Nicnak edited the summary of I Am the Cheese Monday, July 12, 2010.
The book starts off with the central character, Adam Farmer, riding his bicycle to Rutterburg, Vermont with a package for his father. As he travels, he starts to remember the events leading to the end of the book. These same memories are also being filled out in psychiatric interviews that occur at an undetermined time throughout the book.
One day he receives a phone call from his girlfriend, Amy Hertz. She says that her father met a reporter from the town Adam supposedly was born in, and the reporter had never heard of any "Farmers" in the town. This gave Adam suspicions, and he began spying on his parents. He finds two birth certificates: one with his birthday listed as February 14 (Valentines Day) and another with his birthday as July 14 (Bastille Day). This aroused his suspicions further. He starts looking around the house and then his father tells him the truth.
Adam Farmer's real name is Paul Delmonte. His father had been an investigative reporter who uncovered a large conspiracy and testified against it. After several attempts on his life, he and his family entered the Department of Re-identification. Adam had not been told about his past for his entire life.
Later, they received a phone call from their protector, Mr. Grey, saying that they may have been discovered. They go on "vacation" to hide. One day while on vacation, their "protection" attacked them, killing Adam's mother instantly. Adam survived, and heard that his father was being pursued, but was not sure he had been found and killed at first. He was placed in a hospital where he is interrogated every year by a doctor named Brint. Each time he ends up forgetting everything and begins the journey again.
Adam is not biking to Rutterberg at all; he is in fact going in circles in a mental health facility and all the people he encounters on the way to Rutterberg are actually the patients and workers there. The sessions with Brint in the novel represent the third time he has been questioned. The final interview ends with a list of several possible outcomes, but none bode well for Adam: questioning him until he dies or terminating him.
The chapters alternate between first-person, present tense during Adam's journey and third-person, past tense, during the psychiatric interviews.