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Room: Picador Classic by [Donoghue, Emma]
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Room: Picador Classic Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,305 customer reviews

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Length: 412 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'Emma Donoghue's writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness. 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, author of The Time Traveler's Wife

'I loved Room. Such incredible imagination, and dazzling use of language. And with all this, an entirely credible, endearing little boy. It's unlike anything I've ever read before' --Anita Shreve

'a boundary-pushing story of jaw-dropping cruelty told with eye-watering tenderness... In writing this Emma Donoghue has turned a spotlight on contemporary western society and with this unique voice she has created a must read for all.' --Patrick Neale, Bookseller

'an utterly compelling novel about a mother and son, held captive inside a ''room''... The novel is horrific, yet never horrifying, touching yet never sentimental. It has something of The Lovely Bones about it.' --Sue Scholes, Bookseller

'Donoghue imbues Jack with an acute intelligence and is masterful at showing us his strange perceptions. This is not a comfortable read, but it's an unforgettable one.' --Ruth Hunter, Bookseller

'Imagine living in a room 12 feet by 12 feet. Imagine that you've never left. Imagine that you're five years old and the only person you've met is your mother, who was kidnapped as a teenager. Imagine that one night, through courage and desperation, you get outside. Emma Donoghue brilliantly imagines the unimaginable with equal parts compassion and style. A surefire prize-winner.' --Diva

'Emma Donoghue has written a heartbreaking, heart-racing unnerving novel.' -- Waterstones Books Quarterly

'With echoes of the Josef Fritzl case and touted as the most controversial novel of the summer, this book will . . . have you turning the pages until the wee hours.' --Grazia

'Part childhood adventure story, part adult thriller, Room is above all the most vivid, radiant and beautiful expression of maternal love I have ever read. Emma Donoghue has stared into the abyss, honoured her sources and returned with the literary equivalent of a great Madonna and Child. This book will break your heart.' --The Irish Times

'It takes a consummate writer to make us marvel at the mundane. Beckett's Waiting for Godot did it, of course. So did Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, set in a 1950s Siberian labour camp.

Emma Donoghue does it so spectacularly that we are taken by surprise when, in the middle of the novel, resourceful Ma's escape plans swing into action.

The reader hurries on partly because Jack is so masterful a creation. Like John Boyne's Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, he knows more than he understands. And the dramatic irony heightens the poignancy of the tale as it progresses into the third section, which deals with life after abduction.' --The Irish Independent

'On one level a simple story about and extreme situation, it is also a novel in the tradition of Gulliver's Travels, with Jack's perspective allowing Donoghue to hold the adult world up to an unfamiliar type of scrutiny.' -- The Sunday Times

'The story is told, with unsurpassed panache . . . Room will certainly be much garlanded, and it will deserve every prize it gets. Fantastic - but deeply, deeply disturbing.' --AN Wilson - Readers Digest

'Room is likely to attract comparisons with Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and it deserves equal success . . . In the hands of a lesser author, Room could have felt both exploitative and sensationalist thanks to its subject matter. Instead, it makes the reader think about the importance of freedom and its costs. Above all though, it is a novel about the love between a mother and her child. Which is why, despite its darkest of settings, Room is an affecting and uplifting read.' --Evening Standard

'[Room] reads as smooth as ice-cream and Donoghue quickly builds a compelling view of this strange existence . . . as a life-affirming fable of parent-child love, and an antidote to the prurience of so much crime fiction, it's a triumph and deserves to be a hit.' --Daily Telegraph

'Room is set to be one of the big literary hits of the year . . . It is a brave act for a writer, but happily one that Donoghue, still only 40 but on her seventh novel, has the talent to pull off. For Room is in many ways what its publisher claims it to be: a novel like no other . . . To read this book is to stumble on a completely private world. Every family unit has its own language of codes and in-jokes, and Donoghue captures this exquisitely . . . the grotesque is consistently balanced with the uplifting and there is a moment, halfway through the novel, where you feel you would fight anyone who tried to wrestle it from your grasp with the same ferocity that Ma fights for Jack, such is the author's power to make out of the most vile circumstances something absorbing, truthful and beautiful . . . Jack's introduction to the confusing world of freedom is handled with incredible skill and delicacy . . . In the hands of this audacious novelist, Jack's talk is more than a victim-and-survivor story: it works as a study of child development, shows the power of language and storytelling, and is a kind of sustained poem in praise of motherhood and parental love.' --Observer

