|
Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Room: A Novel » User review

Room: A Novel

A book by Emma Donoghue

< read all 12 reviews

Best Book I've Read in Years - WOW

  • Jul 4, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
I was a fan of Emma Donoghue since reading Slammerkin many years ago.

I started this book this morning and just put it down. Thank goodness it was a holiday and I had nowhere to go! I just couldn't stop going back to it until it was finished.

I was hooked upon reading the first paragraph, 'Today I'm five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I'm changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. "Was I minus numbers?"'

And the story of Jack and Ma begins. The entire story is told from the perspective of Jack, a just-turned five-year-old who is living in Room with his Ma. The only thing Jack has known is Ma and Room. His day is spent utilizing the few things they have, the songs and stories his Ma remembers and the five picture books he's had read to him over and over.

Imagine being a parent living in an 11 x 11 foot room for years, trying to survive while keeping your baby growing, safe and entertained.

Imagine Jack, a child who has only ever known Ma (and the late night visits from 'Old Nick' who he only sees from his vantage point in a wardrobe). Life is good for him since he knows nothing else. Empty egg shells become a snake when threaded together, empty toilet rolls become a maze when taped together, Phys Ed is sometimes Track which goes around Bed from Wardrobe to Lamp.

For Jack, his days were filled with 'thousands of things to do'; for his mom, her days were filled with the knowledge of what was outside of Room before her captivity.

Two different perspectives, two ways of looking at life.

Donoghue has done an amazing job of letting us think like a isolated, innocent boy whose life is turned upside down when he learns that Outside of Room is a big world. Up until his 5th birthday, his world was balanced, controlled and he missed nothing since he didn't know of anything else. Everything beyond the room was Outer Space.

Once he was told that the there was so much more out there, fear of the unknown crept into his world.

After many years of trying, Ma contrived a plan to escape. It was now or never and it put Jack at the biggest risk. Jack was her world, her reason to live.

What an amazing job of creating their little world, of letting us into how Ma's imagination taught Jack, kept him safe, and kept him entertained. If you have children and have ever had to wait in a doctor's office or somewhere else for a few hours, it is sometimes an exhausting job of coming up with games to play to pass the time. Imagine that feat everyday, all day for years.

I had such respect for Ma as she taught Jack about so many things in a world he didn't know. Her imagination for passing the time with games using so few resources was incredible. Her love of Jack so deep and primal it made me hug my kids many more times today than usual.

And just when you think that escaping is the best thing for them, imagine what it feels like to a boy who has only known Room.

This was a fantastic story, imaginative, creative, unique and beautifully written. I never tired of reading from Jack's perspective.
I was reminded of what the world could look like from the perspective of a small child. It makes a parent want to be more kind with their words, more respectful of what their child's needs are, and more understanding when things seem confusing.

And if you think this is really contrived and just not possible, just google the name Josef Fritzl - a real life horror far greater than Room.

A wonderful book from an already favorite author.

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
2
Thought-Provoking
0
Fun to Read
3
Well-Organized
2
Post a Comment
February 10, 2011
Adrianna, I depends on why you didn't like Room. Slammerkin is pretty graphic. The premise is a young girl who gets raped and is then shunned by her family. So she goes to London and ends up becoming a prostitute. Some of the scenes are very graphic and disturbing but the development of the main character is wonderful and the historical writing takes you right to 18th century England. After reading your review, you talked a lot about the predictability of the story. Since I was lucky enough to have an advance reader's copy, I read the book with no knowledge of anything about it. All I knew what that I loved Slammerkin but had trouble reading a couple other Donoghue's books. I also have a child about the same age as Jack so it was very easy for me to relate to Ma and to how different Jack's life was from my child's.
 
