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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
7,882652422 (4.06)1 / 801
Member:AddictedToMorphemes
Title:Room: A Novel
Authors:Emma Donoghue
Info:Back Bay Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Read, Read in 2012

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 (623)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  French (1)  All languages (649)
Showing 1-5 of 623 (next | show all)
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads.

I went into this book with somewhat mixed feelings; a story told from the perspective of a five-year-old? How was that going to work and keep my attention? Given that, the story did grab my attention and keep it. Although it lulled in a few places, I finished this book quickly.
Jack and Ma live in a small room, which is Jack's whole world. There's bed and rug and wardrobe, a t.v. and a skylight in the room which lets in the sun and moonlight. Room is all Jack has ever known, being born there. Ma does her best to teach him things and keep him active and healthy with games. Jack believes that anything outside the room doesn't exist; that outside he sees on t.v. is all made-up because this is what Ma has taught him. Only "Old Nick" who comes at night when Jack is tucked into wardrobe is real to him. Until Ma plots an escape from room, sending Jack into a world he never knew existed and his whole world changes.
I looked at this from two perspectives. The first of Jack, a five-year-old boy. Being told from his side of things is what I think makes this story work, even if at times he seems to be doing things beyond the capacity of a five-year-old while other times he seems very much at that age with stubbornness at times and his innocence of things. The other perspective I looked at it from was the standpoint of Jack's mother. Looking at everything she did it was all to protect Jack while still doing her best to educate him and keep him safe from Old Nick. She never let him know the real world existed because she never had hope they would ever leave room. Even her plan for escape I don't believe she felt would necessarily work, but if she could get Jack out and to safety that is what mattered most.
I really enjoyed this story, though I could have done just fine without Jack's constant wanting to breastfeed and talking about which side was better (the story would have been just as strong without it), I had to look at it as a comfort thing for him. All in all, I really enjoyed the book. Well written and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. ( )
  beckdg | Nov 22, 2014 |
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads.

I went into this book with somewhat mixed feelings; a story told from the perspective of a five-year-old? How was that going to work and keep my attention? Given that, the story did grab my attention and keep it. Although it lulled in a few places, I finished this book quickly.
Jack and Ma live in a small room, which is Jack's whole world. There's bed and rug and wardrobe, a t.v. and a skylight in the room which lets in the sun and moonlight. Room is all Jack has ever known, being born there. Ma does her best to teach him things and keep him active and healthy with games. Jack believes that anything outside the room doesn't exist; that outside he sees on t.v. is all made-up because this is what Ma has taught him. Only "Old Nick" who comes at night when Jack is tucked into wardrobe is real to him. Until Ma plots an escape from room, sending Jack into a world he never knew existed and his whole world changes.
I looked at this from two perspectives. The first of Jack, a five-year-old boy. Being told from his side of things is what I think makes this story work, even if at times he seems to be doing things beyond the capacity of a five-year-old while other times he seems very much at that age with stubbornness at times and his innocence of things. The other perspective I looked at it from was the standpoint of Jack's mother. Looking at everything she did it was all to protect Jack while still doing her best to educate him and keep him safe from Old Nick. She never let him know the real world existed because she never had hope they would ever leave room. Even her plan for escape I don't believe she felt would necessarily work, but if she could get Jack out and to safety that is what mattered most.
I really enjoyed this story, though I could have done just fine without Jack's constant wanting to breastfeed and talking about which side was better (the story would have been just as strong without it), I had to look at it as a comfort thing for him. All in all, I really enjoyed the book. Well written and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. ( )
  beckdg | Nov 22, 2014 |
Although the first 20% of Room seemed to drag, I think in retrospect it was because I was getting used to the very strong voice. Soon, I couldn't put it down, and raced through to the satisfying end. The story has a strong emotional impact without being sentimental, and I have to confess, I was so captivated by Jack, it's difficult to say good-bye. ( )
  CathrynGrant | Nov 20, 2014 |
2 winners out of 2 books read for Donoghue--I'm going to have to follow this author.
Jack's mother (we never learn her name), is locked in an 11x11 room (TV, plumbing, kitchenette-type, food provided), visited only on some nights by her captor/molester. The story begins with her & her 5 year old son's daily lives, how they keep occupied, stay healthy, routines to keep her sanity, attempts to attract help. She is a strong & creative woman. Finally she sees a way to escape, but life outside has its own traumas, especially for her son who never believed that anything beyond their room was real.
I can't imagine a happy future for Jack's Ma; making it thru day to day, yes, but not happy. ( )
  juniperSun | Nov 14, 2014 |
Definitely an unusual book, told in a unique narrative. If you are looking for something a little different, I highly recommend trying Room.

The downfall for me was the last quarter of the book, which was a bit of a drag.... and I began to tire of reading from the perspective of Jack. I found myself wishing the author had switched between Ma and Jack. ( )
  skrouhan | Nov 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 623 (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 (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emma Donoghueprimary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:00 -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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