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I Am the Cheese

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  15,119 ratings  ·  1,636 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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Jp Thankyou. I've flagged a couple and no response at all from Goodreads. Really spoiled this book for me although I did enjoy it.

I've flagged another of…more
Thankyou. I've flagged a couple and no response at all from Goodreads. Really spoiled this book for me although I did enjoy it.

I've flagged another of his books reviews for a massive spoiler and they've ignored it too.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,119 ratings  ·  1,636 reviews

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Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
mark monday
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
After recently discovering the work of Robert Cormier, I decided to come back for more. This is another wonderfully-crafted novel in which Cormier shows his versatility and ability to entertain readers of all ages. Adam Farmer is on a mission to see his father, a trip 70 miles across three states. He is ready to make the trek entirely by bicycle, leering of hitchhiking along highways he does not know. As he ventures out, Adam thinks back to some of his fondest memories as a child, as well as the ...more
“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.”
― Robert Cormier, I Am the Cheese

I read this in school and it made such an impact on me I could shiver just thinking about it.

I looked for this book for years due to my forgetting the title. Maybe that was subconsciously on purpose as it is on
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, thriller
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

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
Apr 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Amanda Childs
Nov 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 gover
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Michelle Stimpson
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reading this book was an incredibly strange experience for me. A copy of the book has lived in my classroom for years and it has been on my TBR for a long time. I'm not sure where I got the book. I've picked up books for my classroom in lots of places -yard sales, thrift stores, library sales, and I've bought quite a few new. This one has my name on it and it has been read before (I can tell from the spine), but that's all I know. It's not usually the type of book I'm interested in, but I flippe ...more
Sep 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who's ever felt alone
This book changed my life forever, and almost ten years later I can still admire its intricate structure as a thing of beauty. This is the finest novel a very fine writer ever wrote.
Apr 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 Che
Kressel Housman
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens and adults
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
Now here's a book that really breaks the mold of young adult fiction, and it's absolutely brilliant. It's told as a teenage boy's recollections to a shrink, but you won't get the full impact of his story until the very last page. And then - pow! I highly recommend it, but be warned: it's not a happy, feel-good book. ...more
Dec 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Cassie by: Mrs. Marcum
I read this book because Mrs. Marcum told me to read it for Creative Writing. Now that I have finished it, I have no idea why anyone would ever want to read it, let alone tell their students to read it. At the end of the book, you find out that the whole story is pointless and redundant. It's sad, strange, and disappointing. Don't read it unless forced. ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst books I've ever read. It's all twist and no plot. There is absolutely no logic to the events that take place. I will go ahead with the spoilers.

So this kid is being kept in a mental ward run by a government agency, that is also the mob, that is also the witness protection agency, that wants both revenge and (?) information. It doesn't say that the agency is also aliens, also killer robots from the future, or also all taking place in an inception dream. But hey, why not?
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Hong Deng
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aaron Koelker
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great psychological thriller with a number of different aspects I felt I could relate to, personally. It trusts the reader to make connections and do a bit of thinking on their own part to really grasp what happens by the end, but I do wish it had explored the protagonist's state of mind a bit more.

If you like psych-thrillers, and appreciate books that don't spell everything out for you, I'd recommend this.
Sheila Beaumont
This is a totally riveting, well-written psychological thriller and mystery, though I can't say I cared for the ending. It's an excellent read for both adults and teens who enjoy psychological-suspense mysteries and who don't mind a shocking, downbeat conclusion. ...more
Arsh Hayer
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read it for school and I absolutely loved it. Too bad I watched the movie before reading the book. Didn't know. ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, pg-count-200s
Having never heard about this book until it popped up on a class syllabus I was expecting to find reading this a chore and a bore. But wow I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the way the story was structured switching between first person and the third person interviews/remembering. Every time I finished a chapter I had to continue on to find out more. The introduction in the copy I read said many people who read this book immediately want to read it a second time and I know I definitely do. I w ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this once a year. Blows me away every time.
This was definitely a book that I thoroughly enjoyed! It was engaging, unique, and a great experience to read. I think the title was slightly misleading since it sounds as if it would be something humorous and whimsical, which this book certainly is not. (view spoiler)

It had some stylistic e
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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

Articles featuring this book

Angeline Boulley set out over a decade ago to write the story she wanted to read as a young Ojibwe teenager. The result is Firekeeper's Daughter,...
65 likes · 10 comments
“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.” 47 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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