February 09, 2011
I've been hearing all over the place that "Slammerkin" is a good read. Maybe I should have started with that one rather than with "Room." I didn't like it as much as everyone else. I did write a review, though: http://community.cafelibri.com/reviews/book/...ou_Shouldn_t_Enter.html
 
1
More Room: A Novel reviews
review by . March 21, 2012
Room       Author: Emma Donoghue   Reviewed By Fran Lewis       The four walls of a room can often be confining when you are sick and unable to get around. But, what happens when the four walls become your only outlet with the world, your only environment and the only person that you see is you mother. From the day he was born Jack’s world evolved in the space of an entire Room. His mother, Ma was kidnapped and lived in the room …
review by . February 02, 2011
Caption
I had been reading and hearing nothing but good things about Room, so I finally decided to see what the hype was all about. My reading pleasure was slightly tainted when the library gave me one week to read it. The book is that popular with the public! However, my friend Paula assured me that it was a quick read. This was not the case. Although I was able to finish the book in one week, it was out of sheer pride and stubbornness. I wanted to stop reading it numerous times, and if …
review by . October 16, 2013
  I finished reading Emma Donoghue's Room a few days ago and I've been puzzling about it ever since.       The novel, which according to Donoghue's website has now sold more than a million copies, was nominated  for and/or has won a raft of prizes including the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (for best Canadian novel), the Commonwealth Prize (Canada & Carribbean Region), the Canadian Booksellers’ Asand the Orange Prize.  …
Quick Tip by . February 19, 2012
a great perspective of kidnap from the view of one who's never known anything else.
review by . February 23, 2011
Jack has spent his entire life in one location—Room. It is where he was born and to his five year old mind, Room is the entire world. His world contains three people, himself, Ma, and Old Nick. Ma, a victim of kidnapping, uses their limited supplies, to transform Room into a place of adventure and excitement, filled with childhood stories and imaginative play. However, she has never given up hope of being rescued and she longs for their freedom. Told entirely from Jack’s perspective, …
review by . September 17, 2010
   When I first read the synopsis for this book I was worried that I might not enjoy reading a book told through the eyes of a five year old boy.  I felt that it was either going to come across  as too childish and possibly just annoy me, or he would come off as too mature for his age and therefore make it not credible enough for me.  I'm glad to report that I worried in vain.   Ms. Donoghue gives you the chilling tale of "Ma" - who has been held captive …
review by . February 25, 2011
I would never have read this book if it wasn't part of The Morning News' Tournament of Books. Although this seems to be on most "best books" lists for 2010(and shortlisted for the Mann Booker prize), I wasn't sure I wanted to read Room. The story is being told by a five year old boy who is trapped in a 11' by 11' room with his mother. I have to admit to being concerned about how ghoulish and difficult the subject matter would be. I just didn't need another book …
review by . July 10, 2010
This is the kind of book that is better the less you know about it.    Even the product description above, and probably most of the reviews here will give you more information than you need to know.    So this review won't tell you much about this book. What I can tell you is that it lives up to the hype. It's a poignant, thoughtful, and completely original book.    What makes it original? -- the way of looking at the world, the use of …
Quick Tip by . March 07, 2011
The kind of book you don't want to stop reading! Great and easy read.
review by . October 26, 2010
Told entirely through the voice of a five-year-old boy, this spellbinding novel succeeds on many levels: it's a riveting, suspenseful story, a deep psychological portrait of two people with very different agendas, a total immersion in one child's extremely alien universe, an intense portrayal of love between parent and child, and an examination of our culture and socialization.    It's also a beautifully written novel from the Irish-born author of Slammerkin, which will haunt …
About the reviewer
Karen Groh ()
Ranked #441
I'm a work-at-home mom with two children. I've run my own graphic design and marketing company for 15 years and love what I do everyday.      My son and I are black belts in … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

You
k_groh
Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this book

Wiki

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue'sRoomis rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enterRoomwill leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time.--Lynette Mong
view wiki

Details

ISBN-10: 0316098337
ISBN-13: 978-0316098335
Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Polls with this book
First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists