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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.

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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings


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  • Overall

One of the most original books

This is one of the most original books I have listened to. At first I wasn't sure I would enjoy a story told by or narrated by a child but it was remarkably well done. I was also afraid the subject matter might be a bit depressing but it wasn't at all. Definitely worth the credit!

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What's All The Fuss About?

This book reminded me of the Flowers In The Attic series, and that's not a good thing. It was too voyeuristic for my taste. The first half left me feeling that I needed a shower.

I agree that the kid's voice is grating after a while. By the end of the book, I, too, disliked both Ma and Jack. I was glad to be done with this book.

I read the book because of its ratings. If you're influenced by them, read the good and the bad and make your own decision. This subject matter and the way its narrated, aren't for everyone.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I must have missed something

I thought I would love this book. It had all of the promise of a thriller, victim turning heroine, courtroom drama, childhood naive character....but when I listened, it just didn't seem to go anywhere. I am often frustrated when characters aren't fully developed nor does the plot have closure and I felt this, with this book. I never really figured out what happened to the antagonist, no closure around the feelings of the parents, etc. Sorry, I really, really waned to like it.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joan
  • Longmont, CO, United States
  • 01-01-11

I'm Not Getting It

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this is so popular. The story is okay, but it is like reading People Magazine, you just want the dirt of the story. I found no literary craft to this story, and it was a painful audio book. Be prepared to listen to an irritating fake child's voice for most of the ten hours. I'm obviously in the minority, but I'd be very cautious to recommend it.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Incredible book!

I read Emma Donoghue's book Kissing the Witch, which was a superbly written story collection. That book kept me thinking for weeks. The Room will be in my thoughts forever, I think. The story is so sweet, so loving, so chilling, so scary--nothing about it seems false. It is skillfully read by different actors. Whoever read "Jack" is a genius and totally believable as a 5 year old child. I have told everyone who will listen to listen to this book. You won't look at our world the same way again.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • stow, MA, United States
  • 09-18-10


This was an amazing listen. It was read beautifully. I was in tears within the first 30 minutes. I could feel what it was like to be that mother. Would recommend to anyone!

22 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

disappointing book..

My book club is reading this and I was excited based on all the reviews.. what a disappointment. I understand its being told from the perspective of a 5 year old, but the diction and narration made it a caricature of reality. Compared to better written novels, I was never "sucked in" because the actions of the characters and the unrealistic results were so far-fetched that it never even seemed plausible. I can suspend reality and buy into most of the first quarter of the book, but it degrades so rapidly in its "realism" that it detracted from the book as a whole. I think the story is an interesting one, but at best it is a mediocre read.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Child's voice made it impossible to listen to

I had to buy this book after burning a credit on this audiobook. The child's voice is the worst I've ever heard. Like one of those dreadful commercials where adults are supposedly mimicing children's voices and sound like fingernails on a blackboard.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Christa
  • Rolla, MO, United States
  • 04-02-12


Any additional comments?

I HATED this story and narrator! The kiddie voice and the point of view was awful. I made it about 20 minutes in. I have never not finished an was that bad.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Thomas
  • Lincolnville, ME, United States
  • 11-05-11

Grating like fingernails on a chalkboard!

I couldnt get past the grating, sing-song voice of the child reader The writer chose to omit the word "the" from any sentence the child spoke in the story. Not sure why, but this wasnt cute or funny or endearing, just totally annoying. There was a story there someplace, but it was totally unlistenable for me so I did not end up hearing much of it.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful