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The Keepers of Truth Paperback – May 3 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (May 3 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753811022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753811023
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,329,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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By don mitchell on June 6 2002
Format: Paperback
This sleeper that never quite caught the public eye has been shortlisted for all major literary awards, Booker and IMPAC. It's a tour de force, a retrospective look at our America, or indeed Western Civilization, in the latter part of the 20th Century. Filled with brilliant philosphical insights, and a true murder mystery, Collins has created one of the most interesting hybrid fictions I have ever read. He focuses on the monumental dismantling and reconstruction of our world from a manufacturing base, to a service sector economy. The sense of displacement, anger, but ultimate sense of hope in the book is a realistic portrait of the social and psychological pangs we all went through as America changed in the late seventies.
This book was our unanamious choice as book of the year in our book club.
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By A Customer on April 2 2002
Format: Paperback
NPR does a great service in bringing us voices that we may otherwise never hear. Michael Collins is one such voice. Hailed in Europe and lauded with prizes, I'd never heard of him. In his interview he gave such a personal account of his struggle and survival in America as a young immigrant, that I decided to read his book. He seemed to suggest that we as a nation had lost our ability to think politically, to react to world affairs. Needless to say, I bristled at this contention. I wanted to ask him why he stayed?
I can't say I agree with everything in this book, but it is an uncanny vision of America, a re-vision of past events overlayed with some heavy, but insightful analysis of us as a country. His contention that over 20,000 people were murdered and this constituted an undeclared revolution within America in the early eighties now seemed more insightful than when I first heard the figure. Collins contended in the interview that Americans were apt to dismiss this figure as gang related, to mitigate the level of violence to a subgroup of our nation. However, in The Keepers of Truth he has created the emotional and political landscape of America, peopled it with all the hopes and fears we share. He shows the rise and fall of characters, not always their own fault, but victims of society, and we are asked to have humanity and understanding for those who fail, and indeed, in this book, failure seems inevitable, or at least decline. (It is hard to decide what I feel about this contention.)
Collins raises serious societal issues in of all genres to adopt, a crime, or mystery novel, and he pulls it off with such verve of language, suspense and pace, that one had to give him his moments on the soapbox. As a denizen of the midwest I can vouch for at least the atmosphere and tension Collins creates. It is a startling achievement for a foreigner to understand, or maybe, not understand, but question us with such probing questions.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up Keepers of the Truth after going to amazon.com and adding some books to my reading list. All the reviewers were saying things to the effect that the guy's very underrated, and one even went as far as to say that KotT is better than Franzen's book.
Now that I'm 85 pages into it, I wish that I had read it before his lecture tour. He does make some interesting analogies, particularly his juxtaposition of a bathroom stall and a confessional. Also, I now have this desire to ask him what he thinks of Bruce Springsteen's role in the working world: an emotional salve or a revolutionary much in the vein of Collins as a writer.
I think that as age advances on him, he will at least gain contentment that this book will be added to required reading lists through the Midwest (or maybe just along the Coasts).
The book seemed like it was just going to be some surrealistic ... when he started talking about workers in stained yellow shirts with buckets of beer. His characters have since demonstrated the worth of the book. I think my brother might enjoy the text as well, since Collins seems to have Hunter's flare for the gauche.
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Format: Paperback
This starkly realistic novel is a movie waiting to be made. Its cinematic eye provides both the mood and pace to this noir murder mystery. This is David Lynch stuff, that creepy realism that brings you to the brink of absurdity, but stops short, and you are left facing the darkness of his vision.
Collins operating along the same lines, has created one of the great eulogies to America, not the eulogy of praise and trite remembrance, but a eulogy that is filled with ambiguity, with love, hate, contempt and understanding.
A highly original voice and style, a blend of noir thriller with the pathos and depth of our greatest American literary figures, this expat Irishman has got inside our heads and let us see ourselves from the inside out...
A masterpiece
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By A Customer on March 28 2002
Format: Paperback
This book definitely held my attention, but it's not close to being a 'great book'. Most of the characters--especially women--boil down to tired stereotypes. And the philosophical and political passages are heavy-handed and belabored. It reads like a pseudo-intellectual miniseries. Get 'The Corrections' if you want to read something with philosophical and political content that's done really well!
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By A Customer on March 28 2002
Format: Paperback
A voice both within and outside America narrates this surreal elegy to the death of American Industrialism and the passing of a certain blue collar security and life. The voice within is the voice of the American people, and Collins (an immigrant) has such an ear for our language its uncanny that we wholly feel that we are reading an author who is one of us. The banter, the pace, the descriptions are all quintessentially American, but lurking throughout the book is this outside voice, a voice that cleaves apart the political and social matrix of who and what we are. We see ourselves again for the first time through this voice. Our America is presented in all its familiarity, but somehow there is a spin on this vision.
It's hard really to describe this book more than to speak of its mood, of its profound ability to get at your psyche, but it does and for the few friends I've lent the book, they also feel its resonance, that it has a life after you finish it.
I think this book is destined to be read for years. It rings with such authenticity and raises so many questions on the predicament of humanity in the late and early 21st century, that it serves the launching pad for understanding where we are at this time in history. It does not provide the answers, but sometimes the questions need to be asked first...
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