'This is a novel, and a child, that will not be confined . . . To this reader, at least, its effect is almost exhilarating.' -- Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Set to be one of the big literary hits of the year . . . More than a victim-and-survivor story, it works as a study of child development, shows the power of language and storytelling, and is a kind of sustained poem in praise of motherhood and parental love.' --Observer

'This child's-eye view of the world may sound kooky, but it reads as smooth as ice-cream . . . As a life-affirming fable of parent-child love, and an antidote to the prurience of so much crime fiction, it's a triumph, and deserves to be a hit.' --Daily Telegraph

'Above all, it is a novel about the love between a mother and her child. Which is why, despite its darkest of settings, Room is an affecting and uplifting read.' --Evening Standard

'A heart-warming homage to the limitless capabilities of maternal love and the power of the imagination. An intriguing, beautiful read.' --Easy Living

'Taut, devastating and gripping, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.' --Psychologies Magazine

`A celebration of the freedoms we take for granted, and a gripping, moving read.' --Time Out

'A novel that has huge summer hit written all over it.' --Metro - Fiction of the Week

'Haunting and compelling.' -- Woman & Home

'Totally unique and intriguing. It kept us utterly hooked.' --Cosmopolitan

'The novel's beauty lies in how it celebrates survival without being simplistic or trite. Jack's experiences are extremely atypical but, through his combination of innocence and knowingness, Donoghue captures the universality of coming to an awareness of the world.' --Sunday Business Post

'No subject, no story, could be more overdetermined than that of Room: more shaped and structured by our carious ways of speaking about the mind, the self, the family, from linguistics and psychiatry to red-top frenzy and talk-show hysteria. Yet somehow, via the narrative voice of Jack and his stoic and heroic making-sensein words of his small world. It bursts free of ever preset category. This is a novel, and a child, that will not be confirmed. To stand on its own it must scale the intellectural walls that surround its theme . . . Bristling with a fiercely intelligent if unobtrusive grasp of the links between language, power andperception, Room marks both a fresh start for its author's fiction and in some ways, a deepening of its range.' --Independent

'Room is a chilling account of a young boy and his mother . . . What is in essence a horrifying tale, inspired by real-life instances of forced confinement, it is transformed into a heartwarming homage to the limitless capabilities of maternal love and the power of the imagination. An intriguing, beautiful read.' --Easy Living

'Taut, devastating and gripping, Room - inspired by the true story of Elisabeth Fritzl, imprisioned with her children by her father - is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.' --Psychologies

'Donoghue manages to give her tale, and a truly horrendous scenario, a positive treatment while giving us a celebration of the freedoms we take for granted. A gripping, moving read.' --Time Out

'[Jack's] vocabulary is endearingly skew-whiff and his broken, lyrical speech patterns beautifully capture the intense, abnormal richness of the pair's sensory-deprived existence . . . a novel that has huge summer hit written all over it.' --Metro - Fiction of the Week

'Room and its contents take on their own character in this haunting and compelling novel.' --Woman & Home

'Totally unique and intriguing. It kept us utterly hooked.' --Cosmopolitan

`I've never read a more heart-bustlingly, gut wrenchingly compassionate novel . . . As for sweet, bright, funny Jack, I wanted to scoop him up out of the novel and never let him go. In him, Donoghue has created 21st-century fiction's most uniquely loveable voice. She deserves to win this year's Man Booker Prize.' --Daily Mail

`Riveting, funny, inventive, moving...an extraordinary novel and deserves its place among the books of the year.' --The Lady

`In filling this book with things that are both truly horrific and rather lovely, Emma Donoghue has achieved a work that is deeply unsettling on every level. It is a strange paradox that a book about imprisonment and torture should have become an arena for discussing the proper care and love of children. I think I am glad to have read it.' --Financial Times

`What saves this beautifully nuanced book from being in any way a voyeuristic reaction to true crime is less the descriptions of captivity than the inevitably changing nature of the child / parent relationship, which Donoghue explores here so minutely, recognisably and exultantly.' --Sunday Telegraph

'Although Room is entirely told from Jack's viewpoint, we learn much about Ma. As in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, we see how the love of a child in adversity can make a hero of an ordinary person...[an] intense and absorbing novel...So closely has Emma Donoghue made us identify with her characters that, through Jack's eyes, we can see our own world made new.' --Literary Review

