Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: I Know This Much Is True

I usually don't post book summaries because, let's face it, this isn't a book report blog and I'm lazy. Plus there are a million summaries out there on Goodreads and Amanzon and everywhere else, so I don't feel the need to summarize here. This blog is all about me (of course) and what I think (which you should care about becauste its Very Important). However, in order to tell you my thoughts on this book I'm going to have to say some things that happen in the book. So beware of spoilers!

Ok, the book was entertaining and I enjoyed it through about the 600th page. At that point it started to fall apart for me. The writing wasn't bad and I was interested in the plot, but the different plot spinoffs were just too much for me. It was like he tried to fit every possible "relevant" issue into the book. Here's just a sampling of some themes explored (look away if you haven't read the book!):
Mental illness (schizophrenia)
Gulf War
Horrific chid abuse
Domestic abuse (towards pretty much every woman in the book at some point)
Murder of a husband by his wife and her lesbian lover
Fugitives from the law
Two amputations (one performed voluntarily by the amputee)
Attempted murder of a child by a parent
Potential incest (finally disproved at the end)
Child pornography
Regulary pornography with an unwilling subject
Anal rape
Regular rape of multiple people
Daddy and mommy issues
AIDS (twice)
Politics (local, national, and international)
Insinuated though never proven bestiality (man with monkey)
And my personal favorite: a woman who is living with her boyfriend but allows her other lover (who also happens to be her half-uncle) secretly watch them having sex from her closet.

By the end of the book I was just thinking "seriously?" As I was reading whenever I got to a new issue I'd tell Luke. By the end of the book we were both cracking up. And this is all about ONE PERSON's family. Sure it covers a grandfather, stepfather, and twin sons, but holy moly. I really think I would have enjoyed the book more had the author cut out a few hundred pages of side issues. Or even left the book the same length and chosen just a few issues to explore. Like do we really really need the whole side plot with the live in girlfriend who happens to be cheating with her step uncle and gets pregnant with his baby but then it turns out he's gay and gave her AIDS? Really? What did that add?

Although I guess it did help the end wrap up nicely, with the main character and his ex-wife falling back in love and getting the have a child since their child had died. I'm not making this up. Do I recommend the'm not really sure. There were parts that were laughable and unbelievable (LOTS) but all the drama was entertaining. If you don't mind reading a book that is reminiscent of a soap opera, this book is for you.


  1. Wowza. That's a lot to digest in one book. That's overkill to me. I think I'll pass on this one, but I really enjoyed reading about it!

  2. Good grief, that's a lot fo subject matter to digest at once. I notice this is an Oprah pick, which doesn't suprise me. It seems like the kind of thing she would recommend.
    I'm a little intrigued, actually. Maybe I should add this to my already immense TBR shelf.

  3. Wow. That sounds like a little much. Thanks for the review.
    I really love your background!