I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
(Oprah's Book Club)

68%

8 Critic Reviews

Perhaps we should recognize that women are fine when they're feminine and men are fine when they're masculine...At any rate, it's preferable to let men be men and women be women than to follow Wally Lamb's (and Oprah's) prescription and try to make one gender more like the other.
-Brothers Judd

Synopsis

With his stunning debut novel, She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb won the adulation of critics and readers with his mesmerizing tale of one woman's painful yet triumphant journey of self-discovery. Now, this brilliantly talented writer returns with I Know This Much Is True, a heartbreaking and poignant multigenerational saga of the reproductive bonds of destruction and the powerful force of forgiveness. A masterpiece that breathtakingly tells a story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal—this novel is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth. A proud king must confront his demons to achieve salvation. Change yourself, the myth instructs, and you will inhabit a renovated world.

 

About Wally Lamb

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Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels, including the New York Times and national bestseller, The Hour I First Believed and Wishin' and Hopin', a bestselling novella. His first two works of fiction, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both number one New York Times bestsellers and selections of Oprah's Book Club. He is the editor of Couldn't Keep It To Myself and I'll Fly Away, two volumes of essays from students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women's prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for fifteen years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.
 
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 912 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Education & Reference. Fiction
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Critic reviews for I Know This Much Is True
All: 8 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Both a moving character study and a gripping story of family conflict are hidden somewhere inside the daunting bulk of this annoyingly slick second novel...Lamb writes crisp, tender-tough dialogue, and his portrayal of the decent, conflicted Dominick...is convincing.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on May 16 2015

But thanks to well-sustained dramatic tension, funky gallows humor and some shocking surprises, this sinuous story of one family's dark secrets and recurring patterns of behavior largely succeeds in its ambitious reach...Lamb creates a nuanced picture of a flawed but decent man.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Tom De Haven on Jan 17 2015

As we learn more about the twins’ tormented childhood...the novel quite deliberately assumes a darkly fated dimension that transforms an unhappy working-class New England family into mythic world archetypes. You may wish that its structure were sleeker and its resolution less tidy, but you couldn’t ask for a more beguiling summer read.

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All About Romance

Excellent
on Dec 14 2015

I've always been a fan of books where characters journey from the brink of insanity to the edge of light (another strong read along these lines is August by Judith Rossner). I Know This Much Is True adds so many other dimensions and surprises that I am in awe of Wally Lamb's talent.

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CNN.com

Below average
Reviewed by Wendy Brandes on May 23 2015

The length, combined with the vast sweep of the book's plot, voices, time-periods, locations, and themes...was meant to be an epic in the classic sense. But the uneven writing - which ranges from the hilarious to the horrific to the hopelessly banal - guarantees this won't be one for posterity.

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Sentinel Source

Above average
Reviewed by Joanne Agliozi on Apr 09 2012

This book has been around for a while but it was a new discovery for me. What an amazing story. This novel explores the bonds of family and the thin line between loyalty & obligation...It is truly an absorbing novel that makes you re-examine the meaning of the words commitment and obligation.

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Curled Up

Above average
Reviewed by Steven Rosen on May 22 2015

This is a book weighted heavily with the travails and dangers of love, of family, of friendship...Lamb is a master, a teller of dark tales, but more importantly, a speaker of the truth. His nine-hundred page narrative reads like a short story and will make you cry and snarl and blush with the wonder in the world.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
Reviewed by Brothers Judd on Sep 13 2000

Perhaps we should recognize that women are fine when they're feminine and men are fine when they're masculine...At any rate, it's preferable to let men be men and women be women than to follow Wally Lamb's (and Oprah's) prescription and try to make one gender more like the other.

Read Full Review of I Know This Much Is True (Opr...

Reader Rating for I Know This Much Is True
87%

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