I Am the Cheese
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I Am the Cheese

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  9,399 ratings  ·  938 reviews
Adam Farmer is on a journey - he has to get to Rutterburg with a parcel for his father. But as he travels, he starts to remember the events leading up to this point, memories which are also being prised out in gruelling psychiatric interviews. What is the secret of Adam Farmer? And what will happen when he finds out?
Paperback, 233 pages
Published July 30th 1998 by Puffin Books (first published 1977)
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Nov 20, 2008 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Matthew by: my teacher
When I first saw this book, I thought it was strange book that no one would read and it was one of the books I just quote…dumb but Robert Cormier, who describes the protagonist, Adam Farmer, and his epic journey to see his father in Rutterburg, Vermont creates this amazing book -- all in flashbacks. He tells the story of Adam as if he was telling it himself.
Adam Farmer a normal kid in school, one day finds the need see his father in Rutterburg, Vermont. He abandons his mother and his precious...more
Sep 22, 2008 Jorgina rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Wish I had NEVER read this book. Required reading for my 10th grader so I read it first. Starts out good, keeps you reading even if it does bounce back and forth in time. Then it ends horribly, suddenly without resolving anything and with no hope no finality. It just ends where it begins. It does give you the endless circle that a mentally disturbed person must feel but GOSH! Why, during a youth's most unsettling years of self doubt, low self esteem, bouts of depression, hopelessness; the teen y...more
But I keep pedaling, I keep pedaling...

A photograph of Robert Cormier will show you an old man with a kind face, who was born and grew up in a small town of Leominster in Massachusetts which he never left, who graduated from a private catholic school and wrote articles for the local newspaper.

It might be a surprise to learn that Cormier's novels are very bleak and pessimistic; concerned mostly with young protagonists and the pains of adolescence of growing up. Betrayals and conspiracies abound,...more
I bought this young adult novel when I was a second- or third-year undergraduate student at university (the book was sold in the college bookshop as it was apparently used as a case study text on a course there). One of the two primary reasons why I bought it at the time was that I had enjoyed reading the same author’s book, The Chocolate War, when I was 11 years old and had wanted to read more books by him. However, for some reason, I don’t think I saw any of his other books in the local booksh...more
I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier was a fantastic book because it totally caught me off guard until the very end of the book. The reason was that Adam, the protagonist, tells a story while he rides a bicycle in a circle. Adam is mentally ill and is put in a facility because Adam knows something that the government doesn't want him to remember. As a result, the government drugs Adam in the hope of erasing his memories. The ending is very surprising, so i do not want to ruin the book. The title is...more

This is "Shutter Island" with Leonardo DiCaprio for teens. LOL

Robert Cormier was there and doing Young Adult Lit before it was hip. Long before J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins. Ya feel me, bro? j/k

This short novel plays with perceptions, memory, and switches effortlessly between first-person present-tense chapters and third-person past-tense segments. Also, a third, unique from of storytelling exists here--the recording between the main character and the "Doctor." Between these three avenue...more
Mar 13, 2008 Ives rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Mystery Books.
Recommended to Ives by: Anyone who likes mystery books.
I Am the Cheese
Robert Cormier
220 pages
ISBN Dell,1981 ISBN 0-440-94060-5.

Have you ever thought about living the life of a victim? Always having the fear of being heard or watched from left to right, up to down? A little taste in what the "bitter-sweet" life is here in this compressed, and brilliant book. The lives of a small, mysterious family of the Farmers (Adam Farmer: Student, son of Mr. & Mrs. Farmer) are on stake. This small family is being hunted down by the g...more
The other day on the way home from work I tuned into All Things Considered on NPR. I listened to this segment. I was mesmerized by the description of a book that had left its impression upon someone so long ago. I was intrigued.

That evening I took the children to the public library to check this out.

I loved the story here. Cormier's writing is compelling. Adam lives in a dark world that he discovers as the book proceeds. There is a great mystery that unfolds. As a reader, it is easy to be caught...more
When a friend of mine recommended me that book i thought it was a ''funny'' one. I mean ''i am the cheese''?Come on. Well funny is the last word that anyone would use to describe it. A really sick book, manages to keep you in agony till the very last page of it. The stories connect between them in a very clever way, the puzzle is being connected perfectlty and the final result leaves you dumbfounded when you realize what you had been reading all this time.

Answers are being given, although the wr...more
Hong Deng
This book is about a boy named Adam who was going on a personal journey of finding his real identity. He lived happyliy with his family until one day he became suspicious of his parents and later on found out that his real name is Paul Delmonte. His family had being disguised since he was litte to avoid terrorists. Not long after he found the truth, his parents both died from a car accident and he lost his memory and had to stay in a hospital to recover. The book is really interesting because th...more
It's difficult to find the words to describe an experience in literature like this one. I Am the Cheese is so deeply wrapped in the profundity of its own enigma that it stands alone from nearly anything else that has ever been written. The feeling that one gets from reading Robert Cormier books is vastly different from the aura of any other author's material because one senses the fact that a content, pleasing ending is not at all a foregone conclusion, that things just as likely (if not more s...more
I gave the book four stars because it is very well done and so it move up from three stars. I have however a love hate realtionship with Robert Cormier. I love his suspenseful plotting and his vivid descriptions. I hate his endings because they are all the worst possible ending. I will say though his endings fit the stories with the exception of Fade. I felt he cheated in making a horrible ending for that story.

One other note I Am The Cheese is the most difficult book I have read so far by Cormi...more
Amanda Childs

Adam's whole life is like a maze. He remembers when his life was happy and normal. But a mysterious man, Mr. Grey, controls everything in his family's life, and the implications are sinister. Adam embarks on a bicycle quest, pedaling to find his dad. as he does, he starts remembering, and then things come crashing down.

This book is certainly smart. It's mostly psychological and requires the reader to keep up and pay attention. that said, I found it to be disappointing. Indeed...more
Amanda B.
Jun 11, 2008 Amanda B. added it
Recommends it for: readers who like twist
I have first read this book in 6th grade, and I saw it on my book shelf and wanted to re-read it. I was very satisfied with the new outlook i had on this book. it is a story about a man named Adam who is in a battle to understand his identity and his life as a whole. it is such a moving story because you see the progression of what seems to be a normal story but has many little twist in it. The book starts with Adam on his bike riding towards Vermont to see his father. The book ends revealing th...more
I Am The Cheese is Robert Cormier's nightmare version of Peter & The Wolf - this Peter's feverishly pedalling a rickety bike across New England in the dead of night. Cormier's jagged narrative kicks up a hornet's nest of touchy topics like politics, religion and Freudian analysis.

Several of the episodes in the book reminded me of recurring nightmares that I've had, so Mr. Cormier's novel, it can be said, crawled inside my head and stayed there for awhile. The controversial ending to I Am The...more
Cory Dorn
I feel the “I Am The Cheese” is for any age or gender, but I mostly prefer teens to read it because the main character is a teen. What this young man does to see his father, And this Young man name is Adam Farmer. He will pedal 84 miles to see his father in the hospital this 84 mile trip is from Massachusetts to Vermont. Another reason why I Say this should be preferred for teens is that we became more of technology. Teens Eat sleep and dream on Technology. A Teenager at this time would just Fa...more
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Have you ever watched the movie "Abduction" staring Taylor Lautner? Well this book is just like that movie but it actually puts a modern twist to it. Although this book is a fictional book, the way the author tells it makes it so much more realistic. This book is full of deception and lies that it makes this book interesting.

This book is about a kid named Adam Farmer who has been drugged into finding out more information about his family, mainly his father. As Adam is induced in the drug, someon...more
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This is on a list of short books that were somehow life changing for me.

My original read was years and years ago - I was maybe around 12 or 13. I have this distinct memory of finishing the book very late at night - when everything is dark and the house and the world are asleep. I was completely overwhelmed by two things, (1) all encompassing loneliness - not in a boo-hoo sort of way, but more in a born alone, die alone Ultimate Truth epiphany moment, and (2) being absolutely unsure whether or n...more
Tommy Gibbs
This is one of my all time favorite books. I first read it in 7th grade. The story is of a boy Adam Farmer (actually Paul Delmonte). The story is complicated in that there are three developing plots. One is of Adam Farmer who is riding his bicycle from his home town of Monument, Massachusetts to an unknown location. This plot is simply of his journey and several trials that occur during it. The second plot is of, presumably, Adam sitting with an unnamed interviewer, presumably his psychiatrist,...more
Sydney White
When I was four years old I went through a terrible night terrors phase. My parents said that I would wake up in the middle of the night for weeks on end after having recurring nightmares. Fortunately I don't remember any of them today, but I do recall how nice it was to crawl into bed with them and feel safe enough to continue the rest of the night's sleeping hours. When I finished Cormier's I am Cheese it was 11:00 pm, my house was dark, and the trees outside the bedroom were looming through s...more
Name: Michelle Muro
Citation: Cormier, R. (1977). I am the cheese. New York, NY: Pantheon.
Genre: Mystery
Format: Print
Selection Process: YALSA website


Adam Farmer is on a journey by bicycle to see his father in the hospital while also battling the mysteries of his mind. The story is told in two different formats. It starts with a narrative of Adam on a bicycle going to give his father a package. The next chapter is a transcript between an interviewer and Adam who is trying to remember his pa...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I don't usually give fives. Lots of people probably won't like this book because it's so confusing at first, but I love the way that everything falls together in the end. If any of you read the book and don't get it, mail me or something and I can explain it to you; I really, really, really like the way this book is formatted and how the author writes. It was frustrating at first, but once I got what was going on, the reading became a lot easier. Lots of things have double meanings... and I can'...more
A fun and quick read in the style of a psychological mystery. The style, at first off-putting, becomes more intriguing as the book progresses. The narrator has three methods of storytelling, first about a boy riding his bicycle to deliver a package to his father, the second a patient in a mental hospital, and third the patient as he remembers details of his life. It is fun as you're reading it to piece together what is occurring, wrapping things together at the end.

More thoughtfully, it raises q...more
Weird and wonderful story about Adam, who sets out on his bicycle to find his father in another state. It is all quite mysterious:
How old is Adam?
Why are Adam and his father separated?
And where is Adam's mother?

Interspersed with the tale are excerpts of psychiatric sessions. What is not clear is the timing of all of this. Bicycle trip in real time, therapy sessions in flash back, or the other way round? I began to make sense of of it all about two thirds of the way through, at which point it...more
Jay Gowen
While I enjoyed this book, I didn't think it was as good as the (only) other Cormier book I've read, We All Fall Down. The ending not only surprised me, but confused me as well. I remember re-reading it a couple of times before I felt as though I understood it, and even then, my wife and I were in disagreement as to what we believed actually happened.

That's the only drawback in my opinion: Cormier holds his hand so close to his chest during the entire book, that once he decides to reveal it, it...more
I first heard about this book on NPR where they had a quick little featurette on it... after that, I had to pick it up on audio from my local library immediately. NPR pitches it much better than I could so listen to this first:

Anyways, I just finished listening to this.... and my first reaction (pardon my language) was "well that was fucked up". Seriously, it's good. And you really don't see then ending coming at all. Very eerie. Recommended on audio for a...more
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Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925–November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist and reporter, known for his deeply pessimistic, downbeat literature. His most popular works include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War, all of which have won awards. The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. His books often are concerned with themes...more
More about Robert Cormier...
The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1) After the First Death The Rag and Bone Shop Tenderness Fade

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“He was intrigued by the power of words, not the literary words that filled the books in the library but the sharp, staccato words that went into the writing of news stories. Words that went for the jugular. Active verbs that danced and raced on the page.” 29 likes
“A: Funny about my mother. All my life, from the time I was just a little kid, I thought of her as a sad person. I mean, the way some people are tall or fat or skinny. My father always seemed the stronger one. As if he was a bright color and she was a faded color. I know it sounds crazy.
T: Not at all.
A: But later, when I learned the truth about our lives, I found she was still sad. But strong, too. Not faded at all. It wasn't sadness so much as fear--the Never Knows.”
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