The Truth in My Lies (R P Lenney)*

September 29, 2019Hels

“The world is designed for individuals and for that to remain true then not everything can be experienced by everyone, life is sad like that.”
R P Lenney – The Truth in My Lies

Author: R P Lenney
Genre: Novella
Page Count: 79
Published: 12 April 2019


My rating:
Plot:7 out of 10 stars (7.0 / 10)
Characters:6 out of 10 stars (6.0 / 10)
Ending:6 out of 10 stars (6.0 / 10)

 

When receiving regular visits from a doctor that refuses to tell you why they are visiting, you might begin to ask your guardian angel what’s going on. When you soon learn that your best friend has remained 4 years old since you were a child, you begin to wonder why. Reading from only one perspective can be difficult but so can having your entire world turned upside down when the hunt for your best friend’s murderer becomes a hunt for your own identity. We think we know what’s right and what is wrong. What’s truth and what is lies. But what about the things in-between?

I had no idea what to expect when I started The Truth in My Lies. It’s a novella, an unreliable protagonist searching for meaning in life, and completely different to anything I’ve ever read. It’s like a long stream of consciousness, in some ways it actually reminded me a little of when you have a slightly tipsy, deep and meaningful conversation with your best friend, where you go off on tangents, different stories pop up and you just keep going wherever your train of thought leads you.

The narrator is never properly described; we learn about him through his conversations with his doctor, and you wind up questioning everything, I could never tell if I was in the real world or a fantasy.

He tells of his best friend Gracie, who will always be four-years-old as she was killed by an ice cream man. I really struggled with this section of the book – I immediately wanted to go and give my son the biggest hug – I don’t generally mind horror or macabre, but this was pretty intense. I also felt extremely uncomfortable when I reached the descriptions of how to murder a child and get away with it.

The format of the novella is a little confusing, which I think was intentional, and actually I found I enjoyed how jumbled it was, despite it being so different to what I’m used to. It’s written in short paragraphs, and there isn’t really a break between chapters, so there isn’t a clear pause, but I think it works. In fact, I actually think it might work well without chapters entirely.

Aside from some of the more skin-crawling aspects of the book, which mainly involved children, I actually enjoyed it – it was really unique and original, and parts of it really made me think.

I’d normally say “If you enjoyed *insert title of book here* then you might enjoy this…” but if I’m totally honest, I’m not entirely sure who to recommend it to. If you like macabre or horror books, it’s worth a read, and if you fancy trying something that is probably totally different to anything you’ve ever read, I’d recommend it! Be prepared to feel confused and a little haunted but overall, I think it is a very impressive debut work.

Thank you to R P Lenney for a copy of the book

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