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Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
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Room: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Emma Donoghue

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,907763338 (4.05)1 / 852
Member:sandydorion
Title:Room: A Novel
Authors:Emma Donoghue
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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 (735)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  All languages (762)
Showing 1-5 of 735 (next | show all)
Unforgettable. ( )
  booksweremyfirstlove | Apr 25, 2016 |
The subject matter and content in the text are really written for an adult, however, the characters and plot would appeal to a teen. Emma Donoghue's novel leaves the reader thinking about the resiliency of youth, the limitless bond of parent and child, and the inaccuracy of human expectations. The use of the child narrator adds a sense of innocence regarding the situation, and keeps the reader off balance. Donoghue portrays the living arrangement of mother and son as odd, however, the lighthearted and funny voice of Jack keeps the reader from fully understanding that it is one room because the mother is a kidnapped victim. The relationship between the kidnapper and mother, though strained, also seems somewhat normal. The novel depicts a loving relationship between mother and son as they pass the days playing, reading, eating, and sleeping. When Ma begins to prepare an escape plan, the reader realizes the situation of the two main characters. Ma is somewhat unprepared for the escape plan to work and Jack is wholly unprepared for the world and freedom. The second half of the novel explores the flexibility and adaptability of youth, as Jack becomes indoctrinated in the real world and accepts changes in his life. Ma on the other hand, has difficulty coming to terms with changes in her family such as her parents divorce, and the realization that she has been traumatized. The road back to reality is much harder for Ma than Jack. This novel explores the effects of isolation and absence and the character, Ma, can be compared to the character, Gatsby. Jack and Ma can also be compared to a number of characters in Of Mice and Men. In the room, Ma teaches Jack to fear certain things for his own protection, but she does not teach Jack what to fear in the real world. This action can lead to debate about what should and should not be feared in society and connected to the theme of fear in The Crucible. ( )
  sgemmell | Apr 21, 2016 |
Both parts of the novel are compelling. The first half of the story explores the relationship of mother and son in a uniquely difficult and at times horrific circumstance. The second half deals with the aftermath - all the difficult things that follow and that weren't even thought of when the only object was escape. I liked that the story felt real - there wasn't a lot of false emotion (and maybe that is because the narrator is five and a sheltered five at that). I also really liked the second half of the novel because it highlighted the difference between Jack & Ma's experience and perspective. The only thing I found annoying was the confused sentence structure that Jack often uses. It was distracting and odd rather than true-to-life (at least in my experience with five year olds). ( )
  tjsjohanna | Apr 11, 2016 |
Prica ispricana jezikom petogodisnjaka koji je zajedno sa svojom majkom bio zatocen u Sobi...volim ovakve knjige,drugacije od drugih ( )
  ceca78 | Apr 10, 2016 |
Mixed thoughts on this one - it's a real page-turner which I read over just a couple of days. It was not quite what I expected in that only the first half is set in the 'room', the second half being readjustment to the outside world. It is a new perspective on this situation, being only from the 5 year old boys point of view, and struck home to me as I have a child the same age. The thought of being stuck in a room with her for the last 5 years is pretty terrifying even without the other stuff to be honest! So it got under my skin a bit. On the other hand I am not sure I found the child's way of speaking entirely convincing, and the escape bit was really ridiculous. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 735 (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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