The last of a manufacturing dynasty in a dying industrial town, Bill lives alone in the family mansion and works for the Truth, the moribund local paper. He yearns to write long philosophical pieces about the American dream gone sour, not the flaccid write-ups of bake-off contests demanded by the Truth. Then, old man Lawton goes missing, and suspicion fixes on his son, Ronny. Paradoxically, the specter of violent death breathes new life into the town. For Bill, a deeper and more disturbing involvement with the Lawtons ensues. The Lawton murder and the obsessions it awakes in the town come to symbolize the mood of a nation on the edge.
Upon initial publication it was shortlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize ,shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize 2002, Irish Novel of the Year 2000 and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Pete Buttigieg mentioned the book prominently in his book Trust as being prescient about America’s social and cultural decline.
“A bravura performance . . . a delightfully tongue-in-cheek look not only at small-town America but also the intricacies of the human spirit.”—Colum McCann, author, This Side of Brightness
“The Keepers of Truth is a thunderous, magnificent, apocalyptic piece of prose; at once a requiem for America and an indictment of its recent past.”—Robert Macfarlane, The Guardian
“Thoroughly edgy, thoroughly enjoyable, The Keepers of Truth is an impressive performance from a rich and unpredictable talent.”—The Irish Times
“The Keepers of Truth is at once an expert and witty homage to the noir American thriller and a wonderfully observant and affecting portrait of America in its once—and future—decline. Michael Collins puts up an unflaggingly brilliant stylistic performance. I can think of no other writer who rises to such heights of lavish eloquence even as he remains so very cool and ironically self-aware.”—Jonathan Raban, author, Bad Land
Shortlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize
Shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize 2002
Irish Novel of the Year 2000
New York Times Notable Book of the Year