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Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch

Truth Like the Sun

by Jim Lynch

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This book probably has the most meaning for you if you are a true native of Seattle. If you're not, at best, it will give you the slimmest of glimpses into the Seattle of 1962 but it doesn't flesh out that story enough to ever give you a full picture of either the World's Fair or the graft and corruption scandals of the period.

The most disappointing thing for me was that it never adequately captured the feeling and spirit that native Seattlites had about their fair. I have slides and pictures and whole history gallery created by my grandfather of my families attendance at the fair. I also have many memories of going to the Seattle Center in the early 70's when the Center House still had many shops, booths, a much larger international food court than what it has now and the Bubbleator as well as a complete working fun fair outside. It was always more than the Space Needle and although the book attempts to center the action at the Needle and make it a focal point, it misses an opportunity to really show what the Seattle Center was in its heyday and beyond.

As for the premise of switching back to 2001 and a mayoral race, that was a weak premise to really discuss the newspaper wars with the dying local, the Post Intelligencer pitted against the Seattle Times and in fact, the death of the newspaper industry in the city.

Lynch missed an opportunity because I think he tried to tell too many stories instead of focusing on one good one. Perhaps he tried to cash in on the 50th anniversary bash of the world's fair. He would have done better to go and read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and realize that you can tell a great story that involves a small radius - in the case of this book, the Seattle Center grounds - people it with wonderful characters, and bring an interesting piece of history to life that occurred within a fascinating social context. Missed opportunity. ( )
  ozzieslim | Dec 28, 2014 |
This book has two plotlines: one takes places during the 1963 World's Fair in Seattle, and follows the fair's fictional creator, Roger Morgan. The other storyline is in 2003, when Roger Morgan, now in his 70s, decides to run for mayor, and focuses on the young journalist who writes stories about him.

The book focuses on corruption in the police department in the 1960s - Roger Morgan slowly discovers this corruption, and 40 years later the journalist tries to implicate him in the scandal. There is also a lot of attention paid to Seattle's growth - at the time of the world's fair, it was still a podunk town trying to prove its class. By 2003, it was still suffering from the dotcom bust, but had established itself as a big city to be taken seriously.

There's lots of interesting historical information scattered throughout the book, but as a reader it can be hard to sort the fact from the fiction, and the author offers no guidance about this whatsoever (I am always disappointed if there isn't an afterward telling me what to believe and what not to believe.)

Mostly, this is a story about journalism and journalistic integrity. The journalist has the power to make or break Roger Morgan, depending on the tone of her story. She comes across as rash and irresponsible, and it makes you think about how much you can trust "investigative journalism."

All in all, some decent food for thought here, but nothing tremendously compelling. If you don't know Seattle, there's probably no reason for you to read the book. ( )
  Gwendydd | Aug 6, 2014 |
Hot damn. I really liked this book. As a result I don't have a lot to say about it. It's so much easier to trash a bad book then to laud a good one.

So here's a sentence I quite liked from page 16:

Her eyes panned the glistening skyline as a cruise ship peeled away from the waterfront like an entire city block calving into the bay.

Pretty great, eh? I'd recommend this book to just about anyone, especially those with a fondness of Seattle. ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.
This book is told in two different time periods, but in the same location. The location is Seattle and the time periods are the summer of 2001 and the summer and fall of 1962. In 1962 the World's Fair is going on in Seattle and Roger Morgan is the bright young thing who has spearheaded this event. In 2001, a much older Morgan is running for mayor of Seattle while a reporter named Helen is investigating his past involvement with some of the corruption that was necessary to make the city run.
I really enjoyed thinking about the questions this story raised about the role of journalism in the political process. Technically what Helen writes is the truth, but is it really something the voting public needs to know? Are they losing the best option they have for mayor because of a history that has very little bearing on the present? I also enjoyed learning more about the history of the city of Seattle, which seems to be a microcosm of the both the best and the worst that the American people have to offer.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in journalism or politics as well as anyone who enjoys stories about people seeking to put their own personal history in a larger context. ( )
  elmoelle | Aug 9, 2013 |
i loved Jim Lynch's Highest Tide. He is like an old time storyteller who feeds his readers a great plot with reallly well developed and individuated characters. Truth Like The Sun is a fantastic story that shifts between 1962 when Roger Morgan, the fictional mastermind behind the Space Needle, is running the World Fair, and 2001 when he decides to run for mayor and an investigative reporter tries to incover his connection to all the corruption that was rampant in the city 40 years earlier. The novel offers great portraits of political players, reporters and a city. The insiders' view of a newsroom in the dying days of newsprint is intriguing and what's even more fun are the celebrities from the early 60s that Roger greets as host of the fair, including Elvis, Count Basie, and LBJ. ( )
  johnluiz | Aug 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 030795868X, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: Told through dual timelines--the 1962 World’s Fair and a 2001 mayoral election--this is the story of a man and his city thinking big, striving for greatness … and making mistakes. Civic cheerleader Roger Morgan had been the driving force behind the construction of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle. Thirty-nine years later, Morgan, now 70, decides on a whim to run for mayor, which brings him face to face with a curious and tenacious reporter--and his own murky past. Author Jim Lynch is a former newspaper reporter who deftly captures the complicated relationship between an ambitious journalist and an ambitious public official, each of them flawed and haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes. --Neal Thompson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

Roger Morgan, the promoter responsible for bring the World's Fair to Seattle in 1962, runs for mayor in 2001, right after the tech bubble bursts, while budding reporter Helen Gulanos probes his secretive past.

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