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I.

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  217 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The long-awaited novel by master Stephen Dixon, twice a finalist for the National Book Award, I. is a searingly powerful and seemingly autobiographical novel in the form of linked stories that explores the limitations of memory and the frustrations of the narrator's life, as he cares for his two daughters and his handicapped wife, whose condition worsens as the narrator st ...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by McSweeney's
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27th out of 52 books — 5 voters
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37th out of 63 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 542)
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Molly
Aug 31, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it
Dixon's experiments with form and narrative are unusual and compelling, but also strangely tedious to read. I find myself thinking about his stories later, but sometimes feeling frustrated while I read them.
Jeff Buddle
Sep 27, 2015 Jeff Buddle rated it really liked it
Stephen Dixon is the most accessible difficult writer that I've read. He uses a simple vocabulary. The syntax is straightforward. He gets a little weird with timelines though, re-inventing a story sentence by sentence. In this, Dixon is the most like Samuel Beckett of and contemporary writer that I know. He doesn't really let his characters progress. They're stuck in their head worrying about possible eventualities, imagining what could happen, not necessarily what did happen. Also, like Beckett ...more
Jon Doyle
May 27, 2014 Jon Doyle rated it really liked it
I was torn between three and four stars for this one. I suppose I focus on the good bits, or else I'm too soft as a reviewer.

There are some beautiful moments, and some brutally honest, difficult yet important moments, but there are also some parts which didn't sit right with me. Maybe the scenario was so painful I had an inherent aversion to it, or maybe there was some degree of warmth lacking from the protagonist's character. That said, choosing to remain in that position said a lot about him,
...more
Drew Lackovic
Aug 25, 2009 Drew Lackovic rated it it was ok
Shelves: partially-read
I heard a lot of good things about Stephen Dixon, but after 50 pages, I wasn't caring. Back to the shelf it goes.
Glassj0
Jul 13, 2010 Glassj0 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unreadable
This book was my introduction to the work of Stephen Dixon. I'd rather read a cheap Tom Clancy rag than suffer through another idiotic experiment with voice changes and tense changes.

I do recommend skipping everything but for one beautiful chapter titled The Switch which is an unflinchingly honest description of taking care of a dying spouse.

Then if you really want to immerse yourself in some meaningless experimentation check out the chapter titled I. I dunno. Maybe its tongue in cheek...but it
...more
Lucy
Jul 02, 2014 Lucy rated it it was ok
Depressing.
Jed Repko
I started reading this book recently, but I'm just in far too melancholy a mood to be reading something this laden with emotion. I think, based on the aesthetic principles of distance, that I can only really enjoy a melancholic book when I'm feeling whimsical. I suppose the point of a book that drips with feeling is that you should be as close to it as you possibly can, but I really want to enjoy reading. I don't want to find myself shouldering someone else's burden along with my own. I love boo ...more
Lisette
Jul 16, 2012 Lisette rated it liked it
Although the first-person form seems exciting and interesting at first, it eventually becomes tiring -as does the endless self-pity and 'what if' scenario's that the narrator seems to dream up about pretty much every single woman he has ever met. I probably would have liked this a lot if I'd read a few of the chapters as short stories in literary journals -they're well-crafted and insightful and sometimes heartbreaking- but as a book it's all just a bit too much.
Night RPM
Apr 07, 2011 Night RPM rated it really liked it
A great way to begin reading Dixon, a writer's writer. Accessible, autobiographically tinged novel-in-stories. Gutsy moves, the story called "The Switch" is difficult to read. But the story, "Again," is one of the more memorable accounts of enduring loves I've read, touching and understated.

Dixon is an important writer that many people haven't yet discovered. Start with this one, move to "End of I." The go through his stories and novels.
Jeffrey
Aug 23, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I've read this novel. The only other book I've read more than once is Irving's Garp.

