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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2010 Emma Donoghue (P)2010 Hachette Audio
"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)
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.
I just finished Room, and felt that I needed to write a review. I liked the story well enough, except the use of cliche phrases and the odd terminology for common items. I liked the narrator for Jack, although the voice really didn't seem like a real 5 yr old's voice. The other narrators were awful! Ma spoke with a monotone, the accents used by other characters were very bad and contrived. After a while I was really getting annoyed with them, but I continued to listen so I could finish the book.
I think I would have liked to have read Room instead of listening to it.
At first I thought I wouldn't be able to listen to an entire novel narrated in a child's voice, but I really came to enjoy Jack's wonder and amazement at the world "outside." This is a story of the horror of captivity and the fear of the unknown. Jack's "Ma" does such an incredible job of teaching him things he might never get to experience that the listener knows he will be just fine. A touching and satisfying novel.
I rarely quit a book, but this one seems to be going nowhere. After an hour of listening to a 5 year old's talk I got very bored and wondered why I should be listening to this. I just couldn't get past it when the boy talked about his yellow peepee and poopoo swirling down the toilet. Does this book have a plot? I came back to the reviews on this site and figure it must REALLY pick up to get such good reviews, so I may try to slog through some more and see if it is as great as others thought. Maybe it just appeals to people who have small children and get use to their "so-cute" broken English. If I make it any further, I will come back to add to this review.
I have listened to at least 4 or more books a month for over 2 years and never taken the time to write a review , this book made me want to , the narration is amazing I feel in love with the little boy and his mom . This book made me really stop and think how much freedom I take for granted every day . And made me want to stop and take a look at the world I live in a new way . I really do stop and smell the grass and dirt and flowers now . And try to find the good in every situation . This is a moving story of the human spirit and what we can over come .
I finished this within 36 hours, which is quite a statement for a homeschooling, business owner with 2 small children. Riveting. At times, Jack's monologues could have been cut a bit, but overall, I thought this was one of the best listens I've had in years. Incredibly believable detail in regard to Jack's developmentally appropriate reactions and interpretations of events. Suspense galore during the various escape plans. A character to be admired and revered in the case of Jack's mother, who is revealed to be quite human in the end. A fabulous tale of the human spirit and the beauty of children.
THIS BOOK HAS TOUCHED ME FROM THE START TO THE FINISH! THE STORY IS HEART FELT, SCARY AND WONDERFULLY WARMING. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MOTHER AND CHILD IS REMARKABLE. I DON'T USUALLY CRY OVER BOOKS OF FICTION . THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE CHARACTERS SO PARALLEL THE STORY OF MOTHERS OF YOUNG CHILDREN SURVIVING DIVORCE FROM ABUSIVE HUSBANDS. I FEEL THIS BOOK GIVES A REALISTIC VIEW INTO A STORY OF FICTION. LOVED THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a compelling story. Each character was just right. Jack was spot on for a five year old boy. This book will be playing out in my head for a long time to come.
The readings ruined this book. The mother was robotic in her delivery, accentuated by a narration format which was more like a live performance instead of storytelling. The mother's voice popped in here and there, way out of context, and there was really no information about her. Jack could have described her in a bit more detail, but he seemed to have no thoughts on her. To me, a reader, she was simply a disembodied voice. Same with the grandmother. What a witch, like she had broomed in for Halloween. No wonder Jack hated her.
But, like I said, 3 stars for originality.
This book is based on a premise that I thought would be interesting to me, but I really didn't enjoy the child's point of view from which the book is written. There's a reason that adults don't read books written by 6 year olds, and this is it. Aside from that, I really couldn't develop any affection for the mother, who should have been the most sympathetic character in this book. I found myself wondering if I would have enjoyed it more in print than on audio since the audio voice needed to be a child's, but maybe the childish viewpoint would have been softened somewhat in print.
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