Customer Reviews for

I Know This Much Is True

Average Rating 4.5
( 681 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(509)

4 Star

(107)

3 Star

(40)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(14)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

60 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

A True Page Turner

This novel touched me in so many ways. From the length of the novel (897 pages), I thought that it was going to be a dragged-out novel that was very slow paced and boring however, my assumptions were proven wrong. From the very first chapter of this extraordinary nov...
This novel touched me in so many ways. From the length of the novel (897 pages), I thought that it was going to be a dragged-out novel that was very slow paced and boring however, my assumptions were proven wrong. From the very first chapter of this extraordinary novel I was HOOKED! The rate at which shocking events happen is uncanning and sudden. Wally Lamb relates his characters to the audience both mentally and physically, while pertaining to the ethos and pathos of the readers. You grow with the main character (Dominick) as he expresses his past, his fears, his doubts and feel every emotion that he is feeling. This novel is overflowing with conflict, drama, uncertainty and resolutions that cause it to be a true tear-jerker. Being a twin myself I noticed that the talented Wally Lamb got every detail about twins down correctly: the differences, the similarities, the hate, the love, and the jealousy. Each time an new event occurred in the novel, it caused me to think of my brother (my other half) due to the gifted writing style of Mr. Lamb. I, without a doubt, would recommend this novel! It causes people to think about their past, their present and their future. Furthermore, it gives people insight to the steps one needs to take in life on multiple levels: for forgiveness for love for redemption and, of course, for peace.

posted by Anonymous on July 11, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Too Many Unnecessary Disturbing Plot Lines

Because this book is so widely popular, it feels odd writing a review that isn't overwhelmingly positive. Is it engaging, unique, and unpredictable? Absolutley. Realistic, inspiring/thought-provoking, and addicting? No quite. The plot lines are unbelievable, and a LOT o...
Because this book is so widely popular, it feels odd writing a review that isn't overwhelmingly positive. Is it engaging, unique, and unpredictable? Absolutley. Realistic, inspiring/thought-provoking, and addicting? No quite. The plot lines are unbelievable, and a LOT of them are very disturbing and unnecessary. Rape, murder, perversion, beastiality, broken families, abondonment, depression, suicide, and diseases (both chronic and sexually transmitted). This book would have been great if even just half of those were eliminated. I'm tired of reading stories that indulge the horrific things in life, and squeeze in as many scenarios as possible. This is the third book by Wally Lamb that I've read, and the last.

posted by JessWhite on April 25, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 683 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 35
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    A True Page Turner

    This novel touched me in so many ways. From the length of the novel (897 pages), I thought that it was going to be a dragged-out novel that was very slow paced and boring however, my assumptions were proven wrong. From the very first chapter of this extraordinary novel I was HOOKED! The rate at which shocking events happen is uncanning and sudden. Wally Lamb relates his characters to the audience both mentally and physically, while pertaining to the ethos and pathos of the readers. You grow with the main character (Dominick) as he expresses his past, his fears, his doubts and feel every emotion that he is feeling. This novel is overflowing with conflict, drama, uncertainty and resolutions that cause it to be a true tear-jerker. Being a twin myself I noticed that the talented Wally Lamb got every detail about twins down correctly: the differences, the similarities, the hate, the love, and the jealousy. Each time an new event occurred in the novel, it caused me to think of my brother (my other half) due to the gifted writing style of Mr. Lamb. I, without a doubt, would recommend this novel! It causes people to think about their past, their present and their future. Furthermore, it gives people insight to the steps one needs to take in life on multiple levels: for forgiveness for love for redemption and, of course, for peace.

    60 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wally Lamb is now a favorite author of mine

    A year ago my teenage nieces recommended this book to me. I typically do not like reading fictional accounts of mental illnesses, as I am a Mental Health Professional and typically people mistake mental disorders for others or portray them in a bad way. Wally Lamb did not do this with I Know This Much is True. Although the book is large, I could not put the book down and finished it in two weeks. I found that he accurately portrayed schizophrenia and how schizophrenia affects loved ones. However, that is not what the main story is in I Know This Much is True. The book captivated me until the very end. I find myself frequently discussing this book among my friends and recommending it to others as well. I have also read other works by Wally Lamb and I have enjoyed them all, I do believe that I Know This Much is True is one of my favorites. I had borrowed this book from my nieces and after reading I had to buy it and add it to my permanent collection. I recommend this book to all types of people.

