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Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
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Room: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Emma Donoghue

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,632819299 (4.05)1 / 892
Member:srtsrt
Title:Room: A Novel
Authors:Emma Donoghue
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Book Club

Work details

Room by Emma Donoghue (2010)

  1. 256
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Anonymous user, bookwormjules)
    bookwormjules: The authors both get inside the head of the young narrator wonderfully, and make it believable.
  2. 113
    We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (Amsa1959)
    Amsa1959: The novel about Kevin is a much darker and sad story, but it it is about a special boy and his family, and it is a MUST READ novel. It is also - like Room - a novel that makes you think and reflect of our world and lives.
  3. 60
    A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard (mreader)
  4. 51
    Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (cafepithecus)
  5. 41
    Misery by Stephen King (albavirtual)
    albavirtual: ambos libros tienen un alto componenente psicológico, la mente humana llevada al extremo.
  6. 63
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Niecierpek)
    Niecierpek: We go through a serious and heart-breaking topic (9/11 in Foer's case) through a narration by a precocious child narrator in both books.
  7. 30
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (soffitta1)
    soffitta1: What connects the books, for me, is the way the story unfolds, with the reader being more clued in as to what is happening around the child at the centre.
  8. 20
    Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock (amz310783)
  9. 20
    My Abandonment by Peter Rock (gaialover)
  10. 21
    Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (kaledrina)
  11. 11
    Dog Boy by Eva Hornung (PatMock)
    PatMock: Young boy raised by wild dogs in Moscow.
  12. 00
    What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: The terror of being at the mercy of an irrational, evil captor is effectively depicted in both books.
  13. 00
    Descent by Tim Johnston (KatyBee)
  14. 00
    Y by Marjorie Celona (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another story about a troubled childhood, narrated by the child.
  15. 00
    Mice by Gordon Reece (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Bad things happening to mothers and their children
  16. 00
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (_Zoe_)
  17. 11
    Monster Love by Carol Topolski (tina1969)
  18. 01
    The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: These books are completely different in style; The Mysterious Howling is a lighthearted children's book while Room is more serious and intended for adults. But if you enjoy the theme of a child with an unusual background being reintegrated into society, you may appreciate both of these books.… (more)
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English (791)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  All (818)
Showing 1-5 of 791 (next | show all)
(10/10) It doesn't feel right to say I loved this book considering the subject matter, it's definitely one that will stay with me for a long time. This is very much Jack's story and the perspective of a five year old moves it away from being a traditional crime novel or thriller or family drama even, it becomes its own very unique genre. Listening to Jack describe his world made me think of my small cousins and smile and then it made my heart break for him all over again. I was absolutely terrified for him during The Great Escape (and I'd seen the film first so knew what would happen). His innocence is beautifully written throughout and the grown up drama becomes background noise as you are drawn into Jack's mind as he tries to rationalise new experiences like stairs.

I really would recommend this to anyone to read at least once despite the subject matter it is heartwarming and hopeful, the world looks very different when you are five and sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that. ( )
  LiteraryReadaholic | Mar 11, 2017 |
Room, by Emma Donoghue, is unusual, moving, and somewhat haunting. Told from the perspective of Jack, a 5 year-old boy, whose world is comprised of a single room, the soundproofed, reinforced garden shed in which his mother has been held captive since the age of 19. Having been told that Room, as he calls it, is the entirety of the real world, that he and his mother and ‘Old Nick’ are the only real humans, and that everything outside of Room is outer space, when circumstances force his mother to tell him the truth about the world, he greets it with anger and disbelief. Gradually, however, he comes to accept this unlikely truth, as he sees it, and agrees to a plan to help the both of them escape.
When I heard about this book, I immediately wanted to read it. And I wanted to like it. I expected to love it. I must say, however, that I found it hard to get into and almost gave up on it.
Jack’s voice, as a 5 year-old, was not convincing to me. Donoghue did a great job of keeping Jack’s perspective, of viewing things from the eyes of a boy who knew nothing of the world, who had never had to walk on an uneven surface, who had never worn shoes, who had never seen a dog or a tree, had never spoken to anyone other than his mother, who had never felt rain on his face or sunlight on his skin. However I found the language Jack used hard to read. A real mix of immature and unusual grammar, use of proper nouns for common items, personal pronouns for inanimate objects and misuse of verbs like ‘switch off’ for going to sleep and ‘waking up’ for lamps being turned on. Jack knows what sarcasm is, uses words like hideous and hilarious, can read Alice in Wonderland and knows that twice ten makes twenty. The language didn’t seem to fit, and I struggled with it at first.
I did read on, though, and I’m glad I did. As Jack and Ma escape into the real world, Jack experiences everything for the first time, and his wonder and fear and longing for the safety of ‘Room’, his mother’s prison, is endearing and heartbreaking. We journey with Jack as he learns to navigate the world, from windows and stairs and travelators to paying for items in a store, conversations with adults and his first interaction with another child. Jack’s view of the world is unique and insightful, his emotions raw and his imagination unending. The book left an impression that stayed with me for a long time. 3 ½ stars.
Review first published on my blog. To see this and other reviews go to http://sonyaspreenbates.wordpress.com . ( )
  ssbates | Mar 10, 2017 |
When you stare directly into the abyss, you don't really see it. But there are tricks; from the corner of your eye, in reflections. Heart-rending read. Not perfect, but so overwhelming it's hard to analyze. ( )
  ZoneSeek | Mar 3, 2017 |
Room is a wonderful book about a boy, Jack, and his mother. Jack is five years old and this Room is all he knows, the things inside the room are his only friends - besides Ma. Because they have limited resources they have to use everything. There is a tv in the room so he has glimpses of the Outside but Ma has taught him that it's not real. Ma must teach and entertain him so that he doesn't lack anything but for her everyday is a jail sentence. While caring for Jack she's also planning their escape especially since Jack is getting older and will be needing more than she can offer. Their escape and life Outside the Room is the second half of the book. How Jack and Ma deal with the Outside are some of the most poignant moments of the book. Jack must deal with being outside, with lots of people and things that were acceptable and mandatory in Room are completely different Outside and Ma must come to terms with everything that has happened. The book is told by Jack who has both the maturity of someone older than a five year old and yet still innocent and curious. ( )
1 vote mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

