So a boy is riding around on his bike, trying to get to his dad, who's in the hospital in a faraway city. The same boy, Adam Farmer, is sitting in some kind of interrogation room in a mental hospital, trying to remember his life before the hospital.
''I Am the Cheese'' is an emotional MindScrew novel about Adam Farmer, who is afraid of everything, has to take medication, [[spoiler: lives in an asylum,]] and is in love with a girl named Amy.
[[spoiler: Also, the story is set three years after his parents died. He never rode a bike to his dad's hospital. He couldn't have; he never left his own.]]
!!''I Am the Cheese'' provides examples of:
* CreatorCameo: The film of the book has Robert Cormier as Amy Hertz's father.
* CuckooNest: [[spoiler: See MindScrew below.]]
* [[spoiler: DownerEnding: Seriously depressing.]]
* TheFilmOfTheBook: One was made in [[TheEighties 1983]].
* [[spoiler: TheHeroDies: Implied that Adam is going to be offed not long after the ending.]]
* IAmTheNoun: I Am the Cheese (from the song, ''The Farmer in the Dell'').
* MindScrew: [[spoiler: Nothing Adam sees or aims for on his bike ride are real, sans the characters he meets.]]
* NoMedicationForMe: At the beginning of the book, Adam dumps all his pills down his sink. He tries to avoid medication from Brint as well, but Adam resists less as the book progresses.
* RickRoll: A re-release of the film [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer apparently]] used "Never Gonna Give You Up" during the end credits, perhaps to distract us from the DownerEnding. There was already SoundtrackDissonance ''before'' Rick Rolling [[HilariousInHindsight became a thing]].
* [[spoiler: WitnessProtection: The Farmer family is a part of this. It's later revealed that their real last name is Delmonte.]]