Encouraged by the great reviews, I decided to give Room a chance. Firstly, I thought the narration was above average. Although some of the characters got somewhat monotone at times, the narrator reading for Jack, the 5 year old boy, was excellent.
It would be a little unfair to say that this book reads like it was written by a child. After all it is supposed to come off that way. However, despite it's unusual premise Room lacks insight and originality. I kept waiting for it to surprise me but each line was as predictable as the next. Overall, if you are looking for something to listen to idly on your way to work, you might enjoy it. But captivating it is not.
"Room" is written in the first person, the protagonist being a five-year old boy, Jack. The narrator did as good a job as could be expected, but it was annoying and put-offish to listen to the simulated voice of a young child for 10 hours. I think that "Room" would have been better experienced if I had read it, where my inner voice and imagination could have spoken to me.
Still, "Room" is a literary achievement, although I, for one, would not have placed it on the New York Times' list of the 10 best books of 2010. I admired the author for so cannily taking on the voice of a 5-year old for her protagonist. I doubt many could have pulled this off so successfully. The plot was exciting and suspenseful, but not quite a page-turner. But, at the end, I felt curiously unsatisfied, and I failed to find the meaning in the book that so many others have found. I was left with a good, if not compelling, book, an admirable exercise in creative writing, but one that had little meaning for me that transcended the obvious elements of the plot.
This book is AMAZING. It is written from the twisted yet innocent view of a 5 year old boy named Jack. The narrator for Jack is absolutely PERFECT. Every person in the book that speaks has their own narrator so it's more like listening to a play. I hope they make a movie out of this but it would be difficult. This is one of the most moving books I have EVER read. I highly recommend it!
or maybe it wasn't really up to the hype - all i know is that i didn't like it for very deep feelings of how it made me think and feel during it, and after over 150 audiobooks it was one of the few i couldn't wait for it to end, and not because i wanted to know the ending - but more because i wanted to move to something else...i don't think it was the narration, although that didn't help at all - but possibly the way the story was presented...
but i REALLY wanted to like it when i started it, and can't say that wasn't the reason i didn't...
That the writer and the woman can manage to keep you (and the child character) from dying of boredom (far from it indeed) for much of the book is quite a feat. There were many complaints about the child's point of view or narration but they sounded as close as reasonable and with the intonations that a REAL child would need serious coaching as a narrator (esp. this child's age). The entire book is a very unique thriller. I won't spoil the plot or simply retell the story just recommend it as an excellent book that helps you look at the world through the eyes of a child and jadedness of an adult.
I was initially enthralled with the situation and the two main characters, and how they were dealing with an unbelievable situation. Unlike other reviewers, I found Jack's voice the most endearing of the readers. It was spellbinding imagining what would come of these prisoners - could there be an escape, how would the captor handle their effort to free themselves... and then the book... (like this review) seemed to lose energy... "its like a crater, a hole, where something happened...and then I close the door." Goodbye Room!
When I first read the synopsis of this book I didn't think I wanted to get it. Then I read some of the reviews from other readers and decided to give it a try. It was EXCELLENT! Very uplifting and a true example of how the human spirit can prevail.
1. Thought narration of Jack was great. I was a little unprepared for it to be continuous throughout the book without a break (having just listened to "The Help") but got used to it. The innocence and simplicity of how things were explained through him set exactly the right tone.
2. Once one understands the grief and brutality of the previeous stillbirth of Ma's daughter, the closeness, protectiveness and necessity of Room become crystal clear. I also think what others may call laying out the "boring" details of their daily lives in Room in the first part of the book are absolutely necessary in order to understand what happens in the last part of the book, and how Jack understands life in the "outside" world.
3. Jack is an obviously intelligent child--his vocabulary is good, he can read, do math, etc., however he has no understanding of the outside world, not social skills, etc. There is a limit to what he can learn in an 11 x 11 room with interaction with only one other person in his entire life.
4. Alluded to by Jack (in his limited understanding) is also Ma dealing with obviously severe depression at times, in that she "goes away" or "switches off" during which times he has to fend for himself.
I do agree with those who have said that an epilogue might have been a good idea. There are tons of things a developmental psychiatrist might have to say about all of this. Otherwise, I think this is a great book, with excellent narration/story-telling by Jack. Not boring at all.
At first I was distracted by the childish narration and struggled for the first few minutes. But after awhile I got it and relished the different perspective of a child whose entire world is living in a garden shed. There is so much to rave about. So heartfelt to see the world from the eyes of a child who has experienced the worst and best from humanity.
I really tried to stay with this book, but I could not stand the kid's voice, really who could listen to Elmo for 10 hrs straight. I am very disappointed in your recommendation of this book as an audio book, I will be skeptical of your recommendations.