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Room : a novel by Emma Donoghue
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Room : a novel (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Emma Donoghue

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,997776332 (4.05)1 / 853
Member:lejonet
Title:Room : a novel
Authors:Emma Donoghue
Info:London : Picador, 2011.
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:
Tags:None

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. 93
    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. 50
    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 Pyjamas 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. 00
    Y by Marjorie Celona (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another story about a troubled childhood, narrated by the child.
  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
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (_Zoe_)
  14. 00
    Mice by Gordon Reece (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Bad things happening to mothers and their children
  15. 11
    Monster Love by Carol Topolski (tina1969)
  16. 01
    Dog Boy by Eva Hornung (PatMock)
    PatMock: Young boy raised by wild dogs in Moscow.
  17. 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 (748)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  All languages (775)
Showing 1-5 of 748 (next | show all)
Room is full of wonderfully unique surroundings such as Wardrobe, Bed, Rug, Plant and Bathtub. For five-year-old Jack, there is no more than one of anything, so articles got tossed out (imaginary)Window.

Room is also full of days - 2,492 of them - that Ma has been living in a kidnapper's maniacally-fortressed shed. Not one of those fancy ones you see on DIY shows, either. We're talking 10' x 10'.

Seven years in that same room every single day.
My claustrophobia just woke up in a cold sweat.

Jack has been living in that room with her since he was born. In Room. In same Bed she sleeps in now. Makes me want to go live in Big Open Field. A really well-scrubbed field. With an autoclave.

This was not the first story about captivity that disturbed me - in just fiction, Benjamin Saenz' House of Forgetting comes to mind - but being slowly immersed through the eyes of a kid made it even more disturbing. Our reactions - and our imagining of what Ma must be enduring through all this - tie us to the page and stuff a dirty rag in our mouths. We can only watch Jack, who has no terror about his surroundings, since he has nothing that came before. Unfazed, he shows us more of his everyday life and, finally, what happens when Ma takes a risk to make it better.

I was incredibly immersed and paranoid the whole time I was reading. Which is good - but now I'm heading back to that open field. ( )
  grammarchick | May 31, 2016 |
'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.

Emma 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 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.

I liked the book but Jack's languarge had inconsistencies that kept interupting the flow of the story for me. I couldn't reconcile a child who knew words like "omnivore", "nutritional" and "antenna" and then at other times would describe something as "the hurtest". There were also times when I would like to have been given a better insight into the reasons for his mother's actions, which the choice of narrator made impossible. This is one of those books that sucks you into its world and makes you reconsider your own. It's a quick read that's highly absorbing. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I read Room in about 5 days. Couldn't put it down. Definitely wanted to read it before I saw the film (if I ever see it), and now it's out it pushed me to reading it. Room was recommended to me by several different people, and rightly so. It's written so well from the perspective of a 5 year old boy. Like Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke, you forget what it's like to be a child until you're reading something from a child's perspective. Sad, happy, tense, relieved, this book has a bit of everything. ( )
  MrLloydSpandex | May 27, 2016 |
This is really a DNF. However, I saw the movie & loved it. I just couldn't get through the book.
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
This title was selected by my book club. I would never have picked it or read it otherwise. But I am glad I did.
I read this book in sections. Back to middle to front and end because I could not handle it from beginning to end. I had to read in sections to reassure myself that all would be okay.
There is much to mull over in this story. Having the child, Jack, as the narrator is brilliant . His voice is perfect to tell the story. ( )
  librarian1204 | May 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 748 (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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