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Room
 
 

Room [Kindle Edition]

Emma Donoghue
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,429 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Review

"'Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it's over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days' Audrey Niffenegger 'One of the most profoundly affecting books I've read in a long time' John Boyne 'Such incredible imagination, and dazzling use of language... Room is unlike anything I've ever read before' Anita Shreve 'Room is that rarest of entities, an entirely original work of art. I mean it as the highest possible praise when I tell you that I can't compare it to any other book. Suffice to say that it's potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory' Michael Cunningham"

Review

"Only a handful of authors have ever known how to get inside the mind of a child and then get what they know on paper. Henry James, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and, more recently, Jean Stafford and Eric Kraft come to mind, and after that one gropes for names. But now they have company. Emma Donoghue's latest novel, "Room", is narrated by a 5-year-old boy so real you could swear he was sitting right beside you.... Room is so beautifully contrived that it never once seems contrived. But be warned: once you enter, you'll be Donoghue's willing prisoner right down to the last page."-- "Newsweek" "Malcolm Jones "

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 476 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0330519026
  • Publisher: Picador (1 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003X27L9U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,429 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,840 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
109 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Room Conversion 4 April 2011
By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Being aware of the rather unappealing premise of 'Room', it wasn't a book I wanted to read. Despite the praise heaped upon it, I had expected it to be the sort of voyeuristic account of great suffering that passes as entertainment these days. My book group however, were keen to read it, and so I acquiesced agreeing to give it a try. I have to say my original assumption was well wide of the mark. Right from the beginning it is obvious that this novel is something special.

The story (as you probably already know) is narrated by 'Jack', a five year old, who has only ever lived in 'Room'. Jack's mother has been kidnapped and held for seven years. Jack is the product of her kidnapper's unwanted attentions. Knowing the book had a child narrator had also put me off reading it. I tend to find that books written with a child's voice are normally pretentious and hard to read. Room's Booker prize nomination had done nothing to allay these fears.

Although Jack's voice is not entirely consistent with how I imagine a five-year-olds might be, it is the making of the novel. For a start, that something so pure and innocent can come from such bleak circumstances, makes the novel bearable. Secondly, Emma Donaghue uses Jack's over-simplified understanding of the world almost without fault. She uses the space between reality and Jack's view of reality to convey events in a much more powerful way than writing about them directly. The whole novel is the ultimate example of 'showing' rather than 'telling'.

It is curious that the most exciting point of the novel is about halfway through. Though I feel novel's the gradual relaxation of tension is entirely justified (mirroring, Jack's return to something like a normal life), it does make the last half of the novel feel over long.
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268 of 285 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a book I hadn't heard much about prior to picking it up (I try to avoid too overly-hyped novels), but I'm so glad that I gave this a chance. There's not a lot I can add to all the previous reviews and comments that hasn't already been said, other than to afirm that this is a bloody good read.

Told from the point of view of five year old Jack, the novel sees him and his mother living in `Room,' a place the child has never left in his whole life. Unbeknownst to him however, that is because he and his mother are both prisoners and this little boy's world is about to be turned entirely upside down...

I am in awe at the authors ability to consistently maintain the voice of a child in telling this story; granted an incredibly *smart* child, but a child nonetheless. This is what for me made this book so fascinating, because Jack is such a memorable narrator. Also, the relationship between a mother and child who ultimately only have each other was told such in a moving way that for me that was the essence of the novel, despite the sinister plot twists, which were granted, a bit predictable but still very well portrayed.

I adored this book and couldn't put it down. The storyline is compelling, despite the sad turns of events, and characters are incredibly skilfully developed and believable. I would urge everyone to read this book- you won't be sorry you did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but not without fault 2 Feb 2011
By Hayles
Format:Paperback
I had heard all the hype about this book and so was expecting an enthralling if traumatic read. Sadly it failed to live up to expectations. I didn't find Jack a convincing narrator - as a five year old some of his vocabulary was very advanced but at the same time he seemed to struggle with the most basic words. It seemed all too convienent to be able to blame this on the fact he was locked in Room - a few mentions of his 'exceptional' vocabularly later in the book were not enough to convince me and didn't explain why he knew his left from his right and the word 'vagina' but not that he was breastfeeding rather than 'having some.' I can understand why some people couldn't get past his voice but it is worth keeping with the book. Once I had accepted that some parts of Jack's voice were unbelievable it was easy to get caught up in the story which was at times like a great thriller and at others very poignant. A good book but I don't think the author quite captured the narrator's voice she was after - it's a tall order to write a whole novel from the point of a view of a young child - few manage it convincingly and I'm afraid, for me, this fell short.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Okay 5 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I did Like this book, I must have done as I finished it quite quickly but the style of writing begins to grate on you. Sometimes I just wished to hear a bit of the book from an adult perspective. Most of the book is about the rehabilitation after the mother and son leave 'room', which I didn't expect.
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243 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, intelligent and utterly gripping 18 July 2010
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a genuinely original, imaginative and ambitious novel which Donoghue pulls off brilliantly. Written through the voice and perspective of 5 year old Jack, we witness his happy and secure solitary life with his mother in Room. Playing on the tradition of other naive child-narrators (e.g. Pip in Great Expectations, Maisie in What Maisie Knew) we experience his exuberant take on what he naturally assumes is normal, only the sinister implications of their life seep through the edges to unsettle us as readers, revealing a far more menacing reality that he doesn't see.

This isn't a plot driven novel full of twists and turns, instead it is an intelligent and detailed exploration of the way the human mind constructs its own reality. Full of tenderness as well as pain, this celebrates the relationship created by this young mother with her son, and reveals the enormous potential for resilience in the human spirit.

The second half of the book where Jack experiences Outside for the first time is fresh and imaginative, sometimes funny but also agonising as this solemn 5 year old understands for the first time that the world doesn't consist of just him and his mother, and that the rules which they lived by can, and should, be broken.

There are a few small points where Donoghue stumbles (the first TV interview felt very false and forced; some of Jack's naivety towards the end takes on the tinge of adult satire and I felt like it was the author, not the character, talking about how people have too little time to enjoy their lives).

But these are small niggles in a powerful and overwhelmingly confident narrative. I started this in the afternoon and was literally unable to put the book down till I finished it that night and even after that Jack's voice still haunted me. It's quite rare for me to be really gripped by a contemporary literary novel but this one managed it effortlessly: highly recommended.
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