The Truth and, though I am a Palin and Monty Python fan, I want to give the book a fair shake.

I identified with the hero, Keith Mabbut.  He is fifty-six years old in the book, I will be fifty-six soon.  He is at a crossroads in his life and writing career.  I am also a writer.

I admit the agents I’ve met are nothing like Keith’s agent Silla.  She seemed more like a Hollywood type.  Ron Latham from Urgent Books (I enjoyed the name Urgent Books, sounded like a tabloid), wants Keith to write a book about an elusive environmental food soldier named Hamish Melville.  They were paying him 180,000 pounds?  No, I have to agree with the review in the Guardian about that.  Non-Fiction is easier to publish than fiction as a rule, so if I were Keith, alarm bells would have gone off at once.  Yes, I know Snooki from Jersey Shore was fronted that kind of money, but she was already well known.  You can bet though, the publisher is going to want their slant on it for that kind of money.

And that is really the theme of Mr. Palin’s book.  Life’s choices.  Are heroes all good, or is there some sort of taint somewhere?  The brave knight may have some tarnish on his armor.

There is a secondary theme.  Keith goes to find Hamish Melville in the Indian state of Orissa, where an International company wants to build a giant aluminum smelter.  That theme is modernization vs. traditionalism and which should win.

The book does show certain choices are difficult to make.  No one is one hundred percent saint or sinner, hero or villain.

You could see the Palinesque sense of humor in the book as well as much of what he learned from his travels.

Yes, I found some items that stretched my credulity, but I still found the book an enjoyable read I could read again.



About tucsonmike

I am originally from Brooklyn, New York and now live in Tucson, Arizona. I have discovered a passion for writing. I have five books out now, with a sixth on the way. Take a look @ my book list: The Search for Livingstone An Affair of the Heart The Search for Otzi Griffith Justice in Space. Moriarty The Life and Times of a Criminal Genius Available now on Smashwords - Amazon and Barnes and Noble As to not bore my public with just "Buy my book," I am also interested in baseball, the outdoors, art, architecture, technology, the human mind and DNA. I learned Ashkenazi Jews, of which I am one, have to lowest rate of Alzheimer's in the world. Therefore, I treat my brain as a muscle needing a workout. I enjoy good food, flirtation, beautiful women (I am happily married for thirty years), so just flirting ;) I was considered autistic when I was young, trying to figure out if I have a mild form of Aspergers and learning from that. That is for future posts. You can also see I love history. Enjoy my sarcastic silly look at the world, and making History more interesting than a textbook.
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