- Publisher: ReganBooks (1980)
- ASIN: B000N7A8OI
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,474 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,841,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Know This Much Is True (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – 1980
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Dominick Birdsey learns about his family and himself in I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, Wally Lamb's epic novel that centers on two men, identical twins, one of whom is mentally ill.
A whopping 897 pages (the trade paper back version), this book goes into great detail the life story of Dominick Birdsey, his paranoid schizoid brother Thomas, their timid mother and their grandfather who started his life in Italy.
The opening chapter takes us to the public library and Thomas has just performed self-mutilation: he has chopped off his hand in response to the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield). And Dominick is there to rescue Thomas, as he's done their entire life. Thomas is taken to a psychiatric hospital for close observation, but in the mean time, Dominick ends up meeting with the psychiatrists, who help Dominick deal with issues he has with his brother, and soon a whole slew of issues comes rolling off of his tongue. It's an uphill battle, but through the help of the psychiatrists and his grandfather's journal, Dominick learns to deal with his anger and his frustrations over his life, and he comes to terms with a lot of things that he felt resentment over in the past.
There is not enough I can say about this book. It was quite the novel, with so much detail to the life stories of these people, covering three generations from Italy to America. Yet it all helped to tell Dominick's story. It surely was not a light read, but despite the huge volume, I was able to finish this book in less than two weeks. It is fast paced and there's never a dull moment. I'd say this is one of the best books selected by Oprah that I've read so far, and is part of my top 10 list of books read in 2002.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book took me so long to read, but it was worth it. It's sad and insightful, but worth the time to read itPublished 6 days ago by Kate Hodes
Wish I could give this book a higher rating. I found the story did not pick up for me until a third of the way through with the introduction of the narcissistic grandfather's... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Pixie
This is one of the best books I have ever read. So good, I read it twice !!Published 11 days ago by Pamela Somers
Absolutely loved this book. It did take me quite a while to get into it, but I soon got hooked and couldn't put it down. I was laughing and cryinf throughout. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Marisa
In true Wally Lamb style, he forms the characters in a way that shows the good and the bad of each person. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Tracy Gold
Too much story coming from too many places and many of the most ridiculous coincidences I've ever read that happen at the exact perfect time to save the day. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
While very lengthy, I think the length was necessary to convey the depth s that we must sometimes go to to find the meaning of why things sometimes happen the way they do. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Karen
It is not often we read about the work and complications of caring for siblings with psychiatric disturbance. I found this a riveting and sensitive exploration of family dynamics.Published 29 days ago by barbara brookes