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(ROOM)) by Donoghue,…
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(ROOM)) by Donoghue, Emma(Author)Hardcover{Room} on 13-Sep-2010 (original 2010; edition 2010)

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7,901663418 (4.06)1 / 814
lisifer's review
Because this book is told from Jack's perspective, it isn't disturbing as some might believe, considering the content. I'd recommend it because it goes beyond the time frame you'd expect a book about a kidnapping to go - further than all the Dateline specials go. Without giving away what happens in the book, I would simply say the characters are believable and you feel empathetic towards them with all of the connections the author makes you feel. I read this book in 2 days but there were some parts where I simply and literally could NOT put the book down. I was late for a lunch date because I couldn't stop reading! ( )
  lisifer | Sep 2, 2011 |
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This book is fascinating on two fronts: 1. The story, which involves a young woman who is being kept captive. 2. The narrator, who is the 5 year old son of the woman and her captor, and who is only just beginning to realize there is a world outside of "room"--the shed where they are locked up. The first part especially has a lot of tension and action, and then the second part becomes more psychological. I hesitate to go into a lot of details and spoil it for someone who is reading it for the first time! It kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't put it down, especially during the first part. I also had a great time discussing it with my book discussion group, we were able to talk about the real life kidnapping stories that inspired this one and the reasons why such stories fascinate us. So if you too are fascinated by such things and you haven't read this book yet, I strongly recommend that you do! ( )
  debs4jc | Jan 21, 2015 |
Disturbing story of a young boy and his courageous mother who are held captive for years in a room. ( )
  marcal | Jan 13, 2015 |
This was amazing--listening to the book, rather than reading it in print, especially brought the story to life. It's told in the perspective of Jack, a five-year-old boy, and the boy who does the reading is amazing. I loved this--it'd be worth buying eventually! ( )
  trayceetee | Jan 13, 2015 |
Reading this again for book club. Loved it the first time, looking forward to reading it again.

