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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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7,882652422 (4.06)1 / 801
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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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 |
Ok, I read it. I didn't cry, I didn't get angry. It did give me perspective from the child's point of view. It was ok. Back to the zombies! ( )
  nycke137 | Jul 29, 2014 |
Ok, I read it. I didn't cry, I didn't get angry. It did give me perspective from the child's point of view. It was ok. Back to the zombies! ( )
  nycke137 | Jul 29, 2014 |
Ok, I read it. I didn't cry, I didn't get angry. It did give me perspective from the child's point of view. It was ok. Back to the zombies! ( )
  nycke137 | Jul 29, 2014 |
This book is extremely sad, but very interesting. I enjoyed the book, but was left heart broken for the child most of the way through the novel. ( )
  blog_gal | Jul 26, 2014 |
Kas olete kunagi proovinud täiesti sirgel teel silmad kinni käia?
See õnnestub seni, kuni hakkad... mõtlema. Enese alalhoiuinstinkt või hirm keerata võpsikusse sunnib piiluma Ja tavaliselt, kui juba mõtlema hakkad, siis maandudki kraavis. Imelihtsast ülesandest- tõsta üks jalg teise ette saab järsku ületamatu, sest sunnid aju tööle.

Kui aju rakendada 100% on see raamat õõvastav, jälk, vastik. Sa pead tekitama filtri ja mitte mõtlema, et kuidas see kõik oleks PÄRISELT.
Aga kui lugemisel keskenduda loole. Sellele, kuidas autor on teinud ära suurepärase töö mõtlemaks läbi kõikvõimalikud detailid- on tegu suurepärase saavutusega.

Loe edasi
http://indigoaalane.blogspot.com/2012/09/e-donoghue-tuba.html ( )
  Indigoaalane | Jul 18, 2014 |
I read this very quickly during Thanksgiving break. It was written from the perspective of a five-year-old living in a shed with his mother who had been kidnapped. It was a very interesting read. ( )
  aliterarylion | Jul 14, 2014 |
Read up to page 125, completely gripped. However I have elected not to continue. I find it too harrowing and it is keeping me awake. Shame because it is well written and engrossing. ( )
  happyanddandy1 | Jul 14, 2014 |
Some people have commented that Jack and Ma's escape was contrived, with a flimsy plot twist. In my opinion, the secret behind this series of events was subtle and very powerful in the context of an unreliable narrator.

--SPOILER--

Why does the mother scream "no! no! not in the backyard!"? Why does Old Nick agree to transport the load to the edge of the forest? Something happened that Jack did not understand. His mother, rightly, did not tell him about her first pregnancy, and the outcome of that.

Those events are the real tragedy of the story.
  feeling.is.first | Jul 2, 2014 |
A woman is kidnapped and enslaved in a room. She has a baby before escaping. The story is told through the voice of the (now) 5yo boy. That's enough for you to know going in.
Donoghue seems to be trying to do 2 things. First, get us into the mind of a child raised in a single room where his mother is enslaved. Second, to explore the challenge of coping with the real world after seven years of enslavement. My reading is that she doesn't really succeed in both.
The plot is strong, but slowed down by the many passages dwelling on how the child perceives things. If the reader is fascinated by both, fine, but after a while I found the child's voice a bit tiresome and wanted the plot to move along faster. Maybe that's just me.
There are some very powerful passages nonetheless. And despite the dark subject many funny moments. And, spoiler alert, a quite hopeful ending. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Jun 29, 2014 |
Amazing story about a mother (kidnapped at 16 and kept securely locked up) and her 5 year old son, who has never been out of the room. ( )
  Ethnee | Jun 23, 2014 |
A unique, amazing book. Highly recommended. I read the beginning curious to see how an author could possibly sustain a first person narrative by a five year old boy who had spent his entire life locked in an 11x11 room together with his mother. Jack, the little boy, has been taught by his mother that this room is the entire world and that the images he sees on TV are not real (thus the lack of articles, 'room' and 'chair' are sufficient words when there is only one of each in existence) -- something she does so that he does not get upset about everything that he is missing. Up until his fifth birthday when he spots a mouse, the largest creature he has seen other than his mother is a spider.

The first half is almost like a mother-son version of The Road, as the two of them work together to survive in an unimaginably harsh environment surrounded by cruelty -- in this case in the form of their monstrous captor. Reading it at times you are jealous of their relationship and experience and lack of greater worries and a tiny part of wishes for the same experience -- but then you're reminded of the brutality of their captor who punishes them by shutting off the power, raping and beating the mother, and not providing them with needed medicine.

