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Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

Room: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Emma Donoghue

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9,496808306 (4.05)1 / 886
Title:Room: A Novel
Authors:Emma Donoghue
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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 (780)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  All (807)
Showing 1-5 of 780 (next | show all)
Room - Emma Donoghue Jack is a 5-year-old boy who lives with his Ma in Room. They have tons of things to do every day. They take a bath, they eat, they build things with old boxes, they do Phys Ed, they get to watch TV just for a little while because it rottens your brain, they have treats every Sunday, and then Jack has to hide in Wardrobe at night when Old Nick comes (beep! beep!) and makes Bed creaks a few hundred times. Life is normal, and he's a happy boy, a real one, unlike all those things you see on TV which are all fake because in the real world all there is, is Room. And Ma. The thing is, Ma was kidnapped 7 years ago, and has been locked ever since. She has managed to make life as perfect as she can for Jack, but she knows it's not enough. She knows they have to get out, or die trying.

This book certainly touches a very complex theme. Kidnapping is a reality and there are more people in that situation than I can stand thinking about. It's a subject that touches our deepest fears and I personally think it's one of the worst things that could ever happen to a person. That's why I must admit that at first I felt a little desperate and claustrophobic while reading it, especially because Ma is always with a horrible toothache and the author makes a great job making you feel the setting. 
But while the theme is a complex one, and the feeling you get is horrible, it is all told from the perspective of 5-year-old Jack, which takes a bit of the edge off and makes you see everything with a "screen": You understand that what's happening is horrible, but it's all normal for Jack, so it never gets to be too much for you as a reader.
There are two parts in this book and they're both great and different. You admire Jack, and Ma, even when you don't necessarily agree with her sometimes, you hate Old Nick (who I kept picturing as Jack Nicholson in The Shining lol!), and you feel everything they're going through.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I felt that it lacked a proper climax by the end, but I guess when you have a book that has you bitting your fingernails from page 3, you can forgive that. Four and a half stars!
 Also, I'm counting this book for the letter R in the 2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge ( )
  Danyspike | Jan 14, 2017 |
Worum es geht:

Jack wohnt mit Ma in Raum. Jack wurde vor 5 Jahren auf Teppich geboren und hat Raum seitdem noch nie verlassen. Jede Nacht versteckt er sich in Schrank wenn Old Nick zu Besuch kommt. Ma sagt, Jack muss Raum verlassen.

Meine Meinung:

Okay, das war mal was anderes. Wer sich wundert: Jack hats nicht so mit Der, Die, oder Das. Entweder benutzt er sie falsch, oder er benutzt sie gar nicht. Meistens eher das letztere. Einen 5 jährigen als Erzähler zu haben hat eben manchmal auch Nachteile. Mich hat das nach kurzer Zeit nicht mehr sonderlich gestört, aber ich bin sicher, dass das einigen Leuten nicht gefallen wird.

Der Voyeurismus wird nicht bedient. Jack hat mit dem Entführer Old Nick überhaupt nichts zu tun. Normalerweise schläft Jack schon, wenn Old Nick reinkommt. Trotzdem kann man sich als Leser ganz gut zusammen puzzeln, was zwischenzeitlich passiert und wieso Ma und Jack in dem Raum sind. Der Horror ist kein solcher, da Jack es nur so kennt. Das ist wie einem Kind Foie Gras zu füttern. Der Erwachsene weiß, es steht etwas schreckliches und bösartiges dahinter, das Kind sieht aber nur ein Essen. So weiß Jack nicht, warum er und Ma das Schreispiel spielen oder auf dem elektrischen Zahlenschloss Nummern ausprobieren. Für ihn ist das nur Spaß.

Als sie dann fliehen, fand ich Jacks Probleme ziemlich gut beobachtet. Zum Beispiel, dass Jack keine Treppen laufen kann. Unser Hund ist ein ehemaliger Kettenhund, und die ersten Monate bei uns hat er sich auch geweigert, Treppen zu benutzen, schlichtweg, weil er sie nicht kannte. Das man so etwas wie Treppen als Kleinkind lernen muss so wie das Töpfchen oder laufen, das merkt man normalerweise gar nicht. Von daher fand ich es wirklich interessant, an wie viel die Autorin gedacht hat.

Seltsam fand ich, wie schnell Ma nach der Flucht mit Jack ungeduldig wird oder genervt auf ihn reagiert, weil er irgendetwas nicht kennt oder versteht. Das war so gar nicht im Charakter zum Vergleich des ersten drittel des Buches. Während sie noch im Raum waren hat sie unermüdlich jede seiner Fragen beantwortet und sich um ihn gekümmert. Sie hatte dort zwar nicht viel anderes zu tun, aber trotzdem ändert sich so ein Verhalten ja nicht von jetzt auf gleich.

Gut fand ich allerdings Mas Reaktion auf das Psychatriepersonal, dass sie auf ihr Zimmer beschränken wollte. Ma hat es ziemlich gut drauf Leuten aufzuzeigen, wofür sie sich ihrer Meinung nach schämen sollten. Trotz oder wegen allem hat sie einen ziemlichen Dickkopf, den sie durchzusetzen weiß.

Der unmögliche Balanceakt der Ärzte, den beiden zu helfen, aber sie nicht zu beschränken, wird gut beschrieben. Und auch, dass es für so einen Fall eben kein Schema F gibt. Was genau genommen ja auch gut ist, denn dazu müsste es viel öfter solche Fälle geben.

Den Schluss fand ich dann auch gut gewählt. Ohne noch mehr zu verraten.

Auf jeden Fall habe ich das Buch gemocht. ( )
  Nomnivor | Jan 12, 2017 |
A pretty engrossing story, but pretty icky, and I really disliked the audio dramatization. Does every character with a Latino surname have to speak with a Speedy Gonzalez accent? And couldn't they find two adult male voices? It weirded me out that the serial rapist had the exact same voice as the kind doctor, the kind uncle, etc. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
When I heard about this book I was so scared that I would terrified and shocked that I really didn't want to read it.

But having won the audio version in giveaway, I finally decided to take a deep breath and start. Emma Donoghue's Room is not the experience that I was expecting. The story is mostly narrated by Jack, a five year old who only lives with his mother in a single room. His mother was abducted and raped and she bore Jack. She focused her life on protecting him, teaching him and being his mother.

The interesting part is that because the story is told through Jack's eyes, we as listeners also feel protected from Old Nick, the abductor. His mother made rules for him so that he would be out of Jack's vision to protect him from abuse. She taught him stories and rhymes and songs. They did have a little TV in the room. And I totally understand where Jack's thoughts were coming from. He thought the people in TV only existed in TV, were not actually a part of the real world. He made up reasons for why things were the way they were. I remember the first time that I saw TV and my reaction. I cried. I was the same age as Jack at the time, five years old. I thought the people in the TV were captured and could not get out. So I was afraid of being caught by TV. This is how a five year old thinks, at least one who not gotten used the idea back in the 1950s.

The writing is superb, each evening I looked forward to more of the story as related by Jack. This book makes you aware of what it would be like to be captured and cut off from the outside world, how it is to be dependent on someone you hate. And also of the great care and slow progression of time that needs to be taken when introducing the outside world to the kidnapped.

I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in the effects of captivity and children. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jan 8, 2017 |
What a clever author.Great book. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 780 (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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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)
Room is for Finn & Una, my best works.
First words
Today I'm five.
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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