    32 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    ENTRANCING!

    Wally Lamb takes the reader on another fascinating journey into the heart and soul of three generations of dysfunction. Lamb weaves an intricate plot surrounding Dominick Birdsey and his paranoid schizophrenic identical twin Thomas, the boys of a meek and secretive mother. When Thomas ends up in a maximum security hospital, Dominick begins his quest to save his brother by reflecting on his past and his family's. Lamb successfully uses the "story within a story" to reveal the past. Lamb breaks the readers' hearts with his all too real account of mental illness and the painful patterns of family dysfunction and tragedy. His characters develop and invite us into their world and their minds. The reader can't help but be connected to these characters. Incredible!

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I can't say enough

    The book is almost 1000 pages (in the trade paper format, anyway), yet I've read it about six times. I picked it up one day out of curiosity and couldn't put it down until I had finished every last word. That was when I was about 14, and now that I'm older, it's still one of the most well-written, poignant, haunting books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Whether you're young or old, man or woman, you will certainly enjoy this book.

    20 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Truly magnificent, and insightful!

    Three cheers for Wally Lamb. I recently finished reading "my favorite book of all time" for the second time. I first read it about ten years ago when it first was published. I'd very much enjoyed his first novel, and happened to finish it just as IKTMIT was released. I was a younger person then and not as wisdom filled (though this book gave me a great deal more). It's impact at the time was very strong, and I've happily promoted the novel to folks around me as the previously stated above. The second time around this book had an even greater impact on me. I think this time it just astonished me as to how well put together this story is. The characters are fully realized, and the journey of Dominick is truly of epic proportions. I'm not sure though unless you've had a brush with the books sujbect matter, in some fashion, that one could truly appreciate what Lamb has in fact done here. I don't know how he constructed this novel so beautifully after having read that he just begins and never knows what the end is. There is too much meticulously strung together timelines, and plot points. Only a brilliant mind could have done this. My hat is off to Wally Lamb for what I truly believe is a masterful work of contemporary literature. A great American Novel that packs a wallup on your mind and your soul. Savor every moment. This is the only book I have ever read twice. How much more of an endorsement could one give.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Too Many Unnecessary Disturbing Plot Lines

    Because this book is so widely popular, it feels odd writing a review that isn't overwhelmingly positive. Is it engaging, unique, and unpredictable? Absolutley. Realistic, inspiring/thought-provoking, and addicting? No quite. The plot lines are unbelievable, and a LOT of them are very disturbing and unnecessary. Rape, murder, perversion, beastiality, broken families, abondonment, depression, suicide, and diseases (both chronic and sexually transmitted). This book would have been great if even just half of those were eliminated. I'm tired of reading stories that indulge the horrific things in life, and squeeze in as many scenarios as possible. This is the third book by Wally Lamb that I've read, and the last.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't hesitate, it's a great read!

    This was the first Wally Lamb book I ever read. I read it over the summer on loan from my Aunt and was completely taken with the story and characters. The story was engrossing, I couldnt get enough and didnt put the book down till it was done. The writing wasnt too juvenile, a common complaint I make these days, it was very rich and satisfying. I came home and imediatly ordered it from B&N so that I could have a copy for my library.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2010

    Gave me a read I will never forget.

    Being relatively young, I haven't had time to read too many life-changing books. I've dropped some mediocre ones, struggled through some good ones that I just wasn't mature enough to get into, and I've been swept off my feet only a few times. I Know This Much Is True is one of the only books so far that has touched me on a very deep level emotionally: The narrator's suffering is described so perfectly that even with my limited life experience, I could relate strongly. It's daunting in terms of length, but I powered through it half a week, mainly due to the sheer mental impact of the book--I was impossible to distract while reading it and thought about it whenever I wasn't. It'll make you think as hard as it makes you want to cry.

    (My only real qualm with this book is the sex. It definitely isn't gratuitous, but it is frequent and awfully graphic.)

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible book!

