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Hardcover I Know This Much Is True Book

ISBN: 0060391626

ISBN13: 9780060391621

I Know This Much Is True

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

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

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Terrific Book

What an astonishing writer. Could not put the book down.

A surreal and heartbreaking story of twin brothers

From the 1st page this one caught my attention. The struggle one brother goes through to try to help his twin brother is both sad and heartfelt. I have experienced some of these things with my own mother and this book really just hit home. It's one of the few books I can read over and over again

The best book I have EVER read in my life

There are no words to describe the power of this book. You will be completely engulfed by the characters, the realism, the storyline, the passion, the pain - ALL of it is phenomenal. I was SAD to finish reading this (which I read all 900 pages in a week b/c it's THAT good) and will be hardpressed to find something else to read even comparable to this. Don't miss out on reading this. It will change the way you look at life.

An Emotional Roller-Coaster

Like some other reviewers, I was initially a little gunshy about starting to read a 900-plus page book about a pair of twins, one of whom is a paranoid schizophrenic. However, the first chapter graps your attention and the next thing you know, you are halfway through the book and looking forward to coming home to it every night.Lamb was woven a tapestry of characters who come alive and stay with you, not the glamorous models and young aggressive attorneys of most bestsellers these days, but real people. The book is narrated by Dominic Birdsey, a 40-ish housepainter and former teacher who feels a tremendous burden in caring for Thomas, his identical twin. Often told in flashback, the passages recounting school trips and summer jobs involving the two brothers are so vivid, and so heartwarming, they almost become your own memories.Perhaps the most original portions of the book revolve around the long-hidden manuscript of Dominic's maternal grandfather, an Italian immigrant, which Dominic reads (as his world crumbles around him) to try and uncover clues regarding his family's past, and specifically regarding his own father's identity. This "book within a book" steals the show, with its coarse Italian style and the unmistakable bravado of the grandfather-narrator. The novel is tied up almost a little too neatly at the end, as if Lamb saw the size of his manuscript and decided to quickly wrap things up. That's almost a testament to the enjoyment I had in reading the book, as I thought, after 912 pages, that it ended too quickly. However, as the bibliography at the end makes clear, the author has clearly done his research regarding paranoid schizophrenia and the difficulties faced by caregivers. Many of the flashbacks are woven into the plot through Dominic's therapy sessions. What started out as a sad and moving tale of sickness and brotherly devotion ultimately turned into a novel of spiritual renewal and awakening. I give it a big thumbs up.


Lately, so much contemporary American fiction is disappointing ("best sellers" with trite, hackneyed, formulaic plots and dead middles), so when a book like Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True comes along, I feel hopeful that others may be possible--probably not often of this caliber, though. I read this book in 12 days while traveling and devoured its 900 pages under beautiful blue skies as well as under 20 watt bulbs, and I loved every single minute and word of it. That was a year ago, and I have not read since then a novel that I can recommend as highly. Do not be scared away by the book's length (or the Oprah club sticker on the cover). I have heard so many people whine that it looks too long and thus they avoid it. What they don't realize is that its length is part of its magic; it reads so smoothly and never slumps. In truth, this is a brilliant multi-layered story and a masterpiece in every sense: its style is poetic and innovative, its characters three dimensional and very real, its imagery absolutely beautiful, and its metaphors perfectly subliminal. This book has been reviewed and reviewed and reviewed here, so if you want to know the plot, read others. I will offer that it has one of the most profound endings I have ever read. But take it from me, this book will not disappoint you. Moreover, it will do something for you that most cannot: it will give you wisdom and awaken your battered heart. I cannot wait to read anything else this wonderful man writes. How he does it, I wish I knew. I am just thankful that he does. Some superlatives are carelessly tossed around, but Wally Lamb IS one of the greatest American authors of all time. This work will stand the test of time.

A must read for all

Ok, I must admit, when I first began the book I found it extremely tedious. After a long day's work who wants to come home and read about somebody else's misery? Us readers pick up a book to escape, not to hear about somebody else's problems worse then our own. I mean, if I wanted to hear problems I would just call up one of my girlfriends. So I put the book down for a couple of weeks and went on to another novel, only to be done with it in 5 days time. I picked up I Know This Much is True once again due to lack of any other reading material and just kept reading and reading. Within two days time I absolutely could not put it down. This novel penetrates each characters persona in such a way that you feel like you know them inside and out. The story takes you though the daily struggles of Dominick with flashbacks to his childhood so you begin to really understand and feel why his anger exists and the long downward jouney that led Thomas to where he resides. This story will make you laugh, want to cry, feel angry, and most of all permeate your daily life, so much so that you will be thinking about it during the course of your day. And don't be put off by the size-one reason it does effect the reader is because it becomes part of the readers life for so long because of the time it takes to read. This is a wonderful book about the circumstances that shape us and the destruction that causes reconstruction in our lives
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