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I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier

I Am the Cheese (1977)

by Robert Cormier

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,762644,000 (3.85)46
  1. 31
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (angelofmusic_81)
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    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Both these books are perfectly structured, all the plot parts fitting so seamlessly together that not even a knife blade could slip between them. The endings to each are as inevitable as the end of the world.
  3. 00
    The Rag and Bone Shop (Readers Circle) by Robert Cormier (meggyweg)
  4. 01
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: These two books are very different in plot, themes, etc., but they have similar whack-you-on-the-back-of-the-head type endings.

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Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Well, I really can't see my 7th or 8th graders a) understanding this b) putting up with it c) comprehending the ending even a little bit d) relating to this. HOWEVER, I think it's one of the best novels I've read in quite some time.

The book creatively characterizes a teen's quest to find the truth to his identity, and it plays out as a thriller/mystery but with all of the literary merit of a classic. The symbolism is complex and brilliant and left me reflecting and analyzing for hours. For the first time since I graduated from college, I wrote a paper about a novel without being prompted! I started to write about what I thought the ending was about, but it turned into an in-depth analysis that turned out to be 2 pages long, single-spaced. Man, how I miss that! I sorted out almost all of my questions and understand the complexities of the plot (the things that will elude any young readers, I think). Please, if you want to discuss this book, let me know! I could go on and on and I'd love to hear your opinions! It's definitely the type of novel that will have myriad interpretations of even basic plot elements.

I actually liked this better than Chocolate War, although it deals with the same themes. It seems that Cormier constantly shows us that "doing the right thing" NEVER pays off, but neither does staying quiet. Nothing sugar-coated here. Realism at its best. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
I've been a huge fan of Robert Cormier ever since I read After The First Death as a teenager, so I was very excited when my son brought I Am The Cheese home from the school library. This is an extremely taut psychological thriller with a chilling conclusion. ( )
  MargaritaMorris | Oct 16, 2014 |
After reading it, I'm still not sure what I thought of it. I felt like I needed to read the book twice, because it's one of THOSE books with the twist ending like "The Usual Suspects" or "The Sixth Sense". So a second read lets you see all the signs and understand what was really going on. The good thing is that it's short, so it's easy to do. That or you can just read the cliff notes.

It's also an old book with some archaic elements. For instance, the witness protection program was a new, innovative thing. It wasn't even named yet. And the other anachronisms, especially the way mental health is treated, seem downright barbaric now. It feels like those racist Bugs Bunny cartoons as actual entertainment, rather than a historical reprimand.

If you need to complete a collection of some kind, then go ahead and read it. It's not horrible. But I didn't feel more fulfilled by adding it to my library. ( )
  theWallflower | Mar 26, 2014 |
I'm giving up on this one, I just can't work up enough interest to follow the story jumps. Sorry. ( )
  wareagle78 | Mar 24, 2014 |
An adventurous structure with interesting changes of voice. Unfortunately it's also a bit overblown and dated. It manages to be deeply depressing; the details of the boy's bike trip are grim but somehow grindingly realistic. ( )
  themulhern | Mar 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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I am riding the bicycle and I am on Route 31 in Monument, Massachusetts, on my way to Rutterburg, Vermont, and I'm pedaling furiously because this is an old-fashioned bike, no speeds, no fenders, only the warped tires and the brakes that don't always work and the handlebars with cracked rubber grips to steer with.
"Someday I will ride my bike out there."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440940605, Mass Market Paperback)

Imagine discovering that your whole life has been a fiction, your identity altered, and a new family history created. Suddenly nothing is as it once seemed; you can trust no one, maybe not even yourself. It is exactly this revelation that turns 14-year-old Adam Farmer's life upside down. As he tries to ascertain who he really is, Adam encounters a past, present, and future too horrible to contemplate. Suspense builds as the fragments of the story are assembled--a missing father, government corruption, espionage--until the shocking conclusion shatters the fragile mosaic. Young adult readers will easily relate to the shy and confused Adam, whose desperate searching for self resembles a disturbingly exaggerated version of the identity crisis common to the teenage years.

First published in 1977, I Am the Cheese provides an exciting introduction to psychological thrillers. This sensitive, emotional, subtly crafted novel by Robert Cormier (author of The Chocolate War) was a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, as well as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:50 -0400)

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A young boy desperately tries to unlock his past yet knows he must hide those memories if he is to remain alive.

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