The book is not plot driven, but SPOILER ALERT if you are averse to knowing anything about how the story develops. The second half is set outside of Room and the challenges the mother and Jack face as they try to integrate into the world that treats her as a saint and him as a freak. The second half is in many ways a more moving and challenging story, but it also suffers from the fact that the characters that surround them on the outside are cartoonish and at times implausible (e.g., and this is a minor example of which there are several, I found it downright bizarre that on Jack's first night in a home without his mother, following 5 years in Room and one week in a clinic, his otherwise loving grandmother would be annoyed about having to sit in his room while he fell asleep).

One of the best books of the year. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I'll start with the good, the book is amazingly written. I've found that the novels where they're told from differing points of view, like from childrens point of view (or those with mental illness) can vary widely in how good they are. A lot of books in which it comes off sounding stilted or too fake. But Room was different. Although by the end of the book the boy was driving me quite insane, although it wasn't so much because his narrative was bad, it was exceptionally good.

The story isn't a surprise. It's the story of a young boy, five years old, and his mother and their lives in one room. It's told from the boy's point of view so it's not quite as gruesome as it could be, since at some points all he knows is that 'Ma' isn't there in the room sometimes.

It took a bit to get used to some of the terms for stuff in the room and while realistic for a young boy to mention his bodily functions often it was still a little icky. And then there was the him 'getting some' (milk) from his Ma (and not from a bottle). It made sense in the story, but the fact that he was five and still breast feeding did ick me out on one level.

So, it was a good book, but not quite as all totally amazing as everyone seemed to be raving. ( )
  DanieXJ | Jun 12, 2014 |
Room is one of those books that will change the way you view the world. What if you had grown up only knowing one room and believing that all you saw on TV was from another planet? What if you were a five year old boy who believe that you and your mother were the only "real" people? I think the author's choice of using the five year old as a narrator was particularly brilliant as the reader got to see Outside in an entirely different light. Donoghue used real cases to build a fictionalized tale about a woman and her son in an impossibly agonizing situation. At times, I had to stop reading just so that I could catch my breath from the intensity and the descriptive power of her words made me feel like I was trapped (probably didn't help that I read a lot of it on the train). I don't want any of this to put you off reading this book though because I thought it was fantastic (even though it ended rather abruptly for my tastes). In fact, I'll be adding some more of this author's books onto my TRL for the future. :-) ( )
  AliceaP | Jun 8, 2014 |
Really really powerful. I read it in two days.

Room is told from the point of view of Jack, a 5-year-old who has lived his entire life as a captive with his mother in an 11 x 11 room. Although Jack is exceptionally articulate, his diction reflects his age and social deficiencies.

The early chapters of the book, as Jack describes daily life in the room (They eat, they bathe, they do "phys. ed," they watch just a little bit of TV, they have school), were creepy to me, but because of Jack's unique voice, they aren't as harrowing as they could be.

Jack doesn't know what he's missing out there in the real world, and when he finds out, he still thinks he'd prefer life in Room with Ma.

The premise is horrifying, but the story is hopeful.

( )
  keneumey | Jun 4, 2014 |
Seeing life through the eyes of a five year old boy is fascinating, but when that little boy has been contained in a single room his whole life with only his mother for company, well, that perspective is singularly unique, disconcerting, at times terrifying and at others darkly humorous. Room by Emma Donoghue is her controversial story of a young woman taken by a stranger and held for seven years. During the course of her captivity she gives birth and she and her son have a isolated existence in a locked garden shed. The book’s focus is on the boy, Jack. Jack knows no other way of living, he doesn’t know much beyond the walls of the room, except for what he has seen on TV. To him Dora the Explorer is as real as Old Nick, the man who visits in the night. His mother tries very hard to keep Jack away from Old Nick and has him sleep in a wardrobe so he is out of sight when Old Nick visits.

When these two finally escape and emerge into the real world, Jack must learn to cope with unlimited boundaries. Everyday things we take for granted need to be explained and learned, Jack needs constant guidance but his Mother is also dealing in her own way with freedom. These two who have been inseparable now find they have different ways of looking at things, and different levels of acceptance. While Jack remembers Room as a place of comfort, the very idea of that place upsets the Mother to the point of nausea.

I found Room is be a very unique read and it told such a compelling story of human resourcefulness and resilience that it was very hard to put down. I was very moved by Jack’s mother, who overcame such difficulties and showed such devotion and care in the raising of her son. This is a book that truly moved me, and one that I will long remember. ( )
6 vote DeltaQueen50 | May 26, 2014 |
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