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I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese


by Robert Cormier

I Am the Cheese Chapter 23 Summary

  • Chapter 23 is full of "aha!" moments, so listen up.
  • First Adam tells Brint that his father confirmed his suspicions that they had been running away when they left their house in his first memory.
  • Adam learned that his father's name was Anthony Delmonte. They were from Blount, New York. Adam's father was a journalist. His mother, Louise Nolan, had a tragic childhood. Then they married and life was good.
  • At this point Brint interrupts Adam, and Adam starts getting annoyed: why does Brint only want certain information from him?
  • Back to the memory: While working on a story, Adam's father had uncovered some information about corruption in the government.
  • Another interruption from Brint. Come on, dude – he sure is asking a lot of questions. Adam continues to grow more suspicious.
  • Adam is able to get through the rest of the story with only a thousand or so more questions from Brint. After uncovering the corruption, Adam's father had to testify against some scary people. Afterward, they wanted to kill him and his family. They tried and failed. If this is reminding you of The Godfather (or The Wire), you're on the right track.
  • Mr. Grey came along and put the Delmontes in the Witness Re-Establishment program. (A quick historical note: the Witness Protection Program, which is really the same thing, started in 1970, was brand new at the time Adam's family would have entered it.)
  • Adam's father had resisted entering the program at first, but after a threatening call was made to his wife, he finally agreed to relocate his family.
  • Because they were one of the first families in the program, it wasn't foolproof. For example, the birth certificate snafu: they got Adam's birth date wrong on the new birth certificate, and Adam's dad kept the bad one just in case.
  • Mr. Grey created their lives for them: he chose their names, and told them what they could and couldn't do.
  • After another interruption or two from Brint, Adam recalls that Mr. Grey had an article published in the Blount newspaper saying that his whole family had been killed in a car crash. Adam felt numb upon seeing this (so would we), and he feels numb now.
  • The session ends.

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