Lies, Deceit, Mendacity

Bridget Jones’ Diary is full of characters who are untruthful

The spy who came in from the cold’?

Beckett’s ‘Genesis’?

‘1984’?
All are about systematic lying, though not really ‘the tendency to be untruthful’.

‘Life of Pi’ – what is the truth?

Detective novels also discuss this question! Something like Umberto Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’ would fit – but it’s a difficult read for a teenager.

Robertson Davies’ and Hilary Mantel’s novels frequently have truth/lies as minor themes. Also quite demanding reads.

Not a novel, but ‘Othello’ would fit the theme very well.

White Lies by Burke, J.C. Mitch's grandfather, former longboard champion, has taught Mitch all he knows about surfing. But when Grandpa gets seriously ill, everyone starts telling Mitch white lies.

Kissing the rain by Brooks, Kevin. A story about the truth, or something like it. In Moo Nelson's life it rains every day - a constant rain of spite and derision. His only refuge is the bridge, where he spends time thinking and dreaming. Until the night he witnesses a car chase and a murder - or does he? Moo must decide between truth and lies, loneliness and loyalty.


Geraldine McCaughrean: The White Darkness. The protagonist is more or less kidnapped by her uncle, and taken to Antarctica. This really fulfils a dream for her: she’s fascinated by Lieutenant Oates, of the Scott expedition. He’s become a sort of imaginary friend for her. She’s not got a lot of real friends. Gradually she realises that the truth isn’t what she thought it was, and she needs to call on all her knowledge of the polar environment in order to survive.