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Room: A Novel | [Emma Donoghue]

Room: A Novel

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
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Publisher's Summary

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Emma Donoghue (P)2010 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Powerful.... Seen entirely through Jack's eyes and childlike perceptions, the developments in this novel--there are enough plot twists to provide a dramatic arc of breathtaking suspense--are astonishing.... Donoghue brilliantly portrays the psyche of a child raised in captivity...will keep readers rapt." (Publishers Weekly)

"Emma Donoghue's writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness. Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it's over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days." (Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry)

"This is a truly memorable novel, one that can be read through myriad lenses - psychological, sociological, political. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5003 )
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4.2 (2434 )
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4.2 (2444 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    T. Benedict Midwest, USA 11-01-10
    T. Benedict Midwest, USA 11-01-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    7
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    "Once you get started"

    It took me a bit to get past the voice of a 5-year old narrating the story, but after an hour or two I was hooked!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison 10-31-10
    Allison 10-31-10 Member Since 2008

    I'm a middle school English teacher and mother of one teen girl. I tend to read paper copies of YA books and listen to books for adults.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Couldn't Put It Down"

    I don't know which male narrator was the voice of 5-year-old Jack, but this little boy's voice was perfect for this book. I'm sure that I enjoyed the book more because of it. The author has a wonderful ear for words that kids will use to say things or think about things and an excellent sense for how young people view the world. I felt like I was truly seeing things through the eyes of a young boy. I also liked the mother's voice, but "Old Nick" didn't sound mean enough. I don't want to say much more for fear of spoiling the suspense. Don't miss this one!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darlene St.Albert, Alberta, Canada 10-31-10
    Darlene St.Albert, Alberta, Canada 10-31-10 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
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    "Absolutely brilliant!!"

    I saw an interview of the author and understood where the idea for the story came from and was intrigued. This author is brilliant. She captured the little things that I'm sure we never ever would have though of had we seen a similar story on the news (and we have). I listened to this story on my drive to Lake Louise and back and never wanted to stop for gas so as not to interrupt the story. Thank you Emma Donoghue for sharing your brilliant imagination with us all.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannine Brighton, CO, United States 10-27-10
    Jeannine Brighton, CO, United States 10-27-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    Overall
    "Wow"

    At first I wondered if I would like this book but after the first hour I was hooked.
    Very enjoyable. Thanks

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heatherw143 10-26-10
    Heatherw143 10-26-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    18
    4
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    "Good"

    I thought this book was well written but i found myself zoning out because the narrators were not great. The little boy's voice was mostly annoying the whole time and the mother sounded very rehearsed..almost like a robot. People compared this to The Help which I think is completely false. The Help was way better.

    Still a decent book with a good story...just wasn't spectacular.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Columbia, TN, United States 10-26-10
    John Columbia, TN, United States 10-26-10
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    "ROOM is worth your time."

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Floyd Spring Branch, TX, United States 10-25-10
    Floyd Spring Branch, TX, United States 10-25-10 Member Since 2015
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    35
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    "An emotional WOW !!"

    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!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Wimberley, TX, United States 10-24-10
    Gail Wimberley, TX, United States 10-24-10 Member Since 2007
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    19
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    "Room - Great Listen"

    I was surprised how fabulous this book is. I listened to it twice. Loved the narrators - especially Jack's.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Pittsburgh, PA, United States 10-22-10
    Deborah Pittsburgh, PA, United States 10-22-10
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    "Room"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Jacksonville, FL, United States 10-21-10
    Allison Jacksonville, FL, United States 10-21-10

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "DIFFERENT!!"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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