I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

I Am, I Am, I Am

We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death.I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O'Farrell's astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all...

Details I Am, I Am, I Am

TitleI Am, I Am, I Am
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Reviews I Am, I Am, I Am

  • Angela M
    I have read three of her novels and count Maggie O’Farrell as one of my favorite writers and I know I have to get to those that I haven’t read. This memoir is as beautifully written as her novels. O’Farrell shares with us some very personal experiences, memories of times in her life when she was in danger, close to death. As in her novels, she had me feeling and thinking about the complexities of life, sometimes the danger that lies near al...
  • Debbie
    OMG OMG OMG! Pogo stick time!Dear Maggie O’Farrell,I’m bouncing high, zigzagging through your 17 brushes with death. Barefoot because my socks were knocked off. I can’t stop! Yep, I’m downright manic! What an amazing memoir you wrote! One of the best books I’ve read this year!I am I am I am absolutely in love with your book. I can’t help it that I’m stuttering. It’s that or remain speechless, which isn’t my style. My brain is on...
  • karen
    At the time, I gaze up at the sky, the birds, the fast-moving clouds, and I am thinking about the dense forest behind us, about how I do not want to be dragged in there, not at all. I do not want to see the trees closing over my head, feel the scratch and pluck of bushes against my skin, my clothes, the cold damp of the ground in there. My thoughts are very simple. They pulse through my head: let me go, let me go, not the forest, not the ground, ...
  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’There is nothing unique or special in a near-death experience. They are not rare; everyone, I would venture, has had them, at one time or another, perhaps without even realising it.’’ How difficult it is to write a text about a memoir...No matter if you liked it or not, no matter whether you shared the writer’s views or not, a memoir is a testament of someone’s heart and soul and how can anyone dissect it so light-heartedly? This me...
  • Elyse
    Unless a ‘memoir’ literally shifts me -changes my thinking - transforms me in some major way - I tend to retreat to my standard 3 star rating.I didn’t equally ‘enjoy’ each story in this collection - It’s a mix collection for me. A few stories felt embellished. In the middle of the book - I started to feel as if I had enough. A couple of the stories felt a little narcissistic—....but then I felt sad for Maggie’s sick child - heck I...
  • Diane S ☔
    Love her fiction so wanting to read her memoir was a no brainier. A different take for sure as she recounts the near death experiences she has encountered in her life. Reading this made me think of all the mishaps I have had, that could have turned fatal. Something I think we all share to various degrees.Honest and open are the two words I thought of while reading this. The things she shares, private moments, secrets she had held close, but now s...
  • Esil
    I have never read any of Maggie O’Farrell’s fiction. It is not for lack of good intentions. I have certainly heard good things about her writing, which is what made me jump at chance to read an advance copy of this brief memoir.At first blush, the way O’Farrell has chosen to organize her memoir is odd. Each chapter is focused on a near death experience. The chapters are out of chronological order. And while each chapter deals with a particu...
  • Lucy Langford
    4****"We are, all of us, wandering about in a state of oblivion, borrowing our time, seizing our days, escaping our fates, slipping through loopholes, unaware of when the axe may fall.”This is the memoir of Maggie O'Farrel documenting the near bushes of death that have been riddled through out her life. Each chapter introduces a different time and age of the author and her experiences grazing near to death. We are witness to the encounters with...
  • Dem
    I am a fan of Maggie O' Farrell Novels and love her descriptive writing. Her story telling is unique and fresh. Her latest book is totally different as it's a memoir that is quirky, interesting, honest, revealing and vivid.Told through 17 near death experiences that the author experienced throughout her life, you find yourself reading with bated breath as O Farrell draws you in with words and descriptions that make the reading experience very rea...
  • Zoeytron
    Memoirs are not my thing, but I was unable to ignore a couple of my GR friends' fine reviews for this book.  It's good to amble over to a different genre from time to time.  This one will have you looking back at the times of your life for near misses, and how your decisions may have changed your direction, if only slightly.  I am not a lover of memoirs in general, butI am glad to have read this one.I am returning to the dark side now. 
  • Hannah
    I might have been too excited about this. I have been looking forward to this memoir ever since I first saw this stunning cover. I finally caved in and bought myself a copy and started it the moment it arrived. And I enjoyed this. But it wasn’t quite the revelation I was maybe expecting.I love the framing of this memoir: Maggie O’Farrell tells her story as a series of essays, each concentrating on a near death experience. I do like memoirs th...
  • Veronica ⭐️
    I am Iam Iam is moving extracts from a life less ordinary; a life lived to the full.”Is this your life?” She asks.“It’s not......it’s just......snatches of a life. A string of moments. Some chapters will be long. Others might be really short.”The chapters are at times terrifying and at other times heart breaking. These short snippets of a life give an insight into the personal life of Maggie O’Farrell and really show the reader who ...
  • JanB
    The author has certainly led an interesting and adventurous life! This book is a series of essays, all related to her near brushes with death, and uniquely titled according to the body part that nearly did her in: cranium, lungs, circulatory system, etc. She is either extraordinarily unlucky or her admittedly risky lifestyle makes her more vulnerable than most. Or maybe it’s a little of both.As with any essay collection some of these stories re...
  • Lotte
    4.5/5. There were three things that made this book stand out to me:- The nonlinear narrative structure – the seventeen chapters, the eponymous "seventeen brushes with death", are told non-chronologically, all covering a certain point in Maggie O'Farrell's life spanning from early childhood until now. It was never confusing to read, but made for an interesting and wholly original account of a life. - The writing style, which I fell in love with...
  • Eve