The book was just as good the second time as the first. Dixon has a flair with words, both witty and morose and mundane. His easy to read stream of consciousness style belies the difficulty with which it was probably written. He makes the act of reading a novel feel similar to the act of writing one, but much more fun.
Eoin
Nov 27, 2010 Eoin rated it did not like it
Shelves: fictions, biography
Painful and unpleasant, almost unbearable to read, I stopped 30 pages from the end (this is exceedingly rare). The form is interesting enough, a novel written as a series of unfinished short pieces by the protagonist, but ends up seeming sloppy and incomplete. The biggest problem it the subject: unprocessed, bitter anger at people enduring chronic, debilitating disease. If this book doesn't make you uncomfortable, you don't how to read.
Jeff Laughlin
Jul 21, 2007 Jeff Laughlin rated it it was ok
I love and hate this book. I will never hate anything he writes, even though he seemingly focuses on one set of circumstances a bit too much for my taste.

This one feels like short stories, but it is time-stilted novel. Get Old Friends or Sleep before this one. The artwork is awesome. Don't let the McSweeny's tag encourage or scare you. He has little to do with hipness or youth.
c.vance
Apr 14, 2010 c.vance rated it liked it
i enjoyed the repetition when done well; horrible when it wasn't---

the sense of narration displacement was done well in a good many parts but then he had to point it out and make it a, "Look at how clever I'm being!" gimmick.

it was disjointed; short stories with some overlap...

the last story saved it from being two stars or less.
Derek
Jul 15, 2007 Derek rated it liked it
Gosh, I really wanted to like this better, as I can relate to I.'s over-introspectiveness. It started off pretty strong, but after the first third, it leveled off and was mostly just kind of 'there'. Didn't bore me to tears, but it didn't move me too often until the long final chapter, where it redeemed itself a little bit.
Jordan
Jul 31, 2008 Jordan rated it did not like it
Seriously a bummer. The first half of the book was sad, boring, frustrating and lethargicly paced. The second half picked up a good bit, but not enough to redeem the time I wasted listening to its sad-sack, insecure narrator. Beautiful binding, though. Looks great on my nightstand.
Mikael
Jan 20, 2008 Mikael rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dave eggers
its like no its not like yes he did that to me no break my heart yes i went for a long walk then my dog died who cares no i do but no this is depressing only if you think this is all real but it is who knows im gonna die unappreciated except by the cognoscenti i hate that word cognoscenti
Rosey
Oct 14, 2008 Rosey rated it it was ok
This character dwelled on things way too long for his and MY own good. He reminded me of myself times one hundred. i could barely take it anymore. This is definitely a unique and interesting story, and well written. I just couldn't get into it.
Ffiamma
May 20, 2013 Ffiamma rated it liked it
Shelves: uk
per me sono racconti che compongono un romanzo: ce ne sono alcuni più interessanti e altri meno. sono spesso variazioni sullo stesso tema e il fatto che non sempre siano riuscite appesantisce un po' la struttura del tutto.
David
Aug 31, 2007 David rated it really liked it
okay. so i added the fourth star because of the cutout on the cover. the book itself is a thing of beauty. it's a nice heavy cloth that feels good in your hands.
Chris
Dec 17, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok
A little confusing. I had high hopes; not sure this lived up to them. I have "The End of I" on my shelf. I'm not sure how anxious I am to get to it.
Cyndi
Mar 29, 2008 Cyndi rated it liked it
It took me a while to finish this book, too emotional, sad, often made me feel sort of uncomfortable.
Joshua COOPER
Jul 08, 2012 Joshua COOPER rated it liked it
This one had some tough moments
It was ugly but I still liked it
Sam
Feb 18, 2008 Sam rated it it was amazing
i can't go into all the ways this book changed me.

elana
Jan 13, 2009 elana rated it it was ok
sort of drags.
wrote in real time.
Eagan
Eagan marked it as to-read
Jan 30, 2016
Henry Mcnamara
Henry Mcnamara rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2016
Tyler Harrington
Tyler Harrington rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2016
Trevor Babb
Trevor Babb marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2016
Wendy
Wendy rated it did not like it
Jan 16, 2016
Laura
Laura marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2016
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Stephen Dixon is the author of fifteen novels and fourteen short story collections and has published hundreds of stories in an incredible list of literary journals. Dixon has been has been nominated for the National Book Award twice, in 1991 for Frog and in 1995 for Interstate and his writing has also earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for ...more
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