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Room Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 30 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Deckle Edge, Aug 30 2010
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; 1st Edition edition (Aug. 30 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554688310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554688319
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Quill & Quire

Emma Donoghue steps outside of her comfort zone with Room, her new novel. The Irish-born novelist, who now makes her home in London, Ontario, is known primarily for her richly detailed historical fiction (such as 2000’s Slammerkin) and stories exploring lesbian relationships. Her latest effort is quite a departure, and it seems to be working: the book garnered a spot on the Man Booker Prize shortlist.   

The plot bears resemblance to the horrific true events surrounding Austrian Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter imprisoned in a soundproof bunker in his basement for 24 years, fathering seven children by her. Rather than having the imprisoned woman tell her story, Donoghue places the narrative in the hands of a child born into a 12’ x 12’ room, the only home he’s ever known.

As a narrator, five-year-old Jack is tremendously enticing. His mother, kidnapped seven years earlier while walking through her college campus at age 19, has created a world for her son that is rich in play and learning, all the while anticipating the day they might make their “great escape.” This environment has provided Jack with an impressive vocabulary, though his advanced learning is juxtaposed with the natural innocence and bewilderment of a small child. The result is a story told through a child’s eyes, but in language that is endearing rather than tiresome.

The pace and plot of the story are both pitch perfect, though after the climax midway through the book, the reader may wonder what could be left to say. A great deal, it turns out, as Jack faces a whole new world of unfamiliarity and fear. Earnest and bright, he is remarkably adaptable, and provides commentary that is lushly intricate.

The character of Ma, while not the main voice, is nevertheless whole. Donoghue employs Jack’s descriptions of her moods, conversations, and thoughts to paint a picture of a woman struggling to keep it together for the sake of her child, while also fighting to become the person she once was and might be again, if circumstances allow.

Room is disturbing, thrilling, and emotionally compelling. Emma Donoghue has produced a novel that is sure to stay in the minds of readers for years to come.

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 ()

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the basic concept of this book. The book somewhat focused on Jack's mom doing the best that she could teaching Jack in the confines of "Room". I think this happened, but Jack's extensive vocabulary alternating with his younger than a five year old speech was confusing. I just didn't get it. Also, without giving too much away I was a little disturbed by the author's focus on the left breast being "creamy" & "yum". Far too much time spent describing this. Other than that I did enjoy the book.
One other thing that I found distracting was that two separate people would be speaking in the same paragraph. I was taught in school that this doesn't happen & is grammatically incorrect and I am not making a living writing books.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Told from the perspective of a 5 year old, this book was a page turner. I thought it might drag but it did not! I found myself thinking of the 2 main characters when I wasn't reading. Would highly recommend. I haven't seen the movie yet but I will!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very gripping story told by a 5 yr. old boy talking about the only world he knows - living with his mom as captives of a psychotic man for all of his life in one small room, a garden shed. Interesting to hear what his thoughts and perspective were of his surroundings and his daily life. Not understanding that they were prisoners, he enjoyed himself and was happy, thanks to the love and determination of his mother. She devoted all her energy teaching him language, math, science, etc. and made sure they exercised routinely. I found it hard to put the book down, hoping that she would finally figure out how to get them out of there safely. The last part of the book seemed to go too fast though, as if the author needed to finally end the story and she moved the plot along quickly. But all in all it was a very interesting read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mehhh - really really too long, dull and difficult to get through - not because of the subject matter but because it was written in a manner that grates on and eventually loses the reader. I skipped over very large parts of this story and was really sorry I bothered to even start the book. Can not believe the awards won by this or that anyone went to the trouble of making a movie based on this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 thought processes, the story is a good one.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book wrecked me. I don't read very often, but I finished this book in 3 days. I could not get enough. I fell in love with Jack, and the relationship he has with his Ma, right away. Emma Donoghue did a fantastic job at using Jack's five year old voice as the narration, without dumbing it down. Absolute genius. I don't know how she got into the mind of a 5 year old that has never experienced the outside world, but she did. An outstanding page turner.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a book that stays with you for years after. The book is told through Jacks Character which looks at a horrible situation with an innocent film. Emma Donoghue does a great job at telling the story without putting importance on Nick. This is a must read for anyone who likes a through provoking book.
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