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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 (4946 )
5 star
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4.2 (2381 )
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4.2 (2391 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Putnam Valley, NY, United States 10-17-10
    Susan Putnam Valley, NY, United States 10-17-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    18
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    0
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    Overall
    "This was recommended"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara El Segundo, CA, United States 10-15-10
    Tara El Segundo, CA, United States 10-15-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Credit Worthy"

    After listening to "Still Missing" by Chevy Stevens, I found myself wanting another good mystery/thriller. I found "Room". All in all it's a good listen, and worth the credit. It's not quite edge of your seat though. It's from the perspective of a little boy, and for some reason his language didn't sound right to me. It took some time for me to not think about an adult trying to write the language like a child. I know, I'm probably being too picky, but hey that's what reviews are for.
    After listening for a few hours, I found myself thinking about the characters as if they were real people. Wondering what they were doing. Which is exactly why you should download it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beachnut 10-14-10
    Beachnut 10-14-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    5
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    1
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    Overall
    "A good book to listen to"

    I got this book on the strength of other reviews and am glad I did. Most of the reviewers were women so I wasn't sure if I would be to my taste. It's much different from my usual books, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not sure I would have loved it if I read it, but the narrators really sold the characters and involved me. Very original tale.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kathy caliguiri 10-12-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "very good"

    Amazing child's point of view, well thought out and well written. Naration is also excellent.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeffrey allentown, PA, United States 10-11-10
    jeffrey allentown, PA, United States 10-11-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    2
    Overall
    "wow"

    I am a truck driver and audio books are life savers and time consumers this was my second book the road was first excellent but room was incredible I'm home everyday and couldn't wait to get back in my truck to start listening again after I read book was still wondering how Jack was lol

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JimBjrIL Central Illinois 10-11-10
    JimBjrIL Central Illinois 10-11-10 Member Since 2012

    JimB Jr

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    12
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Interesting"

    I think I liked listening to the book better than reading it, but there are definite problems with some of the characters in the narration. I liked that they had different readers doing different parts, but one of the female readers in particular was difficult to listen to. Most of the narration comes from Jack and the person reading his part did an outstanding job. The person reading the mother was pretty much flat and un-emotional. The person who did Old Nick was terrible at his part but better as the part of the Doctor. The person who did the grandmother was the worst and she also did a couple other parts (with accents) that were almost comical they were so bad.

    The story itself was great and the person who read the part of Jack was excellent. It’s a good thing that most of the narration comes from Jack. Had the director of this audio book spent a more time fleshing out the other characters and paid more attention to how god awful most of them were, they would have had a five star audio book on their hands. As it is, it’s only worth four and that’s too bad considering how great the story is.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Vienna, VA, United States 10-10-10
    Laurie Vienna, VA, United States 10-10-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    39
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Fine story, fine listen"

    Really something, a thriller that takes place, for at least one half the story in one place. The sense of place, the two phases of the book, the illuminated characters and the point of view are so "essential" and excellent. I could hardly stop listening to do my work. Compelling,

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Sierra Madre, CA, United States 10-10-10
    Elizabeth Sierra Madre, CA, United States 10-10-10 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    "Wasn't sure I was going to like the narration"

    This was a delightful book. An amazing scenario and well done. Was grateful to have something good to listen to while I was on vacation!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bethany Torres Lusby, MD USA 10-10-10
    Bethany Torres Lusby, MD USA 10-10-10 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    "Good but slow"

    I selected this book because of the excellent review. It was a very unique book, but it moved very very slow. I've read much better!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie fpo, AP, United States 10-10-10
    Laurie fpo, AP, United States 10-10-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    "Soooo Good!!"

    I know I shouldn't let my daughter listen... but she loved Jacks voice (she is five and has a brother named Jack). I caught her listening while I was doing the dishes and I didn't realize it. I don't think she understands the whole story... but it is kinda nice to hear her ask questions. Anytime I listen she is in there with me. There was a few bits I turned off and said we will listen later... then listened when I knew I was alone. Anyways... amazing book!!! And the little guy could be annoying if you are not used to kids... but I have three under five so what is one more little voice in the house. Jack fits right in.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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