I don't know what I can say about this book that will make you go and read it NOW. I wish you would just go and read it because I said so, but that's not how these things work. So I'll start by stating boldly that I haven't read anything this good in a very long time. Although I'm not sure it's the best way to go with this one, let me lay out the plot for you a bit. [I Know This Much Is True] is essentially the story of two brothers: Dominick - our protagonist and narrator - and Thomas, his schizophrenic identical twin. They do not know who their real father is and their stepfather is...well...let's just say he's not a role model. Their family history is a big mystery. And their lives are pretty much as f***ed up as they can get. Sounds like a big cliché? If only all books were such stunning and heartbreaking clichés. Like all amazing works of literature, [I Know This Much Is True] contains little glimpses of life itself
, scattered all over the place. Reading the words on every page feels a bit like sucking on your favorite lollipop - you just have to stop every now and then, the better to savour its taste. Me, I had to pause a bit after each paragraph. As soon as I started it I knew it would be one of those books...the ones you're sad to say goodbye to, the ones you want to keep reading forever. The storytelling is fantastic, nothing overdone, but nothing understated either. The plot is compelling and believable, the conclusion is realistic yet extremely touching, and the characters simply steal your heart. Not one person feels secondary in this book; everyone has a role, everyone has a story, there are no peripheral "flat" characters that are just there to fill a void. The book manages to discuss and explore religion, racism, identity, education, politics, war, parentage, jealousy, immigration, history, and pretty much everything in between. Also, bonus points go to the writer for the effort he has put into researching the issues that the book explores: Lamb has evidently done his homework on schizophrenia, on twin brothers. on the Italian immigration to America, on psychoanalysis, on the history and geography of the area where he places his characters and weaves his story. Like many reviewers of this book have done before me, I urge you not to be put off by its size. Believe me, as soon as you start reading it, you will want
it to be long. There are about 5 novels that can brag about having made me cry. This is one of them. Opening sentence: "On the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother Thomas entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut Public Library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable.