Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review: I Know This Much Is True

Okay, so I'm a little behind on posting reviews and posting in general. I think it's been about two weeks since I've said anything here at all. Oops.

The good news is that I've only read 4 books since then. The bad news is that I've only read 4 books since then.

I Know This Much Is True is another one of those books that has been floating around my bookshelf for far too long. I think I've started it more than once only to put it down a few pages in. I know precisely why, too. It's the self-mutilation scene in the library. That's what gets me, every time. Now, you might think that I've just ruined a major part of the story for you, and yes, I probably have. But, this happens so early in the story that I'm pretty sure you'd read it in your first sitting. And promptly be disturbed and put off by it. Just like me.

But don't be. Push through the hand-removing and keep reading. It gets better. And by better, I don't mean he removes more of his appendages, because that never happens. The story progresses neatly and logically, as much as a story about a schizophrenic man who cuts off his own hand in a library can.

And how many times can I mention the hand removing? Because that's what sticks out the most from this novel. It does have an integral role in the storyline. It serves to keep the plot moving and is something no one can forget about, especially not Dominick, our protagonist.

The novel itself is very well written. Much better than the godawful She's Come Undone, which holds the distinction of being one of only two books I've hated enough to give away. I Know This Much Is True, in my unprofessional opinion, accurately portrays schizophrenia. It shows just how hard it is to be schizophrenic and how hard it is for loved ones to deal with a schizophrenic.

The story never gets boring, right until the very end, when things end a little too neatly and succinctly for me. But life is never neat. Life is messy and that's the one thing this novel forgets about. Things don't work out the way you want them to, no matter how much you hope.

Overall, I've given this book 5 stars, forgiving the indiscretion of the ending, of course. The overall course of the book was amazing and the characterization was phenomenal. 

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