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Wally Lamb: I Know This Much Is True

Pearl

New Member
Ok, now I'll be the first to admit, this book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for almost two years now. The thing that put me off was it's size, I seem to never get the time to finish even small books, let alone huge ones.

But I was deathly bored one day and needed a good book to put me to sleep, so I grabbed this one. Needless to say I hardly slept that night at all! It's so captivating. I'm not done with it, my shecduale is a bit busy, so I won't really be finished with it for a WHILE but I wanted to know if anyone else read it or is reading it and what their opinions are.
 

angerball

Active Member
Is this the Wally Lamb book? I bought that years ago, and have yet to still read it - for the same reason you were hesitant to pick it up. I bought it because I loved She's Come Undone so much. Hmmm, if it's quite a good book, then I may pick it up. :)
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Pearl,
There are at least two or three of us reading it now!
Your post and the Reader Reviews at amazon convinced me! So I have just now arrived back home after buying it. Read 32 pages on the train and it looks like I am hooked. It reads easily and I'm really looking forward to it, all 900 pages worth!
Many thanks,
Peder
 

angerball

Active Member
^The book is called I Know This Much Is True - by Wally Lamb. You should be able to find some reviews etc. on amazon.com.
 

Pearl

New Member
I finally finished it, and my! What a good book, I loved the ending. I didn't expect things to turn out that way. It kept me guessing who their father was till the very end.
 

Lyra

kickbox
I absolutely loved this book and have never heard of anyone else who's read it to be honest. I can't remember how I came accross it but when I finished I immediately looked into what else had had written and was gutted to find it was only one other book (which I read straight away and also thought was fabulous). Just a pity that the author isn't better at picking titles!
 

Pearl

New Member
I've noticed that his titles are named after songs. Anyone else notice it? I wonder if he did that on purpose.
 

angerball

Active Member
Pearl, I never noticed that (I didn't know those titles were song names). I do like the phrase "She's Come Undone" though - I think it's so descriptive.
 

Kailana

New Member
I read this book quite some time ago. I liked it better than "She's Come Undone", but only by a bit. He has another novel, but it is non-fiction. I want to say it is about a female jail? It's been a while since I read the description.
 

westylass

New Member
I was like some of you other guys. I didn't want to start it because of the size of the book I simply felt overwhelmed. My friend suggested I read it and finally gave it a go and I am 200 pages from the end. I absolutely love it I have really enjoyed it. I also have a copy of 'She's come undone' and shall look forward to that one too.
 

Ronny

Well-Known Member
Hmm, I've had this sitting on my shelves for over a year now, it was I gift that I was not too sure about but now I think I may have to read it soon. Myabe I'll hold it out of my moving boxes and read it over the summer.
 

4th Bee Gee

New Member
I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb

I've been wanting to write some thoughts down about some characters and issues in this novel for some time now, so created a thread here (hopefully some people here will have read it. )

I'll start off...any of you who have read the book will probably remember the character of Captain Balchunas as the oldest of the three policemen who questioned Leo and Dominick when Avery and Overcash caught them with marijuana. I absolutely HATED his treatment of Dominick, especially near the end of the questioning, when he started calling him a "little twerp", a "little shit" and "an arrogant little son of a bitch." Okay, people who have read the book know that Dominick CAN be arrogant, but he wasn't acting at all arrogant in the interrogation room - he was just getting really upset because that big bully Balchunas kept tormenting him! Okay, so Balchunas thought Dominick was lying to him, and was angry because of that, but I think calling Dominick those things was totally unjustified. I think he's a horrible, disgusting creature. I almost wish Dominick had planted his fist right into Balchunas's stupid face (although that would have got him into even more trouble) because the idea of Balchunas being beaten up is a very satisfying one.

