I Know This Much Is True

I Know This Much Is True

by Wally Lamb
4.6 702

Hardcover(Library Binding - LARGEPRINT)

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I Know This Much Is True 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 702 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
modestindecisiv More than 1 year ago
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.
DEVILICIOUS More than 1 year ago
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!
rinacolada More than 1 year ago
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.
insomanywords More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.)
Aleighbug More than 1 year ago
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.
JessWhite More than 1 year ago
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.
LCH47 More than 1 year ago
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.
Angela2932ND More than 1 year ago
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.
MelH21 More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT BOOK, I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!!! Wally Lamb is a fantastic author
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
1louise1 More than 1 year ago
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!
Brandi31 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Maybe I shouldn't review this book since I didn't finish it. I only made it to page 170 and it's a very long book. I purchased it based solely on the WONDERFUL reviews. I knew a book about mental illness wouldn't be sunshine and rainbows but I wasn't prepared for the heart-renching cruelty portrayed in this book. I skipped ahead to see if it got better.......nope: it got much, much worse!! So l'm writing this review to warn people like me that read fiction for entertainment and great storytelling that doesn't include extreme heartache to skip this one. (We don't all like the same things) I wish I had been warned!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some of the repeating and long dialog got boring. The basic story is good, but sometimes too contrived. The message about problems of having a mentally ill family member are realistc and made me keep reading and feeling the pain of the characters.
voodoopaw More than 1 year ago
It was very eye opening in as much as how society relates to people with mental illness. I discovered that this book will also make you think a little more about how you relate to other people. The main characters involved I hope are not typical of most families. I found myself making more time for reading then I normally would, so I could see what was going to happen next. I liked the style of writing that tells two stories at the same time, it fit very well with these characters. I would recommend this book. I would also buy other work by this writer.
LGRAHAM More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is an emotional rollercoaster. For the first 250 pages I wasn't sure that I liked it. It really brought me down. But it is a touching and poignant book. Considering its length it is pretty easy to read. If you just want to get lost in a story that you actually have to think about then read it. if you don't want to be bummed out or cry- steer clear of this book. I will definitely make this a part of my permanent library
lexnajsmom More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read. It tugged at my heart. It made me think. I will read this book again and I will pass this book through my family.
120099 More than 1 year ago
I travel every week on planes. Most of the time I sleep. Got this book and haven't put it down. I actually had the privilege of meeting Wally on a plane a couple of months ago. Very nice man. Got this book and when I finish it I will get his other books as well.
MrPotter07 More than 1 year ago
What a journey! This book was so thrilling to read. It was in the area of 900 ages and I never wanted it to end. He just lived such a difficult life. So much to deal with. Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, you turn the page and you're blown away all over again. It was all worth it, though. Just like Job, he came through...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Front cover to cover, not an uninteresting moment existed. This is an unusual story with great insight into being responsible for a mentally ill family member. Most interestingly, there is a story within the story as the main charachter learns of his familial heritage. Wally Lambs writing style is an attention-getter. The ending was even better than the beginning. The reader constantly attempts to predict the ending; the twist is rewarding. A long book, but I could not put it down.
cpsher More than 1 year ago
Fascinating read! It was so interesting to see the story from the "normal" twin. I had a hard time putting this one down.