    "I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am."—Sylvia Plath, The Bell JarI thoroughly enjoyed this unique take on a memoir! I've never read any of O'Farrell's books, and I'm so glad I started here. O'Farrell recalls seventeen close brushes with death at various points in her life, dividing each chapter into both year and organ(s) that was endangered. The writing was so compelling and the language beautiful, t...
  • Beverly
    An amazing memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death, is exactly what the title says, the author's near fatal experiences in her extraordinary life. Read the first chapter and you will be hooked; her meeting with a rapist and murderer as a teenager will send chills down your spine. She is a brilliant writer and goes inside her near death experiences to snatch from them and learn from them, whether it be accidents, illness, depraved s...
  • Carol
    I AM, I AM, I AM is a uniquely written compilation of near death experiences....close calls....illustrated chapter by chapter with the body part connected to the incident. Some stories will break your heart, some will make you question her choices, and a couple others will absolutely give you the creeps....like OMG, the man on the path in the woods. Maggie used her head and saved her own bacon in this one! An escapologist as a child, a risk taker...
  • Michael
    British novelist O’Farrell provides us an unusual collection of personal essays on the theme of near-death experiences in her life, with each chapter headed by an image and label for the relevant vital organ. From her childhood we get the events and aftermath reactions of nearly getting run down by a car while crossing a road, nearly getting caught by her mother slamming a car trunk, and serious bout of encephalitis. As an adolescent, near drow...
  • Bianca
    This was my first taste of Maggie O'Farrell's writing.I Am, I Am, I Am is a unique memoir written as a collection of essays or short stories.Unlike most memoirs, it doesn't have a linear trajectory but that didn't inhibit my reading experience, if anything, it enhanced my enjoyment.This memoir is made up of stories of near-death experiences and it's quite the assortment of such experiences, including almost getting run over by a car; near-drowni...
  • Betsy Robinson
    I Am, I Am, I AM is an emotionally astounding book that ends in one of the most gut-wrenchingly powerful assertions of life I’ve ever read.But I Am, I Am, I Am isn’t a great book because Maggie O’Farrell has had such a dramatic life (although she has) and has so many harrowing stories to tell. It is a great book because O’Farrell is a wonderful storyteller, which means that she sees the connections between events in her life and has a jou...
  • Diane
    This book is impossibly lovely. I was so enchanted by Maggie O'Farrell's gorgeous writing that I've been gushing about it to friends.However, the subject of this memoir also made me anxious. Maggie shares seventeen stories in which she brushed with death, including a serious childhood illness, two near-drownings, a dangerous childbirth, and scary encounters with violent men while out hiking.I don't remember how I first heard about this book, but ...
  • Umut Rados
    Oh my God, this book! If you like memoirs, I can't recommend it enough. It's probably one of my favourite memoirs I've ever read. It was also my first novel by O'Farrell. It definitely won't be the last. It was about her many near death experiences. Creatively, she titled them with which part of the body was in danger. The first chapter was to effective to grip you in the book. Her writing impressed me a lot. She has a style of pulling you in the...
  • Benji
    In two minds about this one, but eventually topped it up to four stars just through the power of the writing alone. Maggie O'Farrell writes beautifully - and yes, that still seems the correct word to use, despite the book being about seventeen brushes she has had with death - but I think, in the end, I may enjoy her novels more. (Incredibly, I still haven't read anything else of hers.)Some of the chapters in I Am, I Am, I Am - taken, of course, f...
  • Lauren
    WHAT A PHENOMENAL AND BREATH-TAKING READ!!! I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell is a beautifully written, emotionally-wrenching and poetically-haunting story. I very rarely read non-fiction but when I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. It follows Maggie's life from childhood to the present day and there is a poignant intimacy which pervades throughout. I loved the structure of the book and how it is divided into seventeen sections, ...
  • Anni
    "Coming so close to death as a young child, only to resurface again into life, imbued in me for a long time a brand of recklessness, a cavalier or even crazed attitude to risk … It was not so much that I didn't value my existence but more that I had an insatiable desire to push myself to embrace all that it could offer.”Of course, as she says a few paragraphs later, this insouciance could last only until she became a parent - that's when we r...
  • Rachel
    I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death is Maggie O'Farrell's memoir, told in seventeen chapters, each a different vignette about an isolated event in her life which could have resulted in her death. Each chapter is titled with a different body part: Neck, Cerebellum, Lungs, etc., each chapter heading illustrated with a simple but brilliant anatomical drawing that corresponds with the narrative.The brushes with death themselves range in se...
  • Kaitlin
    I read this book as part of the #WellcomeBookPrize challenge I am doing with Elena and I am very glad it was one of the reads I chose to go for, as it was certainly different, short, sweet and interesting. I really enjoyed hearing about the crazy life that Maggie O'Farrell has led, she's certainly been through a couple of really interesting and terrifying experiences, and she weaves these experiences together in a beautiful way. I think for me th...
  • Mehrsa
    As an unapologetic stoic by nature, I hate hearing people complain about their health. This book was one annoying complaint after another with literally NO wisdom gleaned from each event. It was unbelievably self-indulgent and a bore to read through. I read to the end because it was a book club book but was rolling my eyes after the 4th near death experience. By 17, I just didn't believe her anymore. A good memoir is one where you know the author...
  • Britta Böhler
    I can understand why so many readers have loved this memoir, but it was not quite my kind of book.
  • Canadian Reader
    I have mixed feelings about O’Farrell’s memoir or, more specifically, her collection of 17 smaller memoir “pieces”. Ostensibly, the book focuses on the author’s many “brushes” with death, but I think it would be more accurate to say that the stories from O’Farrell’s life included in I am I am I am are actually concerned with moments of heightened feeling or times of psychological transformation. Her opening piece “Neck 1990...