    I was a little afraid to read this one, knowing what it was about, so much dysfunction! But the multitude of wonderful reviews always entices me and pulls me in. The twists and turns left me speechless and it was impossible to put down. The complicated relationships in this book and how the characters related to each another were so convincingly done. The parallels from the past to the present were amazing. The emotional roller coaster was moving, challenging and intriguing and full of raw vulnerability. The 900 pages had me experiencing every range of human emotion. Lamb captured the essence of human nature. There is great use of imagery throughout, amazing perception, introspection, great depth of character and great writing that make up the most memorable reads. Parts of this book were so disturbing that I wanted to quit reading, only to find myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading so I was quickly drawn back in. This is a gripping, touching story, full of rage and redemption, courage and relief and is an incredible book that is well worth the long read!

    Others I've recommended to my book club are ROSES, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, PERFECT and WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very pleasurable reading...

    Wow, I'm glad I finally discovered Wally Lamb!

    "I Know This Much Is True" is a great book. At a mammoth 897 pages, reading the book itself is a journey, as is the story of twins, Dominick & Thomas Birdsey.

    Very rewarding throughout, it puts you right there in the characters lives. Wally Lamb masterfully draws you in with each character and real life drama that is never sugar coated. Anyone can relate to someone in this book in your real life.

    In my opinion, any book that can make you feel, really truly feel for the characters, is a masterpiece. Lamb's characters will have you on their side one minute and then you will be against them the next.

    As another reviewer stated, this is one of those books that becomes part of your life for a while. For me that is absolutely true, I looked forwarding to reading it every night for the two weeks it took me to finish.

    A very, very well crafted plot and alot of surprises and unexpected outcomes in the end. As your reading this book, you'll naturally make alot of assumptions and have your own idea of whats going to happen next or at the end and Wally Lamb will leave you dumbfounded every time.

    A wonderful book, I know this much is true!

    After finishing "I Know This Much Is True", I'm looking forward to reading Wally's other novels, "She's Come Undone" & "The Hour I First Believed

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A PIECE OF WORK!

    An emotional roller coaster. Wally Lamb takes us on another incredible journey into the heart and soul of three generations of dysfunction. Lamb weaves an intricate plot surrounding Dominick Birdsey and his paranoid schizophrenic identical twin Thomas. A piece of work!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    A Worthy and Substantial Read

    This is the kind of book where, once you get to the end, you feel like you've just been through a grueling life journey, and are now a wiser person. I was very moved by the relationship between Dominique and Tom, his mentally ill twin brother. The usual complexity of love and conflict in close relationships is layered with additional challenges in this relationship, where responsibility, guilt, protectiveness, anger, and identity confusion are all magnified by mental illness and by being a twin. This book is quite an undertaking, both because of its sheer size, as well as the emotional intensity. There is a section or two in the book that drags, but it's so worth the effort. Some books are like fast-food--quick reads that you don't expect to add much to your life; this book is more like a substantial meal--in reading it, you're so much more likely to change, to think through your own sense of what it means to be family, the impact of the past, and the limits of being able to save loved ones from their own selves.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A great author

    EXCELLENT BOOK, I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!!! Wally Lamb is a fantastic author

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 18, 2009

    WALLY LAMB...YOU MOVE ME TO TEARS

    Wally Lamb will ALWAYS be my number 1 author of all time. The way he wrote this book...is undescripable. It's so well written, and it's a page-turner. My mother literally is CHASING me around the house to put the book down, so I could focus on chores and finish homework at a resonable hour. Dominick, I fell in love with him- he is so funny, smart, and...a growing character. He really rubs off on you, and I just LOVED Thomas. As a matter of fact, I was actually crying when I found out he died, because, that...was the climax of the story, Thomas's death. You know though? There is something I would like to point out to other reveiwers of this book. You have think the last 250 pages are slow, but that is only because Thomas died, and it's Dominick's life is beginning to get back on track. This is my favorite book of all time, and I was so much in love with it, I had 'She's come Undone' right next to me, and I DIDN'T even bother to read it- I didn't want to- This book just moved me to absolute tears, and I was so SAD when this book ended. SAD- not DISAPPOINTED. And I LOVE how Wally Lamb ended book when he says "...That God exists in the roundness of things. This much, at least, I've figured out. I know this much is true." Beautiful Wally Lamb. Oh, and I STRONGLY suggest getting the audio tapes to listen to (24 cassettes) with information that is not in the book. You will LOVE IT!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    Long..but great

