I Know This Much Is True

I Know This Much Is True

Book - 1998
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#1 New York Times Bestseller and Oprah Book Club selection

"Thoughtful . . . heart-wrenching . . . . An exercise in soul-baring storytelling--with the soul belonging to 20th-century America itself. It's hard to read and to stop reading, and impossible to forget." -- USA Today

Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his subdued life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation. Dominick is forced to care for his brother as well as confront dark secrets and pain he has buried deep within himself--a journey of the soul that takes him beyond his blue-collar New England town to Sicily's Mount Etna, the birthplace of his grandfather and namesake. Coming to terms with his life and lineage, Dominick struggles to find forgiveness and finally rebuild himself beyond the haunted shadow of his troubled twin.

I Know This Much Is True is a masterfully told story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal--an unforgettable masterpiece.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c1998
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060391621
Branch Call Number: FIC LAMB, WALLY
Characteristics: ix, 901 p. ; 24 cm.


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Apr 14, 2021

Wow!! No idea where to begin with this tome. It was a heavy hitter!! The story follows twins Thomas and Dominick Birdsey. Dominick tells his story of dealing with his twin’s mental illness and in facing this struggle confronts so many of his own demons. Dominick untangled layer after layer of understanding to confront his own fears, biases and shortcomings. Also it tells the tale of their grandfather before them weaving another storyline in adding a unique depth snd understanding of how our pasts influence our future. This book was a work of art, took a long time but was well worth savoring. I definitely plan to watch the mini series on HBO, not sure they can do it justice though.

Jan 27, 2021

I liked this book a lot. Never got boring even tho it was 900 pages long. Will read more from this author. Modern Mrs Darcy

Jul 18, 2020

one of my all time favorite fiction reads. 3 plot lines run concurrently: the guy's present day life, flashbacks to childhood, and an old diary's contents......all of which wind together. I didn't know an author could write like this......definitely keeps you engaged.

Jun 19, 2020

I didn't read it...watched the six part presentation on HBO. I wondered if I could stick with this very troubling tale at a time of national unrest. Not for the faint of heart. The acting was superb, really hard to watch at times. Conclusion? Wroth the effort.

Apr 03, 2020

When his schizophrenic twin brother Thomas does some ugly damage to himself in a public library on the eve of the Persian Gulf War, Connecticut everyman Dominick sets off on a journey of self-discovery and change. There are flashbacks to the brothers' postwar upbringing and even farther to their grandfather's immigration story. Wally Lamb's prose is intensely readable. I could not stop turning the pages. As long and leisurely as this book was and as rewarding the ending, I was a little sorry to finish it. At nearly 900 pages, it's a good narrative plunge for these anxious times.

Nov 08, 2019


Jun 08, 2018

Very good read - recommend.

JCLCatherineG Mar 03, 2015

This is one of the best and most intense books I've ever read.
Right from the start this book has you completely absorbed in the lives and history of these twin brothers. It's harsh, tragic, and very real. You'll remember this family long after you finish the book.

Aug 26, 2014

If you think cutting off your hand with a butcher knife and mental illness are entertaining, read on.

Aug 25, 2014

Still an all-time favorite even though it has been years since I read it.

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Feb 06, 2014

emkenny78 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

Housepainter Dominick has a far from average family. His grandfather seemed to take parenting tips from the SS and his grandmother was a possible teenage murderess. His stepfather is a latent sadist, and his brother Thomas is a politically motivated psychopath. Dominick continues the dysfunctional legacy with rape, a failed marriage, a nervous breakdown and a racist conspiracy against a co-worker.


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