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Room [Audio CD]

Emma Donoghue
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Deckle Edge CDN $18.80  
Paperback CDN $14.59  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $10.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $16.05  
Audio, CD, March 9 2010 --  
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Jack is the narrator of `Room'. Jack is excited by his fifth birthday, is curious about the world and full of energy. But Jack's physical world is contained within an 11 by 11 foot space called Room where he and his Ma live. This is Jack's world: the room and its contents, and his mother. Because we are viewing this world through Jack's eyes, we are protected in part from his mother's awful reality. Jack recounts what he sees and experiences and the reader knows the situation that Jack and his Ma are in. But Jack does not: this is his life and this is the only world he knows.

In Jack's world, he has songs and stories. He has a snake made from egg shells, and a maze made from toilet roll inserts. He has the unreal world of television which he sometimes watches in unlimited amounts when Ma doesn't get out of bed. For Jack, these are the days `when Ma is gone'.

One day Ma tells Jack that there is a world outside Room. And this becomes the beginning of another story, one which is best read uninfluenced by reviews and story synopses.

I added this book to my reading list because it is on the Man Booker 2010 longlist. I had some misgivings about reading it given the subject matter but once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I would have found it unbearable if it was written from the perspective of Ma. Our view, through Jack's eyes, is more focussed on the relationship between son and mother than on the situation itself. The book ends, but the story isn't over.

It's like a crater, a hole where something happened.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great Sept. 28 2010
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Reason for Reading: With this subject matter, who is *not* wanting to read this book?

A 26 year old woman has been kidnapped and held captive in a soundproof, escape-proof 11 x 11 foot Room for 7 years. She has a five year old son, Jack. She cares for him fiercely and has created a world for him out of that Room, giving him everything she possibly can that he needs to grow properly, physically and emotionally. They do daily exercises, she teaches him, etc. This is their story, of their day-to-day life, their escape and how they cope on the Outside. A truly fascinating story to start with is only topped by the fact that it is told in the first person narrative of five year old Jack.

I'm going to start by saying this is a hard review for me to write. I agonized over my rating. There is not doubt that Room is a wonderful piece of writing. The subject matter is enticing and the reality of the situation has been explored to such detail that one is amazed the author could have thought of some things without having actually experienced captivity herself. The book is divided into distinct sections, each one focusing intensely on a certain stage of Jack and Ma's story. Donoghue has managed to write about a horrific situation without ever actually putting in print any scenes that show the obvious s*xual violence that was perpetrated. In the hands of a lesser author this could have become a much more graphic story thus losing Ms. Donoghue's perceptive touch. The book reads fast, is compelling and is tremendously well written.

So why is this review hard to write? I didn't love the book. Yes, it was good. Good enough to keep me reading, and reading quickly too. The second half was better than the first, as in enjoying the story and the characters.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six star read Sept. 20 2010
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Where to start?! This is one of the best books of the year for me. I really love Emma Donoghue's writing, but was a little afraid of Room. The subject matter seemed a little frightening and I wasn't sure I wanted to venture inside. I am soooo glad I read it.

Room is the story of Jack and his Ma. Jack has just turned 5 when the book opens. Room is where Jack and Ma live. The world is 11' by 11' to Jack - that's the size of the room his mother has been imprisoned in since she was kidnapped seven years ago - and where Jack was born.

The day to day life, routines, games and learning Ma has developed to raise an imaginative, intelligent, happy little boy under seemingly overwhelming circumstances were simply amazing. The relationship between mother and child had me in tears - it was unbelievably poignant. The book is told in Jack's voice. And what a voice Donoghue has created! Jack's view of his 'world' is by turns heartbreaking, funny, frightening yet joyful and optimistic. Just think - this little boy does not realize that there is a world outside of their space. space.

It is when Jack turns five, that Ma fears the room is getting too small and that time is running out....

I've tried many times to put my thoughts into words for this review and have come up short every time. All I can say is it's a book you want to read. A gut wrenching, emotional, terrifying, addicting, hopeful, satisfying read that you won't be able to put down. Really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Sitting Nov. 20 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read most of this book in one sitting. It haunted and entertained me. As a writer, I was fascinated by the narration, the memorable anecdotes, and the plot. I will study the narrative drive of this book because I really couldn't put it down. This book reminded me that really good novels typically only have a few strong characters. As a mother, I was moved and inspired by the main character's approach to raising Jack. If you are in a reading slump, and you need something to get you back to books, read Room. You'll have no idea what to read next.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book. Keeps you wanting to read it
Very good book. Keeps you wanting to read it. So sad to see how hard it was for Jack to come into the real world. Get to know your neighbours and find out what they are hiding. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Cheryl HOrrigan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Well written, believable with sadness and hope.
Published 1 month ago by Candace Brochmann
3.0 out of 5 stars the story is a good one.
Inconsistent use of language that is supposedly the child's story from that perspective. If you are not put off by the writer's lack of knowledge on 4 - 5 year old speech and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deanie L. Kolybabi
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great concept and well written - just way too disturbing for me to enjoy it.
Published 2 months ago by ZoeKegan
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a novel as I see novels.
Easy to digest, but a strange unfulfilling feeling afterward. I liked the novel and its conceptual messages but it wasn't to me a novel - it was more a philosophizing phantasy of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Waymark, Graeme
5.0 out of 5 stars superb
Really interesting concept and execution. The story is told from the perspective of the five year old boy in the story and the author pulls this off wonderfully. Read more
Published 2 months ago by green eggs and sam
3.0 out of 5 stars ROOM
A strange book, But you can see it happening.. To not be able to have fresh air and trapped in a box . What if you were claustrophobic.
Published 6 months ago by ELLEN M POVIN
5.0 out of 5 stars Room
Heartrending and heartwarming tale written from the boys perspective. I love how his mother made the best of their hostage situation for her son. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Barbara Chessum
4.0 out of 5 stars great book - very real
This book was very touching - could very well be a true story. Great read kept me turning the pages! I would recommend it to anyone.
Published 7 months ago by Erica
5.0 out of 5 stars Another perspective
Loved this book! Definitely was easy to get emotionally connected to the narrator. Didn't want the book to end. Great perspective.
Published 7 months ago by Jen1482
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