Customer Reviews


109 Reviews
5 star:
 (69)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `We're like people in a book, and he won't let anybody else read it.'
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...
Published on Sept. 2 2010 by Jennifer Cameron-Smith

versus
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Moments
I bought this book first because of the hype surrounding it.

During the first chapter I stopped and wondered if I could or even wanted to continue reading. The voice of the boy(Jack) annoyed me the way he spoke in broken sentences and I know from my own experiences that kids at that age do not speak like that. Still, the writing itself was ok and kept me...
Published on Dec 24 2010 by A Customer


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `We're like people in a book, and he won't let anybody else read it.', Sept. 2 2010
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Room (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great, Sept. 28 2010
By 
Nicola Manning-Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Room (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. I really enjoyed the introduction of Grandpa Leo, Steppa. He was the most real character in the whole book. I often found myself annoyed while reading the book. The child's narrative just didn't win me over. I didn't hate it but it felt detached somehow and thus I felt detached from the characters. I never had any great emotional response to the boy and his mother, which I *really* wanted to have. None of the other characters were fully developed, even Steppa , but he at least had the behaviour of a real person and came to life for me.

As you can see I had problems with the book, while appreciating it. Now that I've finished it, my immediate response is "Yeah, it was good." I wouldn't grab people and say you *must* read this book, but if anyone asked me I'd recommend it with my reservations as noted above. I may feel differently about my rating a month (a year) from now but it's been 6 days since I've written this review and I still feel the same way. Very well written, but only good, not great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six star read, Sept. 20 2010
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Room (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Sitting, Nov. 20 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Room (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read From an Interesting Perspective, Nov. 1 2013
By 
SIKBookReviewer - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Room (Hardcover)
Room was definitely a good read. It was interesting, unique, and terrifying to think that these things actually happen. The story is told in first person narration from the point of view of a five-year-old boy named Jack. I found it a bit difficult to read at first due to the fact that it was told from a child's perspective. Well, not difficult per se, just different and caused me to read a bit slower than normal at first. But, like any book with a different writing style, you get used to it and are able to enjoy the story. And in this case, come to appreciate the writing.

Donoghue did a great job with Jack's voice. He definitely talks and thinks how a little kid would. But she did it in a way that it's not painful or annoying to read. It's quite enjoyable.

It's interesting thinking about all the things Jack wouldn't be familiar with or know about or understand. He's never been outside of that room, never experienced normal life. I thought that Donoghue did a good job of realizing all the things Jack wouldn't get, even the less obvious ones. I found myself forgetting until Jack would be confused by something so simple. I think this story would be very difficult to write for that reason, let alone the narration.

I have many other thoughts on the story, but I don't want to say any of them due to spoilers. So, I think I'll just end my review here and you'll just have to read it yourself!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable. Must read., Oct. 7 2013
By 
Miriam (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Room (Hardcover)
This is a Brilliantly written touching story. One of those books that you will not forget easily. But that will left you rather optimistic and hopeful, despite the deep of the subject. This is a book I will not only suggest, but a book that you MUST READ.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, Aug. 2 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Room (Paperback)
This book totally captivated me and I couldn't put it down until it was finished. I have so much appreciation for the author who wrote the entire story from the point of view of a 5 year old, and did a very believable job doing it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Moments, Dec 24 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Room (Hardcover)
I bought this book first because of the hype surrounding it.

During the first chapter I stopped and wondered if I could or even wanted to continue reading. The voice of the boy(Jack) annoyed me the way he spoke in broken sentences and I know from my own experiences that kids at that age do not speak like that. Still, the writing itself was ok and kept me reading on with the promise that it would get better.

Midway the storyline kicked up a bit but in the end I still didn't come away with the feeling that it was much of anything. This is a book that I could have easily skipped. Still, it must hold something since so many readers are raving about it. However, I'm not one of them.

I give it 3 stars for effort but I certainly don't think it lived up to all the hype.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars ROOM, April 21 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Room (Kindle Edition)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Room, March 28 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Room (Paperback)
Heartrending and heartwarming tale written from the boys perspective. I love how his mother made the best of their hostage situation for her son. It broke my heart but also inspires courage. I couldn't put it down. It will make you cry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 211 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Room
Room by Emma Donoghue (Hardcover - Aug. 30 2010)
CDN$ 29.99 CDN$ 18.80
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews