The premise of this book will be disturbing to some. I found it fascinating, and captivating because of it being told from the perspective of a five year old. I would think the thought process would have been dead on coming from a child raised in the conditions described in the book. I even had a chuckle at some of his observations of innocence when viewing the world that surrounded him. On the other hand I found it haunting that this story could seem so real, and could be set anywhere, in any community.
I would recommend this book, but not for anyone that cannot handle a book that evokes such an emotional ride. Definitely not for children or anyone prone to nightmares.
I feel privileged to have listened to such an original work. It is such a good book that there are a lack of superlatives to describe it. I was in awe!
I really enjoyed listening to this book. I was always anxious to get back into my car to hear more of it. The readings were excellent! Totally recommend it.
If I follow you, it's because I've glanced through your reviews and more than likely found books I've agreed with you on and also found at least one book that the majority loved, and you and I were less than thrilled with. I know I should follow you then for that next read that I will enjoy.
You will get past the whiny little kid voice at the beginning soon. I am writing this review after I've listened to probably 20 other audiobooks since then at least, so not the freshest, but an original idea for sure and after seeing the book mentioned in O Magazine, I felt compelled to download and was not dissappointed.
I approached this novel with treipdation, afraid that the horror of Jack and Ma's situation would be too much to bear. But the precociousness of Jack's voice, and his wonder at the mysteries and beauties of his 11' by 11' world, dispelled my worries.
This is not a novel about abduction and sexual abuse and imprisonment, although these factors create Jack and Ma's situation; it is a novel about the bond between a mother and child, the power of that attachment. Although the story is told by Jack, you can feel the love and intelligence and strength of Ma shining through at all times.
The first half is taut and suspenseful; every detail is both mundane and extraordinary, telling you something about how Jack and Ma have survived (they run "track" for exercise, play the screaming game in case a passerby hears them). The second half is not as compelling but just as important.
I especially loved the voices of Jack and his Ma. Not since The Story of Edgar Sawtelle have I felt so absorbed in an audio book, so reluctant to turn off the iPod and interact with the world outside.
The author and the narrator have come together here to provide an amazing auido book. It is one that you don't want to end, and so captivates the reader that is difficult to stop thinking about.
The narrators save this book from getting sent "outside" before its time. Even though the 5-year old narrator sort of waivers between savant and numbskull, one must be impressed with how well the narrator maintains the voice throughout the novel as well how the author presents a mostly consistent 5-year old persona. The general plot is far too predictable, but the author's execution of the story line is interesting in its detail. Well, mostly that is. If you can wade through the first grueling half of the book, then you will appreciate the second half where at least a little action takes place.
At first when I heard the voice of Jack, I thought, "Oh No" I'm not going to be able to listen to this voice, but after a while and then throughout the book I liked Jack and thought he was cute and funny. I thought the other voices were horrible. But, I did enjoy the story. It was different from what I usually read or listen too and I wonder if it would have been different if I read it. I would recommend this book. It was seeing things through the eyes of a very smart 5 year old. Wasn't crazy about the ending. Would have liked to see how Jack made out in his life. Maybe there will be a sequel.