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Room Paperback – May 18, 2011
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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue's Room is rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enter Room will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time. --Lynette Mong
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Five-year-old Jack and his Ma live and eat and play and sleep in one room--an 11×11-foot space that is their prison--captives of the terrifying man Jack calls Old Nick. But as Jack grows older and more curious, it becomes clear that the room will not be able to hold him and Ma forever. Michal Friedman shines as Jack; her narration is haunting and compelling in its every inflection and tone. The voice she creates for Jack is so convincing, listeners may even mistake her for an actual child. Her powerful performance is complemented by Robert Petcoff's sinister Old Nick, and Ellen Archer's portrayal of resourceful Ma, whose gentle voice is infused with patience, terror, and hope. The chemistry between the players creates a gem of an audiobook that will haunt listeners long after the story's end. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, July 12). (Sept.)
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This story is heavy, intense, and remarkable. It tells the story of 5 year old Jack and his Ma, who are trapped inside of an 11x11 ft room. It is told in Jack's point of view, and how he is learning about the world outside, which he doesn't believe is real.
There is so much more detail that I could go into for a summary of this amazing novel, but I don't want to give anything away. I read ROOM over a course of two days, staying up very late at night to finish the last couple of pages. ROOM is now my favorite book of all time, and if you are wanting to read an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that deals with a heavy topic, ROOM is definitely the one for you
WARNINGS: This book deals with kidnapping, sexual assault, and depression. Foul language and mature themes are explicitly used throughout this novel
"Room" is a book that dealing with deeply disturbing subject matter. However, Donohue tackles the topic in a delicate but perversely realistic way. As such, you feel compelled to continue reading rather than being repulsed. Sure, there are enough times in the novel that you'll be disgusted, angry and uncomfortable, left emotionally raw, hoping the scars will eventually heal. Ultimately, Donohue helps the reader overcome these emotions through the choice of the 5 year old narrator, Jack. His innocence as well as bond with "Ma", his mother, and her unconditional love for him, as well as desire to protect him from the reality of their situation in clever ways, is enough to for you to carry on reading.
It is always wonderful to encounter a book that is utterly unique and original. Reading "Room" is like encountering that first-time situation life --- you've heard and read about it, but you don't know what to do and are mesmerized being in the moment, unsure how it'll eventually unfold. The result is that "Room" will leave an indelible mark on you, haunting and touching you in ways only the rare book and author have the capacity accomplish. With this book, Emma Donohue has demonstrated she is such an author.
An incredibly heart wrenching story as told by a 5 year old boy, which makes the story even more touching and, even though its a very dark subject matter: innocent. How this little boy and his incredibly resourceful and strong mother cope with one of the most unimaginable situations one could ever be in in nothing less than heroic.
When I review a book I don't like to recap what the book is about: you can read that on the back. I like to detail what I found fascinating, page turning, dull or reason for putting the book down and never picking it up again.
I read this book in a couple days, it was so engrossing and the characters so utterly real. The fact that this story is told from a 5 year old's perspective gives it a depth and sweetness that off sets the horrific environment he and his mother have to endure and the deeply depressing and terrifying situation they are forced into. His imagination, her ingenuity and their amazing love for one another is what gets both through something that would break even the strongest soul. What an incredibly brilliant way to approach such a dark and terrifying plot: thoroughly impressive. His beautiful little mind makes a cell and every little nook and cranny of it into something to explore, something to learn from.
I would recommend this book to anyone (adult of course due to the subject matter). Its so masterfully written and the main characters so lovingly connected that it will make you cry and smile from one page to the next. Brilliant, masterful and a testament to the fortitude of the human spirit as well as the connection between mother and child.