Book Review: ‘I am the Cheese’ by Robert Cormier

Book Title: I am the Cheese

Author: Robert Cormier

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Summary: As he cycles to Rutterburg with a present for his father, Adam Farmer tells of the people he meets along the way and reflects on his life and the events leading up to this bicycle journey through flashbacks. Interspersed with transcripts of recorded interviews, there is a mystery to be solved as to who Adam really is, and what is waiting for him at the end of his journey.

Favourite Scene: When Adam arrives at Rutterberg. I gasped aloud; it left my mind reeling!

Favourite Character: Amy.

Review: This has been on my “to read” list for a long time – and I’m ashamed to admit how long I took to actually get around to reading it. I loved The Chocolate War, so I don’t know how I am the Cheese escaped me for so long! It is now on my “must read” list for many reasons. One of the things I love about Cormier’s writing is the sense of hopelessness and despair that is maintained throughout his novels; there is no happy ending, the characters simply live and – somehow – get by (if they’re lucky – and usually they’re not). In I am the Cheese, Cormier crafts an intricate tale of a young teenager seeking answers to his identity as he cycles to deliver a parcel to his father. With flashbacks of his life before commencing the journey, we read of his uncertainty around who he is, where his family is from, and the truth behind the strange interview transcripts that are interspersed in the novel. When I finished the book my mind span, my heart pounded, and I may have shed a tear or two.

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