This was a heartwarming but fantastic story. The book was filled with creative insight, imagination, well written and I love the idea that the author went with Jack as the narrator. Throughout the book it showed how a young mind picks up on things and what their perspective captures. When I started the book I had no idea a young boy was going to tell me a story about the “Room” , his views, and the years he and his mother was isolated and how they spent their time. As I read the story was told in a way that didn’t give any hints or clues where the story was leading. It’s like it started out in slow motion and than “Wham” things started coming together for me. It’s amazing how the author organized the story creatively step by step. The story is captivating, informative, absorbing, to the very last page.

The story is about a nineteen year old girl who was abducted and held in a secured, secluded backyard shed for seven years. While secluded there she gave birth to Jack. When the story started Jack had just turned five-years-old, very adorable, loving, and smart. Jack voice conveys all the innocence and honesty of a child who tells things as he sees them.

His mother did a wonderful job creating a world in that room to keep him safe and entertained. Her imagination for passing the time with games using very few resources was incredible. Her love for Jack was so deep and overwhelming and when Jack turned five the mother started refreshing some of the things she told Jack over the past few years. She believed it was time to begin telling Jack the truth about the outside world…..

This is where Jack wasn’t sure what was true because his mother coddled him for five years and he never really knew there was any other place or people besides, “old Nick” and the confines of the small room they lived in. That room was his world and he was content with it because he knew of nothing else. As the story goes on we learn about their daily life, the strong relationship he has with his mother, their daring escape attempt, the shock of learning that there was an outside and it was real. His sheltered existence makes Jack unprepared for the complexities of his new world even normal weather events bothers him, interacting with family and other people is really hard for him and as your reading you hear it in his voice and you see this new scary world through his eyes…. ( )
  Juan-banjo | Feb 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 791 (next | show all)
Room is disturbing, thrilling, and emotionally compelling. Emma Donoghue has produced a novel that is sure to stay in the minds of readers for years to come.
added by lkernagh | editQuill & Quire, Dory Cerny (Oct 1, 2010)
 
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 book’s second half is less effective than its first. Perhaps this is inevitable given the changed circumstances of the protagonists. The walls that enclosed them also intensified their drama.
 
Wrenching, as befits the grim subject matter, but also tender, touching and at times unexpectedly funny.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Aug 1, 2010)
 
Donoghue's great strength -- apart from her storytelling gift -- is her emotional intelligence. We get just enough information to feel uncomfortable -- and therefore, to question our assumptions about how family life ought to be; and to know that life will always be an unequal struggle.
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donoghue, Emmaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Archer, EllenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borówka, EwaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buhl, VirginieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friedman, MichalNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glasnovik, NegicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gontermann, ArminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güven, Gül ÇağalıTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gundersen, Inge UlrikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Javādī, MuḥamadTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mejak, TeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petkoff, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rocca, Chiara SpallinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smits, ManonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
So-yŏng, YuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toren, SuzanneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrescasana, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vázquez Nacarino, EugeniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volhejnová, VeronikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zhang, DingqiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
My Child

Such trouble I have.

And you sleep, your heart is placid;

you dream in the joyless wood;

in the night nailed in bronze,

in the blue dark you lie still and shine.

Simonides (C. 556-468 BCE), "Danae" (tr. Richmond Lattimore)
Dedication
Room is for Finn & Una, my best works.
First words
Today I'm five.
Quotations
In Room I was safe and Outside is the scary.
In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time. Even Grandma often says that, but she and Steppa don't have jobs, so I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well. In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The entire story told from the perspective of a 5 year old little boy. Room is his entire world. Where he was born & grew up. It's where he lives with his Ma as they learn & read & eat & sleep & 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, & 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 & a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316098337, Hardcover)

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's Room is 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 enter Room will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time. --Lynette Mong

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:24 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Narrator Jack and his mother, who was kidnapped seven years earlier when she was a 19-year-old college student, celebrate his fifth birthday. They live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard. The sociopath, whom Jack has dubbed Old Nick, visits at night, grudgingly doling out food and supplies. But Ma, as Jack calls her, proves to be resilient and resourceful--and attempts a nail-biting escape.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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