Jackiejukie's Reviews > I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
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's review
Jan 26, 2009

it was amazing
Read in January, 2009

Searching desperately for a book, i find myself in my brother's library to discover not only a mysterious past, but how loneliness drives one to shut down to have no recollect of their past.I Am The Cheese is a story of mystery which is not unraveled until the very end of the story. The main character Adam seems to be traveling from therapist sessions back to encounter a journey to visit his father. Eventually the ending answers all the questions we have about Adam. Who is he? Why is he being interviewed? What has he faced? What does cheese have to do with the title?
At first the novel attracts you with a what we assume is a teenage boy who is riding his bike to give his father a present. We are not told what is in the box of the present but the "clues" as it were, we learn through out his journey. Adam is in love with a girl names Amy Hertz, lives in Monument Massachusetts, and is seeking to give his father something, whose ideal location is in Vermont. All the while, Adam is willing to make this trip by bike. Throughout the first half of the book we try to establish the relationship between these sessions and the story Adam keeps sharing. In the sessions Adam can't seem to recall most of his memories and referred to them as "blanks". Noticing that these stories were not only different but that in each segment, he refers to himself differently. Such that of when he shares what seem to be his hidden memories, he refers to himself by third person, using "Adam said this" or "Adam did that". Then when it gets to the story portion he speaks as though he is explaining his own feelings to the reader.
The sessions eventually reveal themselves to being a way to help unlock Adams past, but the "therapist" insists on luring Adam to dark place about his family. Eventually the secret that Adam's family had been lying to him about his entire existence. Adam's family had been under protective watch ever since his father testified against a powerful role in government. In order to keep the family safe, all their identities had to be heavily protected. Showing that Paul Delmonte is Adam Farmer's true identity.
Not giving too much away, but learning soon that the story of traveling to visit his father has become a yearly routine. Not due to the father having a birthday, but in fact Adam can not seem to remember his memories after sharing them with the therapist. All the interviews tend to have a similar routine until Adam seems to be holding things inside, whether it was to not go through the pain or know when to not trust anyone he was speaking to. Once he reaches his limit or remembrance. the cycle begins all over again. He is living a reoccurring nightmare over and over again, and will not stop unless sent out of the hospital for good, or is put to silence, indefinitely.
When "Adam" was growing up, his father would sing him a song about their name, farmer. it would start out "the farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell, hi-ho the merry-o, the farmer in the dell". Eventually as of singing the entire song, it ends up with, "the rat takes the cheese, the rat takes the cheese hi-ho the merry-o, the rat takes the cheese. The cheese stands alone the cheese stands alone, hi-ho the merry-o the cheese stands alone." Adam seems to relate himself to the cheese for once his family was taken away from him, he had no more connections to the real world, and was completely alone, without proper memory of his life.
I would recommend this book because it's entertaining to read and you never want to put it down. it could be due to the fact that it keeps interchanging between interview and story. it was well written and i had a great time reading it even though it turned out to be very depressing. I tried not to spoil the whole book, i think i didn't because i kept good details. So read it. You'll enjoy it.

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message 1: by Drew (new)

Drew Robert Cormier... I am always surprised by how much I like his books... I don't think of myself as liking dark literature. Have you read the Chocolate War or After the First Death? Really engrossing.


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