The Truth is Stranger Than…

This photo and the photographer’s commentary inspired the epitaph in the opening pages of my novel DARKROOM.

“I won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for a photograph of one man shooting another. Two people died in that photograph: the recipient of the bullet and GENERAL NGUYEN NGOC LOAN. The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.”  –Eddie Adams, Photographer

Read more here at TIME Magazine.

Adams, who believed Brig. Gen. Loan’s contention that the man he shot had just murdered a friend of his, a South Vietnamese army colonel, as well as the colonel’s wife and six children. “How do you know you wouldn’t have pulled the trigger yourself?” Adams would later write in a commentary on the image.

Often the media puts things together in ways that have little to do with the truth.  Impressions are fabricated for various agendas, and unfortunately most are created to boost the ratings with sensationalism.  But what happens when the truth is distorted or even buried completely?  And what happens if the contained truth is uncovered?

This is not just a global concern, but a personal one as well.  Do we try to cover up our weaknesses and failures at the expense of authenticity or integrity?  We cry foul when politicians and elected officials are caught doing this, but do we ever ask how we are doing the very same thing, in our own personal lives?

Constantly looking over your shoulder, trying to contain a secret that no one must ever know has got to be one of the worst prisons anyone can face, especially because it is self-imposed.  There’s a reason why the scriptures say, “The truth shall set you free.”  And this is what DARKROOM is all about.

Take a moment to examine yourself and see if you’re sitting in a self-imposed cell.  And consider the freedom you’ll enjoy because of the truth.

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Joshua Graham is a USA Today bestselling author, Winner of the International Book Award and Forward National Literature Award. His thrillers include DARKROOM and BEYOND JUSTICE, and TERMINUS. Graham's works have been characterized as thought-provoking page-turners.

Legal Notice: All information on this website and blog are from Mr. Graham's personal experience and insight and should not be viewed in any way, directly or inferred, as qualified professional advice.
  • I think we all have truths that we keep hidden to one degree or another. Perhaps not Earth shattering secrets like ‘where the body is buried’ but secrets none the less. And while I agree that “The truth shall set you free”, there are some secrets that need to be kept. For instance, nobody needs to know that my lunch today consisted of half a pound of peanut M&M’s and a Pepsi…
    (You won’t tell anyone, right?)

    • Joshua Graham

      Well, that’s true Doug. Oversharing is another matter altogether. 🙂 Your secret is safe.
      …Here on the internet
      …Before billions of readers.

  • Marjorie

    I do believe you have a big winner here with this novel.
    Good luck, sounds great.

    • Joshua Graham

      Thanks Marjorie!

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