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Extended Audio Sample I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (136,079 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wally Lamb Narrator: Ken Howard Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2004 ISBN: 9780060752286
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Oprah's latest book club selection!

New York Times Best Seller

At 40, Dominick Birdsey's entire life has been compromised and constricted by anger and fear: by the schizophrenic twin brother he both deeply loves and resents, and by the past they shared with their adoptive father, Ray, a spit-and polish ex-Navy man and their long-suffering mother, Concettina, a timid, self-conscious woman.

Born in the waning moments of 1949 and the opening minutes of 1950, the boys are physical mirror images who grow into separate yet connected entities. But Dominick's talent for survival his escape from Ray's wrath and the genetic fate that is Thomas will be put to the ultimate test when Thomas, a Bible-spouting zealot, commits an unthinkable act that threatens the tenuous balance of both his and Dominick's lives.

Set against the vivid panoply of twentieth century America and filled with richly drawn, memorable characters, this deeply moving and thoroughly satisfying story brings to light humanity's deepest needs and fears, of our aloneness, our desire for love and acceptance, and our struggle to survive at all costs. Joyous, mystical, and exquisitely written, I Know This Much Is True is an extraordinary audio experience that will leave no listener untouched.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[It] never grapples with anything less than life’s biggest questions.

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Heart-wrenching…an exercise in soul-baring storytelling—with the soul belonging to twentieth-century America itself. It’s heard to read and to stop reading, and impossible to forget.” 

    USA Today

  • “Poignant…astonishing…[a] very good book.

    Washington Post Book World

  • “[A] tour de force that sweeps the reader along in its swift emotional current…A work of astonishing craftsmanship.” 

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred view)

  • A 1998 Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Duncan | 2/20/2014

    " This book was so good it took no time to get through the 900 plus pages. It had so many true to life moments with great quotes, that I had to go back and dog ear the pages. Every person I have lent this to loves it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alana | 2/12/2014

    " This book is 900 pages but it is worth the read...the characters are gripping... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candace | 2/11/2014

    " Felt like Lamb wrote this book for me. Circumstances we're different however I related in a deeply personal way. A great journey about love and family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 2/10/2014

    " Even though this book includes very little action, mostly talking and thinking and remembering the past, it kept me interested from beginning to end. The story of twin brothers, one of whom is a schizophrenic and the other one dedicated to protecting him. It switches between the present and the past and was fascinating enough that I read huge chunks at a time. Even when I was done, I kept thinking about the characters. I highly recommend this book to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marion | 2/5/2014

    " Moving- and so sad in many ways. The writer did a good job making the characters real- like you could picture them and believe they exist somewhere in the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl Renouf scheer | 1/31/2014

    " I loved this book! The characters are so rich and so well developed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Annie Kratzmeyer | 1/25/2014

    " The actual worst book I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cortney Debenham | 1/24/2014

    " One of my all time favorite books. This can seem intimidating by its size, but the content within are worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mabel | 1/12/2014

    " Could see how a twin tries to distance himself from the trials and tribulations of his brother whilst trying to remain loyal to the special bond that they share. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sophie Poelman | 1/12/2014

    " I read this book 15 years ago and it still sticks in my mind as one of the greatest books i have ever read. What a gem. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna Tipton | 12/30/2013

    " One of my all time favorites! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 12/18/2013

    " This is my favorite book. Absolutely amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Homestic | 12/12/2013

    " Wally Lamb is one of the great writers. Just delve into these books and get lost in the characters. There is a profundity to the writing that makes you feel as if you are becoming part of the great American literary story just by reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl Horton | 12/4/2013

    " It took a bit of work to get through, but this is a beautiful exploration of what it means to be a brother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacquie | 11/29/2013

    " I read this book a long time ago.... think I will read it again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb Cobb | 11/16/2013

    " Every time I read this book I'm struck by the depth and realism of the characters. I never get tired of reading it and it always seems fresh and relevant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Coleen | 10/23/2013

    " 11/12/06 - This book is amazing. Very long but very worth the time. I actually ended up doing it on audio, but either way, I believe it's excellent. The description doesn't do it justice. Beautifully written and one that will stick with me for a long, long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz Reenen | 8/4/2013

    " Brilliant - I love Wally Lamb "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 7/9/2013

    " a little confusing for a while but it came together nicely. This book would be a great movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 2/13/2013

    " Absolutely loved this book. Was hesitant to read it at first because it dealt with the Columbine shootings, but it was a very thought provoking well written book. I highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whitney Bermes | 11/30/2012

    " This book kept me hooked from start to finish, which is no small task for a 900-page novel. Amazing piece. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie Hayes | 10/14/2012

    " I don't get it. This book was depressing, not particularly well-written and had a meandering story that sounded like someone's disgruntled ramblings. Then, all of a sudden in the last two of 900 pages, something decent happened. By that point I was already in therapy.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret Doherty | 9/20/2012

    " Very powerful book. Not a breezy read. Although I loved every page of it, I still felt like I was having to work my way through it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blanca Benavides | 9/13/2012

    " very well-written and entertaining "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karlye | 5/10/2012

    " I really loved this book. There is not a darn bit of happiness or good things that happen to these characters until the last 10 pages, but for some reason, I loved it. The only part I wasn't fond of was the Grandfather's story. It dragged on a bit for me but it was essential to the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Xinyi | 4/8/2012

    " I want to read it again!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Knoblauch | 2/2/2012

    " Could not put it down "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne | 2/2/2012

    " Perhaps the best book I've ever read. It is one of the only books I've read more than once. Character development is superb. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie Wilson | 12/27/2011

    " A long book, but it flew by. Wally Lamb's writing is superb & his characters are unforgettable. This one left me weeping, but hopeful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 India Dausch | 9/8/2011

    " This was an awesome book. Definitely not a lift your mood read, but I love all of Vally Lamb's books and this was as good as the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Asima | 5/23/2011

    " Rereading this and enjoying it just as much this time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 5/23/2011

    " There is something for everyone in this book. It has stayed with me since I read it!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara | 5/22/2011

    " A favorite! I love Wally Lamb. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 5/22/2011

    " Fascinating read. Best book I have read in years "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Da.captain85 | 5/21/2011

    " I absolutely loved this book. I was awed by how real it was and how eventhough the main character was not eadily likable I couldnt help placing myslef within his shoes and rooting for him every step of the way. Even when he was a complete jerk. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 5/20/2011

    " An emotional roller coaster. Wally Lamb takes us on another incredible journey into the heart and soul of three generations of dysfunction. Lamb weaves an intricate plot surrounding Dominick Birdsey and his paranoid schizophrenic identical twin Thomas. A piece of work!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 5/12/2011

    " One of my very favorite books.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 5/12/2011

    " This book made me understand the guilt felt by siblings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 5/11/2011

    " Wally Lamb is truly a gifted writer in that this 900 paged story of identical twins in which one has schizophrenia flies by. I had trouble with the heavy subject matter (e.g. suicide, violence against children, general emotional darkness), but am glad I finished it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 5/8/2011

    " Tied with his other Novel as BEST EVER I SWEAR. Read it every three years (on the other years I read HOUR). "

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