I mean, even before he actually started questioning Dominick about Ralph, he was picking on him in some small way, by asking him embarrassing, personal questions about his girlfriend - "is she big busted, Dom?" I think Balchunas is hideous and despicable. Avery, on the other hand, I like - I think he's what policemen should aspire to be. He was kind, fair, never bullied Dominick, and never raised his voice.

I also wondered why Balchunas kept referring to Leo as "Leon." The first time I saw it, I thought it was a typo, but after the next couple of times, it became obvious that it was intentional. Is "Leon" Leo's real name? It's possible, of course, but I would have thought that Dominick would have mentioned that before. Or is Balchunas such a stupid twit that he can't get Leo's name right?
 

4th Bee Gee

New Member
Sorry about double posting - but I just wanted to ask, if anyone here who has read it could join in the bashing of the horrible Balchunas?

He's such a nasty, disgusting man.
 

Pearl

New Member
Unfortunatly there are people like him in the world almost everywhere you turn. I think he portrays the typical "Bad cop" steriotype. He was trying to get information out of him and by scaring him he thought he could get answers faster. To me he was like every other 'bad cop' in every movie and book around. So I didn't really pay much attention to his character at all other than knowing he was bullying Dominick.
 

bren

Member
Close-naming a person is a fairly typical bully tactic. I read this so long ago I don't remember much about it, but I may have to have another go. Just to remind myself. I do remember liking it.

Close-naming is like when Draco Malfoy calls Ron Weasley, "Weaslby." Like that.
 

4th Bee Gee

New Member
Unfortunatly there are people like him in the world almost everywhere you turn. I think he portrays the typical "Bad cop" steriotype. He was trying to get information out of him and by scaring him he thought he could get answers faster. To me he was like every other 'bad cop' in every movie and book around. So I didn't really pay much attention to his character at all other than knowing he was bullying Dominick.

I see what you mean, but every time I read that chapter, I just want to jump in there and punch him in the face. I think it's wrong for policemen to act that way. How he ever became Chief, I don't know. He did seem like he was going to be nice in the beginning, but that soon changed - like I said before, even before he actually got angry, he was being rude, asking personal questions, and twisting things around so that he'd upset Dominick.

Do you think he ever found out that Dominick was the one telling the truth? Surely he must have done. After all, when the police finally searched the house, they obviously didn't find hoardes and hoardes of drugs, and they wouldn't have found any weapons either, or anything to indicate that Ralph was a radical. So surely he must have at some point realised that Dominick had been the one trying to tell the truth?

Bren: You're probably right; it probably was another bullying tactic. I don't like bullies.
 

Comeflyaway

Member
I'm actually really surprised that more wasn't said about this book. I thought it was absolutely phenomenal. I wish I'd thought to look up this thread right after I finished it, not 9 books later, though. To me, the "bad cop" character is such a minor part of a deep, complex story that I'd pretty much forgotten him until it was mentioned here. What stuck out to me was the complexity of the emotions that Dom feels throughout the book, the realism of the way schizophrenia was portrayed, the nature of the conversations between Dom and Dr. Patel, the personal struggles that Dom goes through.

Maybe it's because I love psychology and have done some research into schizophrenia specifically, but I was especially pleased with the realistic way that Wally Lamb portrayed it. I didn't get a sense of cliche, or a sense that he was exaggerating, but rather a sense of "if this was really happening, this is how the characters -- particularly the sane guy -- would really be feeling." Dom's flawed, and a fascinating character.

:star5: in my book :)
 

Comeflyaway

Member
I read this book quite some time ago. I liked it better than "She's Come Undone", but only by a bit. He has another novel, but it is non-fiction. I want to say it is about a female jail? It's been a while since I read the description.

Did you mean "The Hour I First Believed"? It has a lot to do with a female jail, and it's got a lot of historical fact in it, but it's definitely a work of fiction...
 

Snork Maiden

New Member
I adored this book (and She's Come Undone) and lent it to a friend...who never gave it back!:sad: I would love to read it again some time.

I haven't read his latest book yet, but firmly intend to.
 
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