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I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

I Know This Much is True

by Wally Lamb

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,696124438 (4.12)1 / 135

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English (121)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (124)
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A Masterpiece

Few authors write with the skill, the compassion, the insight into human nature—the almost preternatural understanding of what it means to struggle with one’s identity, one’s humanity—that Wally Lamb displays when he tells a story. But to imply that Lamb “simply” tells stories is to do him a disservice. He, in fact, creates worlds that mirror our own life experiences and tells stories that penetrate to the very depths of our knowledge.

In “I Know This Much is True,” Lamb tells the story of Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, identical twin brothers with anything but identical life experiences. One of the driving themes of the novel is Dominick’s quest for his identity. As he narrates the tale, he implies that any number of elements—his ability to distinguish himself from his schizophrenic brother, discovering their father’s identity, understanding how he managed to destroy his marriage to Dessa, his ex-wife—will provide him with the comfort he so desperately seeks.

Epic and sprawling (in the best of all possible ways), this novel almost defies summary. And, after all, summarizing it would reduce it to mere story. This is a novel that MUST be experienced. Lamb’s skill as a storyteller is on a par with John Irving, Toni Morrison, and William Faulkner. He is an author to be savored and treasured, for he understands the importance of storytelling and how it enriches our lives in ways that nothing else can.

Read this novel. You will benefit from it immensely. ( )
  jimrgill | Aug 24, 2014 |
I didn't finish this book as it became more and more vulgar. I guess that's what I get for reading an Oprah pick. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
I Know This Much Is True is certainly not a happy book. There are a lot of terrible things that happen in it. There’s plenty of sadness and hardship. But it’s the kind of story you’re glad you stuck with when at last you reach the final page. It was just the right balance for me. If long, sustained stories are your thing, I think you’d like I Know This Much Is True.

Full review is posted on Erin Reads.
  erelsi183 | Apr 25, 2014 |
Did not particularly enjoy this book, but it was an Oprah selection if you like those. ( )
  wareagle78 | Mar 24, 2014 |
I absolutely loved this book. The characters were so real that they continue to live on in my mind weeks after I finished the book. There were times during this book that I laughed and times that I cried. Even though Thomas is the twin in the mental hospital, Dominick, who always felt it was his job to take care of his brother, is having a major meltdown due to all the trauma in his life. This is the story of twin brothers who both deal with the demons in their lives. It is a long but absolutely fantastic book and should is a must-read! ( )
  susan0316 | Mar 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wally Lambprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heer, Inge deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for my father and my sons.
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On the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother Thomas entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut Public LIbrary, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable.
"That's the trouble with survival of the fittest ... The corpse at your feet. That little inconvenience."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060987561, Paperback)

Tony award-winning Ken Howard (1776, Child's Play) reads I Know This Much Is True with the conviction of a used car salesman and the charm of a seasoned politico. Reminiscent of a former football coach recalling his glory days, Howard's booming, rich voice is a beefy compliment to Lamb's powerful prose. Never to be mistaken as a ventriloquist, Howard makes little distinction when moving in and out of character--his voice barely cracks an octave for dainty female personalities. However, this understatement (so to speak) lends to smooth transitions and believable, down-to-earth narration. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --Rebekah Warren

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:30 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation.

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