I Am the Cheese Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of I Am the Cheese

Adam Farmer, a young teen, is placed into a mental institution because he has amnesia. His thereapist, Brint, wants to find out what happened to him.
Click here to see the rest of this review...

Adam's father testified against wrongdoers and they tried to kill him. The family changed their names and occupation and location. Adam embarks on a trip to what he thinks is to visit his father in the hospital. However, the reader learns at the end of the book that Adam suffers from mental illness and was never on a trip to visit his father, but rather on a bike ride around the asylum.

The novel goes through chapters of either Adam on his determined "trip to see his father" and his sessions with Brint. Brint questions Adam, and at times Adam is suspicious of who Brint really is but in the end is convinced he is just a psyciatrist. In truth, Brint is an investigator and Adam is just crazy.

The book is called "I Am the Cheese" because if the reader recalls at the end of the book, Adam starts to sing "The Farmer in the Dell" and the last phrase of the song is "The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone." This is Adam. Adam is describing himself. Cheese is merely nothing so too is Adam. The cheese is alone, and unimportant, just like Adam.

Now, here is a question for all readers: Cheese has one importance to it- the fact that it is a food and it can help survival for a human being, makes cheese have a different meaning to it, doesn't it? Now, cheese has suddenly become important. Well, in a way so too is Adam, for the government relies on him to find out the truth of what really happened with his family. So now the title has another significance to it, doesn't it?
The review of this Book prepared by Leah

An emotionally disturbed teenaged boy is being questioned in a mental hospital about his history; the boy's father testified against organized crime and the family had to join the Witness Protection Program. The boy has amnesia and cannot remember most of his life, such as where his parents are and what happened to send him to the mental hospital. His memory gradually unfolds as the book progresses.
The review of this Book prepared by Meaghan

Chapter Analysis of I Am the Cheese

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Battle with a psychiatrist    -   Yes Brain/Body disability?    -   mental illness

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids    -   sinister, like an X-Files Gomer Pyle Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like I Am the Cheese

Robert Cormier Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian