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I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
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I Know This Much is True

by Wally Lamb

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,736127435 (4.12)1 / 135
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English (124)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
Another favorite author! ( )
  ShiraR | Nov 6, 2014 |
I was ready for a thick, involved book and this was the perfect story. It is one that haunts me still. There were times that I really disliked the book - REALLY disliked it!! But, I couldn't stop!

Dominick is a twin. That descriptor has defined him through his entire life. Being a twin brings to mind pleasant images of shared secrets and moments. That is not the life of Dominick and his twin Thomas. The book opens with Thomas cutting off his hand in a public library to protest the Gulf War. Yes, cutting off his hand.

This is a culmination of Thomas' life with mental illness. His defining moment in the stacks of the library. Thomas is convinced that this event will force the world leaders to pause and rethink their march to world destruction. But, this event also defined the moment start of the end for both Dominick and Andrew.

The book then is about the journey from that moment for Dominick - the road to understanding of his own limits and the road to healing as he fights to keep Thomas safe and deal with both is mother's death and her refusal to admit how his real father was.

Buried in this is the story of Dominck and Thomas' grandfather - a story that had been translated from Italian and uncovers the tendrils of mental illness from past generations.

I gotta say - I cried and sighed and wrote down the final lines of this book! I LOVED it!!! ( )
  kebets | Nov 1, 2014 |
Definitely not as good as his first book and very difficult at times, but overall a good solid novel. It was awfully depressing at time and the main character was thoroughly unlikable for a good chunk of the book; but the theme of redemption brought both Dominick and me around. It was not an easy book, but it rang true in that it showed the nuance of life - nothing is simply black and white; everything in life has shades of grey. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 21, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
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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.
First words
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.
Quotations
"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.

» see all 8 descriptions

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