Michael Collins The Keepers of Truth

ISBN 13: 9780753811023

The Keepers of Truth

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9780753811023: The Keepers of Truth
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It is the mid-80s in post-industrial America. In a small town graced with the decaying hulks of defunct factories, young journalist and college dropout Bill churns out lengthy essays on the death of industry and of America itself for The Daily Truth, whose scoops rarely rise above the latest home-bake contest. The static summer is punctured when local bad boy Ronny Lawton reports his father missing. A dismembered finger is found and all suspect the son of murdering his hated father, but nothing can be proved. The sorry tale of the white trash Lawtons hypnotises the town and Ronny Lawton becomes a local icon. Bill becomes increasingly obsessed with the story ┐ he gets involved with Ronny┐s estranged wife, finds a decomposing human head, and ends up as a suspect in the murder case himself. Things come to a head and Ronny Lawton holds his wife, child and Bill hostage in a confrontation with the FBI. Bill escapes with the woman and child and contemplates the American dream gone sour.

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Review:

Michael Collins' third novel The Keepers of Truth, shortlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize, is set in the American mid-west in the 1980s, as industrial decline eats away at the heart of a small town and July heat delivers a punishing drought. Once thriving with metal manufacturers, the town, "hemmed in by crops that it doesn't pay to grow any more", now boasts trainee managers. Eating is the new pastime. Bill works as a reporter for the Daily Truth, a local newspaper built in a disused foundry. Suffering from an inflated sense of his talent as a philosopher, Bill makes a verbose and often funny narrator, an inept news journalist and, as the novel progresses, a sloppy Private Eye: "I apply philosophy like one applies dressing to a wound."

When Ronny Lawton's father goes missing, Bill has to adjust to the shock of producing copy people will actually read. After a small piece of finger is found, the town rushes to vilify Ronny and trial by media ensues. Before e-mail, at the cusp of the widespread use of answer machines, news travels more slowly and the newspaper men fight a losing battle for ascendancy over television. "I lived in the slipstream of TV's immediacy," says Bill. He ironically designates the paper's editor and photographer the "keepers of truth" and wonders at their apparent ability to ride the edge between banality and scavenging. It later emerges that the women of the town keep truth of a different order.

Being from Ireland with its capacity for nostalgia, Collins handles the town's decay and loss with great pathos and fiercely energetic satire. As an outsider, he is well placed to inhabit a narrator set apart by cynicism, boredom and an intellectual view as moribund as the town's labour history. But in Bill's search for deeper meaning, he stumbles into an understanding of the Lawton murder that the media en masse fail to grasp. Collins has produced a compelling and often profound detective story that takes an athletic swipe at the confused mores of contemporary America--a society consumed. --Cherry Smyth

Review:

[Collins] is a stylist, blessed with the gift of having something worth saying (SCOTSMAN)

A style so arrestingly visual it hijacks the reader's concentration; dazzling with the energy and originality of the language (INDEPENDENT)

Collins is a considerable stylist . . . his prose has a thoughtful, sinewy quality, a kind of subliminal toughness of mind (TELEGRAPH)

Collins is undoubtedly an exciting talent, capable of writing razor-sharp prose and he has produced a gripping, stylish novel that deserves to be read (TLS)

One of the most exciting talents to have emerged not only in Ireland but anywhere in recent decades (Susan Hill THE TIMES)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780743218030: The Keepers of Truth: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0743218035 ISBN 13:  9780743218030
Publisher: Scribner, 2001
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9781861591791: The Keepers of Truth

Phoenix, 2000
Softcover

9781417720798: Keepers of Truth

San Val, 2001
Hardcover

9781861591784: The keepers of truth

Phoeni..., 2000
Hardcover

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is the mid-80s in post-industrial America. In a small town graced with the decaying hulks of defunct factories, young journalist and college dropout Bill churns out lengthy essays on the death of industry and of America itself for The Daily Truth, whose scoops rarely rise above the latest home-bake contest. The static summer is punctured when local bad boy Ronny Lawton reports his father missing. A dismembered finger is found and all suspect the son of murdering his hated father, but nothing can be proved. The sorry tale of the white trash Lawtons hypnotises the town and Ronny Lawton becomes a local icon. Bill becomes increasingly obsessed with the story - he gets involved with Ronny s estranged wife, finds a decomposing human head, and ends up as a suspect in the murder case himself. Things come to a head and Ronny Lawton holds his wife, child and Bill hostage in a confrontation with the FBI. Bill escapes with the woman and child and contemplates the American dream gone sour. Seller Inventory # AA29780753811023

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is the mid-80s in post-industrial America. In a small town graced with the decaying hulks of defunct factories, young journalist and college dropout Bill churns out lengthy essays on the death of industry and of America itself for The Daily Truth, whose scoops rarely rise above the latest home-bake contest. The static summer is punctured when local bad boy Ronny Lawton reports his father missing. A dismembered finger is found and all suspect the son of murdering his hated father, but nothing can be proved. The sorry tale of the white trash Lawtons hypnotises the town and Ronny Lawton becomes a local icon. Bill becomes increasingly obsessed with the story - he gets involved with Ronny s estranged wife, finds a decomposing human head, and ends up as a suspect in the murder case himself. Things come to a head and Ronny Lawton holds his wife, child and Bill hostage in a confrontation with the FBI. Bill escapes with the woman and child and contemplates the American dream gone sour. Seller Inventory # AA29780753811023

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