    I have to admit when i picked up this book, I was a little intimidated. But from the very first page i was hooked. I do have to say that the ending started to get a little slow the last 200 pages or so but not enough to make me stop reading. Recommended definitely.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Book

    I read Wally Lamb's book "She's Come Undone" and waited with breathless anticipation for his next book and was not disappointed by "I Know This Much is True". I keep few books for my permanent library and this one is definitely one I will keep. The story is a touching, poignant observation of sibling love and compassion as it relates to the relationship of identical twin brothers. One "normal" and one suffering from a severe mental illness. It asks and challenges the question "am I my brother's keeper" and at what point must you draw a line for self preservation. Wally Lamb has an intuitive and insightful grasp of his characters and a way of writing that wraps you in his world....and leaves you hoping for them at the end.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2010

    Hearing Voices

    Imagine being an identical twin to a man that is considered crazy and everywhere you go people think you are him. Dominick Birdsey has to deal with this problem. In I Know This Much Is True By: Wally Lamb, a brother struggles to separate himself from his schizophrenic brother that claims to hear voices of people that are trying to kill him. From childhood to adult lives you follow the twins through all the crazy events that take place in Three Rivers, Connecticut. I Know This Much Is True is a great book because of the way it is written, it's insight into what people with schizophrenia go though, and it's exciting events.
    First, this is a great book because of the way it is written. The chapters going from being the present events to past events makes you want to keep reading the book because you want to know more about both. By telling it in order he would have lost some of the suspense. It also was also good because you got some of the background as you went along. If he would have put it all in the beginning it would have been really boring and you probably wouldn't want to read it all to get to the main event.
    Second, this book shows what people with the disorder go though because it talks about the voices he hears and how scared it makes him. He thinks he hears the voice of god and people that want to kill him because he can hear god. Thomas can't even go to a restaurant without thinking the Soviets or the CIA is after him. It also shows how powerful the disease is because he cuts off his own hand because he thinks god is talking to him. It is frustrating for Dominick because he can't help him no matter how hard he tries. Because of the things the disease causes him to do and some of the other events in the book I would not suggest this book for kids.
    Third, this book is great because of the exciting events. From getting caught with drugs when he was a teenager to dealing with Thomas cutting of his hand this book tells of many crazy things that happen in Dominick's life. With everything there is to tell about Dominick's life and his brother's condition there is never a dull moment in this book. The very first thing it tells you about is his brother cutting off his hand and from there they just keep adding more things that make you wonder how a person can think that way.
    In conclusion, when you read I Know This Much Is True you won't want to put it down. You will wonder is people really think like that and think that it is really interesting. The way that it is written, the insight on how schizophrenia affects people, and the exciting events make this a great book. Learn what can drive a man to cut off his own hand and what it would be like to be his twin brother in this thrilling novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2002

    Interesting, but not worth it

    The length is not what turned me off. It was the superfluous vulgarity and violence. Wally took everything bad about people and showcased it in this epic-length book. I know everyone else in the world loves it, judging from all the '5 stars' reviews, but I had an awful time reading it. I kept thinking it would get better, and it never did! I loved 'She's Come Undone,' but Wally did a 360 on this one.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2000

    BORING and SLOW

    As an avid book reader I found this book very slow moving, and boring. Didn't feel it lived up to the hype. Never finished it. Maybe I will give it a try at the shore. I got about 1/2 way through and moved on.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    This book was a big disappointment!  More of a pity party, with

    This book was a big disappointment!  More of a pity party, with too many unnecessary characters, too much dwelling on the past which had little to do with Thomas, like teenage sex, drugs, Dominick's ex he can't forget, and other escapes.  this is a very long book in which the reader keeps thinking " When are you going to get back to the real story of poor Thomas?  It could have been so much better... I finally had to keep skipping chapters to get to the meat of it!   Some authors just don't know  when to quit.  I would have edited this book by half!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 683 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 35