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Room (2010)

by Emma Donoghue

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,421981400 (4.03)1 / 1012
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)
  1. 335
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Anonymous user)
  2. 122
    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. 80
    A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard (mreader)
  4. 51
    Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (cafepithecus)
  5. 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.
  6. 30
    My Abandonment by Peter Rock (gaialover)
  7. 52
    Misery by Stephen King (albavirtual)
    albavirtual: ambos libros tienen un alto componenente psicológico, la mente humana llevada al extremo.
  8. 41
    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.
  9. 20
    Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock (amz310783)
  10. 10
    Y by Marjorie Celona (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another story about a troubled childhood, narrated by the child.
  11. 10
    Above by Isla Morley (Litrvixen)
    Litrvixen: Both are about young women being abducted and kept captive and them having to raise children.
  12. 21
    Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (kaledrina)
  13. 00
    The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld (beyondthefourthwall)
  14. 00
    Descent by Tim Johnston (KatyBee)
  15. 00
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (_Zoe_)
  16. 11
    Dog Boy by Eva Hornung (PatMock)
    PatMock: Young boy raised by wild dogs in Moscow.
  17. 00
    Mice by Gordon Reece (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Bad things happening to mothers and their children
  18. 11
    Monster Love by Carol Topolski (tina1969)
  19. 11
    Stay and Fight by Madeline Ffitch (Aquila)
    Aquila: In particular the Perley's point of view chapters reminded me of Room.
  20. 01
    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.

(see all 21 recommendations)


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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Orange January/July: Room by Emma Henderson33 unread / 33Nickelini, June 2012

» See also 1012 mentions

English (951)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Swedish (3)  Finnish (2)  Danish (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (978)
Showing 1-5 of 951 (next | show all)
Not what I expected. This was a book told from the eyes of a 5 yr old.
You find out that his mother was abducted when she was 19 and forced to live in a 1 room shed. There she has Jack and you follow him from his 5th birthday on.

It was jarring to read from such a young perspective, I honestly don't think that he would be quite so simplistic about certain things. Here again, it has been quite a while since I was 5, so it might be accurate and I just have no recollection.

It was hard for me to get into this book; I was afraid what I would read. I started reading it for a book club not knowing that there is a movie out based on it. I wouldn't mind seeing the movie to get a better idea of Room and the life that he and his mother lived. ( )
  CagedNymph | Jun 14, 2024 |
Beautiful, I cried at the end. Heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time. ( )
  jenkies720 | Jun 7, 2024 |
I was riveted from page one, and right through the very last sentence, this book surpassed my expectations.

Narrated in the haunting voice of five year old Jack, [b:Room|7937843|Room|Emma Donoghue|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1282778933s/7937843.jpg|9585076] is the story of a mother and her son held captive in an 11'x11' shed. Jack was born in Room two years after his mother's abduction, and believes everything on the outside to be pretend. Surrounded by his friends (Table, Bed, Rug, Remote... all proper nouns), Jack lives day after day while his Ma does all she can to keep him safe and healthy. She creates games and routines, including phys ed and schooling, and she keeps Jack hidden from the eyes of his biological father, the captor who has created this hell.

But the thing that is so amazing, so astounding, is that it's not really hell at all to Jack; it's home, it's Room. The tale is both horrific and tender, both touching and terrifying. Jack's story is dark and disturbing, but Jack's voice is innocent and endearing. The poignancy of his understanding is simply heart-breaking. Donogue's writing is spectacular; I am amazed by her ability to create something that is so many adjectives at once, and yet they are all at odds with each other.

I will not soon forget this story, and I suspect I will carry Jack with me for a long while. I usually pass on my books after I've read them. But I will look forward to rereading this again someday. I think this one is a keeper. ( )
  kdegour23 | May 29, 2024 |
This is a wonderful book.
For the people who rated it down because she "stole" the plot (a silly notion when most book ideas come from outside the writer's head) here is what the author had to say: http://www.bookpage.com/books-10013638-Room and http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/13/emma-donoghue-room-josef-frit... ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
An unsettling, moving book. It's told in the voice of 5 year old Jack, who lives with his mum in a locked room, 11' x 11'. He's never seen another human being: and his mum, besides Jack, has only seen her captor, who keeps her imprisoned for sex, in seven years. The book describes their day-to-day life with convincing immediacy. It tells how they escape, and how this sudden emergence into the ordinary world brings with it huge difficulties in adjustment. Ma has not lived freely since she was kidnapped aged 19. Jack didn't know there was a world outside to discover, despite his exposure to television. It's tough. Very tough.

This is a moving, convincing and utimately uplifting account of an almost unimagineable life. Well worth reading. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 951 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emma Donoghueprimary authorall editionscalculated
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

Belongs to Publisher Series

Piper (30981)

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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)
Room is for Finn & Una, my best works.
First words
Today I'm five.
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)

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.

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Book description
The entire story is told from the perspective of a 5 year old little boy. Room is his entire world. Where he was born and 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 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, and 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 and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
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