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)
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.
I kept trying to slog my way through it because the story line sounds so interesting but I finally gave up. The narrator doing the child's voice does a horrible job. It's unbearable. I forced myself for almost 2 hours thinking it would get better. It didn't. Money wasted. Don't buy it.
Thoroughly enjoyed the story and the narrators - although the second male voice did not differ much for the different male roles- but not important when considering the primary narrator is the voice of a 5 year old. The subject matter of a woman held captive at first made me hesitate to download this book, but after reading it - the life she creates for her son is the story - not the captivity. That part is very well handled in the book- yes creepy and chilling for the reader but wonderfully obscured for the narrator. Great job. Looking forward to other novels by Emma Donoghue.
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