I Know This Much is True

I Know This Much is True

4.16 (252,127 ratings by Goodreads)
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Huge American bestselling novel that tells of identical twins: a paranoid schizophrenic and his brother whose life is dominated by his resentment of and love for his damaged twin Dominick Birdsey's whole existence is coloured by the knowledge that his twin brother can never be fully responsible for his frightening behaviour, while he himself has beaten the biochemical odds to remain sane. But at what cost? This powerful, heartwrenching drama draws on the deepest human emotions: the need to know oneself, responsibility to family, the influence of hidden history. The result is a highly acclaimed novel of survival, written with great sensitivity.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 912 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 54mm | 639.56g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Harper
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0006513239
  • 9780006513230
  • 31,328

About Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb's first novel, 'She's Come Undone', won rave reviews when it was published in 1992. It was a finalist in the 'Los Angeles Times' First Novel Award, a Top Ten book for 'People' magazine and a Notable Book for the 'New York Times'. Both 'She's Come Undone' and 'I Know This Much Is True' have been chosen for Oprah's Book Club. Wally Lamb now teaches writing at the University of Connecticut. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and their three sons.show more

Review Text

Dominick Birdsey and his identical twin Thomas came into the world as 1949 became 1950. And fortysomething narrator Dominick has always had Thomas - a physical mirror image - as a shadow over his life. The book opens with schizophrenic Thomas's dramatic act of self-mutilation as a protest against American military involvement in the Gulf and it follows Dominick's attempts to deal with the latest lurch into a more terrible form of madness. The story of the brothers' lives is told in scenes that recall the bleak honesty of Raymond Carver, and Dominick's quest to rid himself of the demons of his past and come to terms with the man he has become are apparently the reworking of an ancient Hindu myth. His journey nevertheless encompasses much of the American experience, and takes him back to the Sicilian roots of his immigrant grandfather, in a story that while at times hard to read is hard to put down. Lamb's writing, even at the moments of greatest pain and despair, is compelling in its vital sensitivity, his characters are uncomfortably real and the mystery of Dominick's family becomes intriguingly complex before answers, though not always the expected ones, are found. Powerful, absorbing and unforgettable. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

'A triumph of simple beauty' Time 'I Know This Much Is True never grapples with anything less than life's biggest questions... a modern-day Dostoyevsky' New York Times 'Every now and then a book comes along that sets new standards for writers and readers alike. Wally Lamb's latest novel is stunning - and even that might be an understatement' Associated Press 'Lamb creates a nuanced picture of a flawed but decent man. And the questions that permeate the novel... contribute to a fully developed and triumphantly resolved exploration of one man's suffering and redemption' Publishers Weekly 'A modern Greek tragedy... [Lamb's] success is to present this with terrific readability, tenderness, optimism and, most surprisingly, wit... The hallmark of the book is fine writing and a commendable depth of characterisation' The Times 'Wally Lamb's achievement is to force you to feel Dominick's pain... the events in Dominick's everyday nightmare are presented with a sneaky simplicity which generates emotional tension' Daily Telegraphshow more

Rating details

252,127 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 45% (113,565)
4 34% (85,161)
3 16% (39,209)
2 4% (9,835)
1 2% (4,357)
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