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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 (4812 )
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  •  
    Patricia Clemson, SC, United States 10-04-10
    Patricia Clemson, SC, United States 10-04-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    4
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    "Room to Please"

    This book told from the viewpoint of a 5 year old boy held my attention from the first chapter. I was concerned that the subject of a kidnapped and imprisoned woman and her child would be too gruesome. Yet with Jack telling the story, the reader is shielded from the horrors for the most part. The book builds suspense as more and more details about the room are revealed. However, it offers so much to ponder about surviving and raising a child in such conditions. I enjoyed this book so much, I listened to it twice in a row.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stephanie Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-04-10
    stephanie Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-04-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Finally"

    I've never been able to pay such close attention to an audio book on my way to and from work. A great book, been looking for something as good since. Haven't been able to find it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Parshall, ND United States 10-04-10
    Annie Parshall, ND United States 10-04-10 Member Since 2007

    proud mother

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    16
    8
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    Overall
    "Excellent, interesting book"

    Very interesting premise to this book and very well written. Excellent production for the audiobook. I was at first irritated with the voice of the child and almost quit listening but once I got the drift of it, really enjoyed it. Thought provoking.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hayward 10-01-10
    Hayward 10-01-10 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    187
    1
    Overall
    "Listen first, read later."

    I adore this book. As a former English professor, I'm a great advocate of the written word, but this is one case where I suspect the narrated version might actually be enhance the written word. I am going to buy the book and read it with my eyes instead of my ears, but I have been so enthralled by the audio book that I've listened to it three times in a week!.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline Syracuse, NY, United States 10-01-10
    Jacqueline Syracuse, NY, United States 10-01-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    "Interesting Perspective"

    I liked this book a lot. The fact that it was mostly written in a child's voice was fresh and interesting. The second part of the book fell apart a bit for me when "Ma" and Jack met the general public. I thought that the press was portrayed like a stereotypical cartoon and unrealistic. I couldn't believe that the reporter/ interviewer would be so unthinking and ask such ridiculous questions of a woman who had just endured several years of the unthinkable.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa L. Plested Ohio 09-30-10
    Teresa L. Plested Ohio 09-30-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    4
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    1
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    Overall
    "5 Star Writing for Emma Donoghue !"

    This book exceeded all my expectations. I have never rated an audio book 5 stars until now.
    Story told so well, I could actually imagine what it was like inside that room. Very moving.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brandee menifee, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 09-29-10
    brandee menifee, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 09-29-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    51
    8
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    0
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    ""The Room""

    kept my interesest the entire time, and i ended up listening to it too much, Finished it in 2 days and now I have to buy another book for my commute! Really good one, highly recommend.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith 09-25-10
    Judith 09-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    267
    9
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    2
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    "This is close to the top of my list of good books"

    This is an interesting, beautifully written and read novel. I find it hard to believe that the book isn't being narrated by an actual 5 year old. It sounds so much like a child. This book is strange, fascinating, funny, and subtle. The matter-of-fact tone of the readers is very effective. It was enjoyable figuring out the emotions from the comments of an unassuming little boy, rather than narrators blatantly acting out the emotions. I don't think I'll ever forget Jack, a plucky, real little boy.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia jacksonville, FL, United States 10-08-10
    Virginia jacksonville, FL, United States 10-08-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    15
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    "I enjoyed it"

    It took me about 10 minutes to get use to the child's narration but then it was adorable, that adoration quickly turned to dread, pity then horror as I realized the mother's plan. I wish it would of ended a little different but not to bad, it took us full circle. The tooth sucking was disgusting ( as you will see) yet it was so like a child to do it and like most things kids put into their mouths when Mom's not around it was gross stuff.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Gerber 09-28-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Listen to the sample before buying this one"

    I think that this one is probably a better to read than to hear. The first half of the story is good, especially if you have no idea what it is about. By the time you get to the second half, you are pretty tired of the narrative style and just want to get to the end. Listen to a sample before you click the "Add to cart" button. Seriously, listen to the sample, then decide if you can handle that voice for over 10 hours.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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