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The Telling Of Lies Hardcover – Import, 1988

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Hardcover, Import, 1988

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 359 pages
  • Publisher: NY: DELTA. 1988; Reprint edition (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333451953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333451953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David J. Loftus on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Timothy Findley is a former actor and radio performer and scriptwriter from Canada who has written one incredible novel (_Not Wanted On the Voyage_) and quite a few good ones. There is no such thing as a "characteristic" Findley novel, and this is no exception.
With _The Telling Of Lies_, the author takes on the murder mystery genre, but of course it's not your typical mystery. It takes place on the south coast of Maine, at a resort hotel with an assortment of characters. The narrator/protagonist, a middle-aged woman, not only tackles and solves the mystery, but intersperses the main plot with memories of her experiences in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War.
The story is well told. I liked this book better than _Famous Last Words_ (though it is a less complicated and momentous story) and _The Piano Man's Daughter_, about as much as _The Butterfly Plague_ and his memoir/essay collection _Inside Memory_, but not as much as his masterpiece, _Not Wanted On the Voyage_.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By e. verrillo on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Findley's book, Telling of Lies, is supposed to be a murder mystery. A man is found dead in his chair at a beach resort. He is an elderly man, so his death is not remarkable, yet the doctor who first examines his body suspects foul play. All well and good. Murder mysteries are supposed to be about foul play. The only problem is that the good doctor never gives the slightest hint as to WHY he suspects foul play. I kept going back over the pages, trying to find some logic behind his conclusion. The evidence to support it eventually arrives at the end of the book, by which time I had lost interest.

While I enjoyed the telling of the tale - Findley is a good writer - the lack of logic, the loose ends that are never tied up in any satisfactory way, the unconvincing nature of the characters and their interactions, simply did not produce a good novel. The greatest drawback, however, was the device through which the story is told - a journal. It was nearly impossible to get a sense of any plot continuity with the all the jumbled (undated!) journal entries. And while the back story of the narrator was interesting, it really didn't serve any purpose other than to further bog down the story.

One of these days Findley will write a good novel. But this wasn't it.
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