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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
9,778829296 (4.05)1 / 900
Member:Katie_H
Title:Room: A Novel
Authors:Emma Donoghue
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Read, Fiction, Child Abuse, Crime, Kidnapping, Psychology, Sexual Abuse, Thriller, Unreliable Narrator

Work details

Room by Emma Donoghue (2010)

Recently added bycasianne, sinczech, jkrzok, heart.u, Jontis, Becky1330, private library, mrsrobin, DarrellR, ecfg
  1. 266
    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
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  5. 41
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    albavirtual: ambos libros tienen un alto componenente psicológico, la mente humana llevada al extremo.
  6. 63
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    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)
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  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
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  14. 00
    Y by Marjorie Celona (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another story about a troubled childhood, narrated by the child.
  15. 00
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    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 (802)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  All (829)
Showing 1-5 of 802 (next | show all)
A wonderful, amazing book. The story starts on the day Jack turns 5 years old. He and Ma have lived in Room his whole life. Everything in Room has a name: Watch, Rug, Table, Trash, Rocker, Shelf. They take baths together, brush their teeth, have breakfast, play games, have Phys Ed (running around Bed or playing Trampoline), read books, sing songs. They have TV but Ma strictly limits the time Jack can watch because "it will rots our brains". The only scary thing in Jack's world is Old Nick, who sometimes visits in the night. Jack sleeps in Wardrobe with the door closed and Ma comes to get him and bring him to bed once Old Nick has gone.

I was impressed with the author's portrayal of Jack's narrative voice. It was very authentic -- innocent, honest, curious and mostly self-centered as a real child's would be. After the two inevitably escape, there is an interesting dichotomy in how mother and child view Room: to one it was home, a place of security, familiarity, love, music, stories -- to the other it represents a horrifying ordeal and captivity. The most interesting part of the book was how Jack experiences and views 'Outside', which before he didn't believe existed outside TV. Most of all I was touched by Ma, who created a world of creativity, love and security for her child within the most horrifying of circumstances.

I can't say enough good things about this book. Highly recommended to everyone with a pulse. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Pretty good. Pretty good.
I actually couldn't put the book down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.
That probably means it's good.

( )
  Shahnareads | Jun 21, 2017 |
Excellent audiobook. The voice talent was incredible. I watched the movie before I even knew there was a book, and (surprise, surprise) I like the book better. Both the quality of the book and the quality of the audio narration combined to draw me completely into this novel. Usually I'm content to just listen to audiobooks while I'm going for daily walks/runs, but with this one, I was making up chores to do so I had an excuse to keep listening.

I especially like how Donoghue touches on the way people try to find common ground with others and often end up minimizing the other person's experience. Why do we try to turn a conversation or sharing of experiences around to ourselves? I do it myself (I did it just today, actually), and I still don't know why.

The only thing I didn't love about this book was Jack's grammatical mistakes, which didn't seem to make sense for a child who watched television and read books and whose mother spoke grammatically correct English to him. He's so precocious in so many other ways, while I would expect some mistakes, there are just too many to seem plausible to me.

Aside from that, though, I loved this novel. It's rare that a book makes me cry, but this one did. And even knowing what was going to happen, I was on the edge of my seat. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 20, 2017 |
Good writing and interesting subject. I'm puzzled by the pacing: it builds to a climactic action scene at the half point and then builds to an end point that doesn't feel quite emotionally climatic enough to balance. ( )
  DanCopulsky | Jun 8, 2017 |
An astounding tale of horror, hope and redemption - easily one of the best books I ever read, and the best of this year. There is something deeply affecting about this book, and Jack remains with you long after you keep the book down. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 802 (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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