...I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. ( )
  carebear10712 | Jan 8, 2015 |
This is a very interesting and compelling read, told in a unique fashion, as Jack, the narrator, is just a five year-old boy. It doesn't really take long to find out that Jack's circumstances are unusual, but the real trick comes in allowing the reader to understand the truth even as Jack remains innocently clueless. I do have some complaints as to the believability, both as to the narrator and some of the reactions within the storyline, which detracted somewhat from my immersion, but it's still a strong effort. The narrative voice simply seems to slip at times, as the author comes through more strongly in trying to make sure the information is conveyed in the way that she desires. Still, it's a powerful and effective effort that made me want to finish the book. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Jan 1, 2015 |
I wanted to enjoy this book so much more than I did. The stuttery writing (whilst effective as a 5yr old's voice) frsutrated me towards then end, and I found it hard to empathise with any of the characters, in what should have been a book where I was rooting for them both! Saying all this, there has been a line that has stuck with me "....and maybe mummy will go dancing without me..." that drove home to me how restricted they both had been.
  Em_Mac | Jan 1, 2015 |
The story starts off on Jack's 5th birthday, who lives with Ma and is looked "after" by Old Nick. Jack and Ma live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard that Jack calls Room and it is all Jack knows of the world. Room does have the necessary amenities needed in life and the screen on the T.V. is imaginary pictures. Jack has no idea that there is a real world beyond Room.
What was a great kick for me was how Jack used proper nouns on inanimate objects as he narrated this story.
Ma was abducted seven years prior by Old Nick at the age of 19 and had a baby before Jack arrived in this world. The baby, a girl, had died from the umbilical cord which was wrapped around her neck during the birth. Then came Jack.
About a week after Jack's birthday Ma finds out that Old Nick isn't working anymore and believes things will become a lot worse now and decides that she and Jack need to escape. After Old Nick had broke her wrist before during an attempted escape and Jack startling Old Nick one night causing him to shut the power off for several days, Ma tells Jack that the images he sees on the T.V. are actually real, and naturally, Jack finds it hard to believe.
They devise a plan - she fakes Jack having a fever and diarrhea and that night she demands that Old Nick take Jack to a hospital. Old Nick refuses because he is afraid that the boy will inform the authorities about Room. So, plan B - Ma and Jack rehearse an escape plan, Jack will die. Jack will be rolled up in Rug and when Old Nick gets there he will see that Ma has prepared him to be taken away. Then when the truck slows in traffic or stops at a traffic light, Jack will squeeze out from Rug and jump down from the truck and run for help. That night Jack has "died" and is rolled up in Rug and Old Nick will take him to some remote spot and dump him.
Things go according to plan and when Jack jumps off the truck just a few blocks from Room, Old Nick pursues him. A passer-by sees what is going on and rescues Jack and calls the police. The police arrive and after having a bit of communication problem with Jack they do find Ma and she is rescued. Old Nick is arrested and faces some serious time - like life!
Ma and Jack are taken to a mental hospital and get medical TLC. Now you could imagine being kidnapped for seven years things change. Ma finds out that her parents are now divorced and her older brother is married and has a child of his own. The media gets wind of what is going on and this story gets national attention. Everything is going like a hundred miles an hour for Ma and she has a mental breakdown and tries to commit suicide. Jack goes to live with Grandma and her new partner in life and things are hard on Jack. New things, new surroundings, new life for a five year old where everything he sees he had thought were make believe.
Ma and Jack do get back together and start living at this independent living facility where Jack has his own room and slowly starts to accept life as it is happening around him. But being in Room all his life Jack has this attachment to it as one could understand. He needs to go back and see it, if at anything, for one last time. And he does. And you gotta smile to yourself when you read that Room does not have the same thing for Jack as he thought it would. He can finally close Door on Room once and for all.
(and please do NOT read it) what made the whole book, for me, was the very last word. ( )
  Buttonholed | Dec 21, 2014 |
This is a remarkable book! It is the story of a young woman who is abducted at 19 and imprisoned in an 11x11 room by a stranger. There she gives birth to her son Jack, who is five when the novel begins. The sotry is told from the boy's point of view, which is shaped not only by his young age but by the fact that he has absolutely no experience of the outside world. In the face of their terrible circumstances, Ma dedicates herself to raising her son as well as she possibly can, engaging him in creative play and educating him within the narrow limitations of their Room. This is often a heart-rending story, yet beautiful and insightful. Don't be put off by the bizarre circumstances - it is an excellent read. ( )
  bookfest | Dec 21, 2014 |
Just finished it. I was slow to pick it up, as I have had the hardback for a while. But I read it in three days. The childs voice sounded authentic to me, I think those people who find the voice false, appear to be under the impression that 5 year boys must be incredibly stupid. On the whole they are not. I agree with most of the mini-reviews on the jacket. I loved it. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 30, 2014 |
Just finished it. I was slow to pick it up, as I have had the hardback for a while. But I read it in three days. The childs voice sounded authentic to me, I think those people who find the voice false, appear to be under the impression that 5 year boys must be incredibly stupid. On the whole they are not. I agree with most of the mini-reviews on the jacket. I loved it. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 30, 2014 |
Just finished it. I was slow to pick it up, as I have had the hardback for a while. But I read it in three days. The childs voice sounded authentic to me, I think those people who find the voice false, appear to be under the impression that 5 year boys must be incredibly stupid. On the whole they are not. I agree with most of the mini-reviews on the jacket. I loved it. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 30, 2014 |
Just finished it. I was slow to pick it up, as I have had the hardback for a while. But I read it in three days. The childs voice sounded authentic to me, I think those people who find the voice false, appear to be under the impression that 5 year boys must be incredibly stupid. On the whole they are not. I agree with most of the mini-reviews on the jacket. I loved it. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 29, 2014 |
Just finished it. I was slow to pick it up, as I have had the hardback for a while. But I read it in three days. The childs voice sounded authentic to me, I think those people who find the voice false, appear to be under the impression that 5 year boys must be incredibly stupid. On the whole they are not. I agree with most of the mini-reviews on the jacket. I loved it. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 29, 2014 |
Just finished it. I was slow to pick it up, as I have had the hardback for a while. But I read it in three days. The childs voice sounded authentic to me, I think those people who find the voice false, appear to be under the impression that 5 year boys must be incredibly stupid. On the whole they are not. I agree with most of the mini-reviews on the jacket. I loved it. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 29, 2014 |
Amazing! ( )
  DonnaCallea | Nov 29, 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 |
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 |
"Room" is a remarkable book. Told in the voice of 5-year-old Jack, it's the story of survival, endurance, and hope under the worst of conditions. Jack's mother was kidnapped when she was 19 and imprisoned in Room where she was repeatedly raped by her captor and bore his child. She's done everything she could to give him a good life and for his first five years, Jack's entire universe is Room, his only experience of the outside world coming from an old TV where, he's been told, everything is pretend. But Jack is growing and asking questions and Room is getting too small for him. If he's to have a future, they need to escape.

Donaghue's prose is simple and direct, presenting everything from Jack's chidish perspective. The story, and the suspense, is minimal, but the words resonate and have stuck with me. I wanted to know more. I want to know what comes next. It's been a while since I read a book so simple, yet so emotionally powerful. ( )
  ShellyS | Oct 23, 2014 |
Amazon summary: To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. 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's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child. ( )
  dalzan | Oct 20, 2014 |
Finished it in 2 days. Other than the very end, which dragged a bit, it was very compelling and surprisingly sweet. ( )
  lunule | Aug 22, 2014 |
As a woman whose only desire in life is to have children, it was a stunning refresher to find an adult fiction novel narrated in the eyes of a 5 year old. I have spent my entire life around young children, and the voice that Donoghue writes in could not be more spot-on. The storyline itself is great insight on those who are oppressed. Recommend for all mothers! ( )
  juliamarinaro | Aug 19, 2014 |
Five year old Jack and his Ma live what Jack believes to be a normal life in room. Room is Jack's whole world, where just he and Ma go about their lives. Except when Old Nick comes to visit. Then Jack must sleep in wardrobe, until Old Nick leaves for the day. Life goes on and on, until one day Ma comes up with a desperate and bold plan to escape from room. Ma tells Jack that room is just one part of Outside and Outside is where she desperately wants them to go. But after making it to Outside, Jack realizes that life is full of surprises and complications. Can Jack learn to survive in Outside? Or will he always long to return back to the controlled environment of room?

Room is a harrowing story of a 19 year old girl who is kidnapped and brutalized over seven years. Forced to live in a soundproof shed, she gives birth to her captives baby, the imaginative Jack. Told entirely through Jack's perspective, Room explores what it would be like, to be born into such a situation and how difficult the adjustment to outside would be. ( )
  queencersei | Aug 10, 2014 |
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