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Room Library Binding – 18 May 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,320 customer reviews

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Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
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Product details

  • Library Binding: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books; Turtleback School & Library ed. edition (18 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606265058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606265058
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,320 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,117,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"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, author of "The Pilot's Wife" and "A Change in Altitude"

"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" and "Her Fearful Symmetry"

"Powerful.... Seen entirely through Jack's eyes and childlike perceptions, the developments in this novel--there are enough plot twists to provide a dramatic arc of breathtaking suspense--are astonishing.... Donoghue brilliantly portrays the psyche of a child raised in captivity...will keep readers rapt."-- Publishers Weekly

""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, author of "The Hours" and "By Nightfall"

"remarkable.... Jack's voice is one of the pure triumphs of the novel: in him, she has invented a child narrator who is one of the most engaging in years - his voice so pervasive I could hear him chatting away during the day when I wasn't reading the book.... 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 New York Times Book Review "Aimee Bender "

"a bravura performance"-- ELLE

"a novel so disturbing that we defy you to stop thinking about it, days later"-- O Magazine "Sara Nelson "

"a riveting, powerful novel.... Donoghue's inventive storytelling is flawless and absorbing. She has a fantastic ability to build tension in scenes where most of the action takes place in the 12-by-12 room where her central characters reside. Her writing has pulse-pounding sequences that cause the reader's eyes to race over the pages to find out what happens next.... Room is likely to haunt readers for days, if not longer. It is, hands down, one of the best books of the year."-- The Boston Globe "Liz Raftery "

"one of the most affecting and subtly profound novels of the year"-- The Washington Post "Ron Charles "

"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 "

Book Description

The story of a mother, her son, a locked room and the outside world. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Filmed as a major motion picture, directed by Lenny Abrahamson. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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
As an author, myself, I found Emma Donaghue's novel, Room intriguing. It was the choice made by the Book Club I lead and, without exception when we met to discuss it, we agreed that we had thoroughly enjoyed the book! Nevertheless, at least two of us admitted to having reached a point when we'd seriously wondered where the book was going, and nearly gave up reading. Fortunately, we were saved in the nick of time by a plot development and a change in tempo.
AN ENGAGING MAIN CHARACTER
Writing from the Point of View of a five year old boy, Jack, the author, Emma Donaghue, shows remarkable observation. An engaging and endearing child, it soon becomes apparent that Jack is either very knowledgeable, or of above average intelligence. With only two characters on page for the first half of the book, you might think that dialogue would be lacking - but you'd be wrong.
WRITING BRILLIANT DIALOGUE
With a narrative that includes Jack's observation of some ants which: "Ma splatted . . . so they wouldn't eat our food. One minute they were alive and the next minute they were dirt," and his reaction: "I cried so my eyes nearly melted off," who could fail to be charmed. Emma Donaghue's perception of a five-year old's thought and speech patterns was excelled only by her writing techniques. In all, a great choice.
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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
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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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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