Book Review – I’m Not Sam (2012)


Here at Jordan and Eddie we like to delve into all aspects of film including literary projects by film-makers. In doing book reviews we look to review those books either about films, by film-makers/actors or books that have been adapted either into a past or future film project. Happy reading!

By Jordan

Title – I’m Not Sam (2012)

Written by – Jack Ketchum & Lucky McKee

Now I’m way beyond confusion.

Now I’m scared.

I’ve slid down the rabbit-hole and what’s down there is dark and serious. This is not play-acting or some waking bad dream she’s having. She’s changed, somehow overnight. I don’t know how I know this but I sense it as surely as I sense my own skin. This is not Sam, my Sam, wholly sane and firmly balanced. Capable of tying off an artery as neatly as you’d thread a belt through the loops of your jeans.

And now I’m shivering too.

In some fundamental way she’s changed…

Filmmaker Lucky McKee and renowned author Jack Ketchum have a recent history of accomplished collaborations; among other things, McKee directed an adaptation of Ketchum’s beloved novel Red, and the two co-wrote and co-directed The Woman (the novel and movie were released at the same time) – a belated sequel to Ketchum’s earlier stories Off Season and Offspring.

Their most recent joint venture, I’m Not Sam, represents a rather distinct change in narrative direction, but still retains the same power to shock through use of real-life horrors over the more fantastic elements that populate most of their previous works. When Patrick, a talented and successful graphic novelist, wakes up one morning to the realisation that there is something terribly off about his loving wife Sam, he is forced to make a series of life-altering decisions in an attempt to reclaim the life the couple once shared. Exactly what initially confronts Patrick is no secret, but as this is a novella and may only take a few hours to complete, I’ll leave it for you to discover.

Ketchum mentions in the introduction the existence of’ Who’s Lilly?’ a supplementary short story at the end of the book, and the importance of not rushing into it straight away. It is essential to allow time for every aspect and idea of a story to set in before embarking on a new one; such is appreciation of quality craftsmanship.

Here is a story that is short in length, but as powerfully human (for both better and worse) as anything I’ve read. Look out for it.

4.5 arthritic cats out of 5

3 responses to “Book Review – I’m Not Sam (2012)

  1. Pingback: Classic Review – The Woman (2011) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

    • You can finish this one in a few hours or less as well, very short but highly memorable! Just remember to wait at least a week before reading the bonus story at the end..

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