'Room is a fascinating, engagingly written account of a child-parent relationship. Wider implications are that human beings need room of their own to remain true to themselves.' --Methodist Recorder

'Room ... has a way of turning difficult material into something life-enhancing, almost funny, but always engaging.' --Colm Toibin, Irish Times

'Booker-nominated novels rarely find their way on to my favourite lists, because I sometimes feel they're too clever for their own good, but Emma Donoghue's Room tackles a difficult and emotive subject in a truly brilliant way. The voice of the five-year-old narrator is superbly done.' --Sheila O'Flanagan, Irish Times

'Peppered with such moments of love and poignancy between Jack and his mother as to be almost uplifting.' --Glamour

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: 844 KB
  • Print Length: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (24 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003X27L9U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 2,305 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,460 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected more from this book given the great reviews. The narration by 5 year old jack I found tedious. Although it worked in giving a naive childlike view of the experience I would really have been more interested in the viewpoint of the mother. I don't feel the child narrator really relayed the seriousness of the situation they found themselves in. There also isn't much of a story. The start is an interesting set up to their life in room, the most interesting bit happens in the middle but after that absolutely nothing happens. It took me weeks to finish reading it as I just lost interest. If you like a story with a good meaty plot this isn't for you
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading this book last year and gave up because I had other commitments. Now that I have read the whole thing I wish I had put this book first rather than others.

Imagine living your whole life thinking one thing, then finding out that everything you learned was a lie. Imagine having to totally relearn everything from scratch, while still having all the memories from the last 5 years to work through. Imagine not trusting anyone apart from your mother, being suspicious of everything and everyone. That may just scratch the surface of what is contained within the pages of this story.

The author manages to get inside the head of a 5 year old boy extremely well in this book. But she goes much further in that she gets inside the head of a 5 year old boy with very limited knowledge of life and day to day living outside of a small shed. The way she describes life through his eyes is spot on, and she continues it throughout the book.

The style of writing does make for difficult reading to begin with, but once you get used to it the story flows very well.
There are some hard points in the story, especially during the second half of the book. But everything throughout is written extremely well.

This is a book which everyone should read, I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author tells this story through the child character’s psychology, which is brave but won’t appeal to all. Myself, I’d just finished On the Edge of the Loch, a wonderful adult psychological novel, so I wasn’t ready for this novel’s baby talk reciting the events.
The child is so cute and smart, but a five year’s voice can be trying, I yearned for an adult perspective, which eventually came.
However, I would not argue, as some here have done, with how ‘real’ the young boy sounds. To me, this was handled very well, we know children differ, five year olds particularly, there’s no ‘norm’, thankfully, and to expect one is naive.
Over all, I found this a courageous and interesting novel. For fans of psychological novels, I’d suggest reading On the Edge of the Loch first, then this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book tells the story of a woman who was abducted, and held captive for years in a converted shed in her captor's back garden. The story is narrated by her five year old son Jack, who is a product of her repeated rape, and who has only ever known life in captivity.

The reviews I'd read for this Richard and Judy recommended book had been gushing. After finishing it I'm left wondering why? Yes it was an ok read, but nothing out of this world. In fact by the middle of the book I confess to beginning to get very bored by it all. Endless descriptions of how Jack and his mum fill their days in confinement, especially narrated by Jack in naive childspeak, are inevitably going to be boring? After all nothing very exciting CAN happen can it! Maybe the length of this first section is a device by Emma Donoghue to emphasise the tedium of solitary confinement then? Anyway, thank goodness for a bit of excitement in the middle of the book when Plan B to escape from Room plays out. I was on the edge of my seat and was rooting for Jack all the way, so Donoghue must have done something right in filling out her characters and making the reader empathise with them.

Unfortunately after escaping, the book dulls down again. There isn't enough made of Jack's wonder at the outside world. There is also much of interest missing from this book, because Donoghue chose to narrate the story through Jack. As adult readers we might be more interested in the mother's point of view? What was it like to suddenly lose freedom having once had it? What effect does repeated rape have on you? What causes someone to attempt suicide after escaping such trauma? All of these questions have to remain unanswered for us here, because Jack, being a child who has only known confinement, has no insight into these things. For this reason maybe a dual viewpoint narration might have been more successful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and 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, 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.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another
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