SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2010 MAN BOOKER PRIZESHORTLISTED FOR THE 2011 ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTIONJack is five.
He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key. Jack and Ma are prisoners.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 07/01/2011
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780330519021
Showing 1 - 5 of 15 reviews.
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Review by girlsgonereading
Room is, in my opinion, one of the best books of the year. Difficult to read, it grabs a hold of you while making contemplate almost everything you do as person who is a part of the world.The best part of this novel is the phenomenoal use of the narrator. Jack speaks to us just like any five year old would. In the very beginning, Jack explains that now he is five, next year he will be six, then seven. When he did this I heard my daughter’s voice, and I knew that Donoghue had done something amazing. She had regained childhood for all of us, and she had put us firmly inside his mind.I found the Ma character especially disturbing because of the excellent narrator. Unlike a lot of parents in fiction, Ma loves her son. She, in the beginning, does everything for Jack. But as the plot of the novel changes, I began to feel anger towards her as well. I am positive that this is a result of the narrator. Hearing the young boy’s voice in my head, made it my own. And although our lives are very different, I envisioned clearly how my daughter must feel when I can’t/won’t play, when she feels pushed aside, when grown up things take over.Fortunately the graphic elements of the book are hidden from Jack, and thus they are hidden from us. Truly the part that I felt was the most disturbing was that Ma still breast feed Jack at five. Donoghue focused on the characters in this experience, not the violence, and I was thrilled she made this choice. Ma and Jack were both wonderful, amazing characters.If you haven’t read Room yet you should. I guarantee it is not a book that you will ever forget.
Review by herschelian
For some reason I resisted reading this book - I had a vague idea of the subject matter, and knew it was on the Booker short-list 2010, but it just didn't appeal. However at the airport en route to Beijing it was a 'Buy one get one half price offer', and there was a book I did want so I bought it. I am so glad I did. The book is an extraordinary piece of imaginative writing - starting from a point which most of us have read about in the press over the years - a man who imprisons a young woman and treats her as his sex slave and in the process fathering a child who is also brought up in captivity, deprived of all but the most basic of needs. Room is told from the point of view of Jack, the five year old child who lives in confinement with his Ma (we never even know her real name). Jack is an intelligent child, and thanks to his mother's brilliant strategies is literate and articulate. However the circumstances of their life together have made him almost autistic. The book divides into three distinct parts, all narrated by Jack. There is life inside Room, escape from Room, and life outside Room.Like almost every other reviewer, once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I was horrified, frightened, despairing, hopeful, anxious and uplifted by turns - but most of all, I was thoughtful. The story that Emma Donoghue has written will live on in my mind, and there will be more questions than answers. This would be a terrific Bookclub choice.
Review by beth1980
It took me a while to get into this book due to the fact that it was narrated from the point of view of a five year old but found it an excellent and at points quite harrowing read. Very deserving of the Booker nomination.
Review by Milda-TX
Creepy-good book about a kidnapped teenager held captive for years with her child. Told by the 5-yr-old so sometimes annoying. Disturbing, so not recommended for everyone, but a pretty powerful mom story.
Review by abbylibrarian
Room is all Jack knows. He was born in Room. He's never left Room. But when Jack turns five, his Ma tells him the truth: she was kidnapped and has been trapped in this room for seven years. Now it's time to try to escape. I can see why so many people are talking about this book. It's intense and unique. I felt like the pacing was a little uneven, but there were certain parts that seriously had me on the edge of my seat and I read the majority of the book in one day. It's interesting to take a ripped-from-the-headlines story and not only see it from an insider's perspective, but a 5-year-old insider's perspective.
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