This book has a very interesting premise -- a complicated story is told by a 5-year-old boy who has only limited understanding of what is going on around him. He might be talking about cartoons and a comment slips in that gives the reader an inkling of the plot. Unfortunately, the plot ends about halfway through the book and from there on it is hours of tedious baby-talk. Too bad. This could have been a great book.
As I started listening to this story, I was put off a little by the voice of the 5-year-old boy being the main narrator. But, the more I listened, the more I got involved in the story and didn't mind the high pitched voice. I did find that the voices for some of the other characters were too similar and this bothered me somewhat. The story did keep me hooked but I found that there were certain sections that went on too long and other areas that could have used a bit more development. Because of the content of the story, I do not recommend this book for the weak hearted or someone looking for a feel good read/listen.
Absolutely captivating story! One of the best I have ever listened to. Did not want it to end. I will be looking for more by this riveting author.
I cannot see what all the hype is about. I also tried to "stick"it out hoping that it would get better, but the whole second part dragged on about his day to day live. I found this to be very boring and had to press myself to stay interested. Never did finish it.
The voice of the narrator was a bit annoying but I am prepared to forgive that. The character is 5 years old and so it makes sense that he would speak in a high pitched voice that only his mother could love hearing. What I had a hard time forgiving is the meandering plot. The author starts by failing to give the audience credit for having any intelligence by continuing to slowly reveal the secret that the mother and child are being held hostage in a small room long after it is obvious. I'll go ahead and give a little bit of a spoiler, if it is possible to call revealing the middle of the book a spoiler, so stop reading here if you care. If the book stopped with the escape I would have described it as as second rate thriller that never developed much tension. From there it just devolves into a wandering "day in the life" description of their acclimation to free living. Throughout it all the author can't seem to make up her mind whether Jack is stunted or gifted as he constantly vacillates between the mentalities of a 3 year old and an 18 year old honors student. He never quite seems quite right for a 5 year old. The mother's character is similarly uneven in her temperment and no other character is every really developed. I am a glutton for punishment who always keeps reading clunker books hoping that they will be one of those rare ones that redeem themselves in the end. This one was just punishing to read without any redemption.
Overall, I thought the book was OK. However, I wasn't blown away by it and I'm not sure if it will truly be one that sticks with me.
Interesting topic (and topic hasn't been too overdone recently)
Interesting perspective (from a 5-year old)
Many stages to the story
Provides closure in some areas
Perspective (of 5-year old) was tiresome at times (would have preferred to be truly written in different voices)
Narrator took awhile to get used to (another reviewer's comment about Elmo wasn't far off - there is a whiny quality that could be hard to take at times)
I found it hard to like some of the characters even after taking into consideration what they had gone through (Ma, the Grandmother)
Overall I don't feel that I wasted my time with this novel, but after reading other reviews I was hoping for much more than was delivered.
First, I'll admit that I haven't yet finished this book, but plan to. I just can't finish the audio version. The narration of the 5-year old character Jack is something that I just cannot stand to listen to anymore. I think that the story is compelling enough to continue but I'm going to have to finish it on the Kindle. Aside from the narration, I find that the author has dwelled far too much on the tedium of living in Room. She could have cut the descriptions of Jack's and Ma's various activities to half the detail and it would have had the same impact for the reader. As it is, it gets beyond tedious. Exactly how many episode of Dora the Explorer do we have to sit through to get that Jack views her as a friend? One other problem that I have is the pseudo-sexual relationship between Jack and his mother. I wouldn't have a problem with the breast-feeding if it were portrayed as necessary to supplement Jack's nutrition. However, it is always described with the borderline lewd phrase "have some". This gets particularly uncomfortable when Jack's Oedipal complex explodes over the idea the "Old Nick" may be "having some." Of course, that is exactly what Old Nick is doing, but not in the manner that Jack perceives. I hope the remainder of the novel picks up speed. Either way I'm going to be reading the printed version. This is the first time I have ever abandoned an audio book in favor of the the hard copy.
The down side of listening to "Room" by Emma Donoghue is that it is nearly impossible to find a book as good to follow it! I consider this audio book to be my best listen to date. I thought the narration of the child's voice was really believable. The situation was similar to several true stories we have heard on the news of kidnapping and imprisonment. Listening to the audio sample of "Room", I was a little unsure if I would like it. I had tried to listen to the book "Me and Emma" by Elizabeth Flock and the narration of the child's voice in it was so annoying to me that I just could not get into the book. I gave it several tries. not wanting to waste my precious credit. When I finished "Room" I immediately went back to the beginning and listened a second time. A very well spent credit for sure!!!!
This was an interesting premise and believable for the most part. There was however far too many miniscule details of the thoughts of a 5 year old. Some of it was tedious and really boring. This story could have been told/written in 1/3 of the time/words. The voice of the child was quite good contrary to what others say – exactly as a 5 year old boy would speak, however, who wants to listen to a 5 year old yammer on for 9+ hours. The first 3 hours were entertaining and made my long drive fly by. By the end of the 9 hour book I was ready to hush this kid. Anyway, good job all around.
I never listen to audiobooks unless I have read the book first. For Room I made an exception because I had a crazy notion of reading the Booker shortlist this year, and I anticipated that the 5-year-old Jack would be fun to listen to -- if the narrator was adequate. Fortunately, Jack is performed well; ma is fine and grows on one, but she seems to enter the narrative as a module, as do many of the voices (perhaps a result of how this recording was produced). The male voices are not so well done.
But so what, ultimately. This novel made me feel weird when I listened to it and I still feel weird a week later, and I imagine I will keep on feeling weird, and if I don't, I'd better listen to it again.
Finally, a comment on the tone of the book -- something that would have helped me in deciding whether to listen to or read it. Terrible as the subject is, the book is quite funny and is decidedly not depressing. Quite the opposite: Good beats Bad.