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on May 4, 2017
The story is about identical twins - one of whom is emotionally unstable (that's a euphamism) and the other has felt the consequences of the relationship. The guys came from an unstable background which helped cause the problems with both of the twins. There is good character developement but the story drags. It is interesting but I found I needed to skim some sections.
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on August 25, 2017
A deeply personal look into the psyche of twins and their emotional connection. I found this story compelling and heart wrenching. Wally Lamb writes as if this is his own personal life story. A long trek with much angst but a rewarding read that will bump up your tolerance level for other people's problems and behaviors. Good, strong writing, Mr. Lamb.
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on August 20, 2017
This is a long book - so may not be for impatient readers who are looking for action! It explores intricate relationships between fathers, daughters, sobs, siblings, imperfect marriages, loss and triumph. I cared about the characters, and found so many aspects of their lives that resonated with me. As a child born to an immigrant mother and surrounded by immigrant relatives, I could relate to their pride and determination to improve their lives , maintaining the balance between their birthplace and the new world; wanting their children to be Americans yet identify with their heritage. If you enjoy well-crafted, well-written story-within-a-story as much about the characters as the plot, this book will not disappoint.
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on January 28, 2017
A couple months ago my book club read Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb. A few of the members raved about his other books, although they found them quite different from his Christmas story. Based on this recommendation, I selected I Know This Much is True and dowloaded it to my Kindle without a second thought.

I read on my iPhone during my lunch hour and started this book with great anticipation. The first chapter is quite gruesome but sets the tone for all that is to come. If you can get yourself through the beginning, I'm pretty sure you can get through the rest. I kept reading. And reading. The percent read that my kindle happily tracks for me, barely moved. Day after day I watched my barely existent progress. When I'd had enough I finally checked the statistics of the book. It has a whopping 982 pages! I will be sucking down the battery on my phone for the next ten years reading the story on a 4 1/2 by 3 inch screen. But I persisted.

Thomas and Dominic are twins, one born on December 31st and the other born on January 1st. They are even born in different decades, one in 1959 and the other in 1960. Their mother, Connie is not married but thank goodness her strict Italian father died before he discovered she was pregnant. The boys are never told who their biological father is and both have an very contentious relationship with Ray, their step father, who adopts them as toddlers.

The brothers are angry. The tone of their story is filled with anger because everyone here has issues. Thomas is mentally ill and finds himself living in a variety of mental institutions. Dominic, the supposedly sane twin, is Thomas' self appointed protector. Dominic's life is a train wreck and he blames Thomas for all that is wrong with him.

There is so much going on here, that Mr. Lamb needed those 982 pages. The story blew up slowly until is became a big abscess and it finally burst, letting the infection run freely out. The story ended all tied up in a neat little bow. I couldn't stop reading this book but I wasn't always engaged in this book. I Know This Much is True requires a commitment of time and energy. The treatment of mental illness in this country is spread out for the reader to live and experience. The story is worth reading but beware. It's exhausting.
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on January 28, 2017
I did not like any of the people in the book. I struggled to force myself to finish it. It was entirely too long. I would not recommend it--unless you know the author and his work is appealing to you.
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on October 15, 2016
Simple I like this book. It is a warm story that grips and holds your attention. The story gives each character the way to grow and survive to the best of their ability. Like a dance of good and bad and sometimes you can barely stay on your feet. I would recommend this book to anyone who has not lived a life where you have not had the answers to your existence. Thanks Wally Lamb.

L
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on July 4, 2017
I know this much is true...this book is nearly 900 pages long. While it is very well written, it really didn't need to be quite so verbose. Good morals about learning from the past and letting go of anger.
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on July 13, 2017
My first Wally Lamb book, which I read thanks to a free Kindle download, expecting it to be mediocre. How wrong I was.

Written in easy to follow prose and with a great dry wit. I recommend this book highly
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on March 21, 2014
This very long story read quickly and was rarely repetitive or boring ( this book was over 800 pages).
The best part about this book was how well the characters were drawn. It is difficult to create characters that are so flawed and in many ways unlikable and are still made to seem human and worthy of sympathy or empathy. The author does a great job of accomplishing this. The author also does a good job of helping us to understand the toll that mental illness takes on the person and on his/ her family.
This book is almost like reading two books, one about Dominick and one about his grandfather ( in the form of a memoir left after death). The grandfather's story is less satisfying and seems contrived and somewhat out of sync with the main story. I found myself wanting to read more about the main story and hear less about the grandfather.
Lastly I was disappointed that a novel that took such pains to portray characters and their lives in a realistic fashion ended the book with an almost fairy tale "happily ever after" type ending. Yes, it was nice to see the main character happy at last, but it didn't ring true.
Still I would recommend this book. Rarely does an 800+ page book read so quickly and keep your interest.
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on September 2, 2014
Wally Lamb achieves what he sets out to do in this book i.e. create an increased awareness of the challenge of having a mentally ill patient in the house. Public facilities are limited and the burden of caring often falls on the family. The problem is that families are ill equipped to deal with the associated challenges and all usually suffer. Wally Lamb deals with the subject in way that makes you feel the pain. He dissects the issue bit by bit and then weaves it into a story that will hold your attention from beginning to end. The story is intense and I often put the book down to give me a chance to digest the issue/s on hand. This is not a feel good book, but its a book that you will feel very good about having read.
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