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Michelle

Room by Emma Donoghue

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If you're looking through reviews of Room, wondering whether or not to try it, my advice would be to stop looking, and experience the book without any preconceptions.

 

I knew the basic premise, of a 5 year old boy's view of his captive life in a small room, and that was all. Once I started, I found the book very hard to put down. Jack's view of his world is so well done, and as others have said, I now miss his thoughts and his voice.

 

So go on, stop reading the reviews, and move on to the book! :)

 

For those who would like to know a little more...

Room opens on Jack's fifth birthday. His mother, who he calls Ma, was kidnapped seven years ago, and has been held captive in a small room ever since. It is therefore all that Jack knows.

 

His voice is one of innocence, so as we learn more about their situation, and his mother's experiences, it's told in a simple way - which somehow makes it more heartbreaking.

 

The second half of the book is told after they manage to escape, and as you would expect, they both have difficulty adapting. Some reviewers have said that they would have liked to have heard Ma's side of the story during this second half. I wouldn't have wanted to lose Jack's voice, but Ma's may have added something. Because, that's my only real criticism of the book, that the second half seems to go on just a tiny bit too long. I personally wanted more of their life together, before the escape - of Ma's love and patience, and of Jack's innocent views. However, adding Ma's voice to the second half may also have been a solution.

 

 

This isn't however, enough to distract from a fascinating book. Despite the subject matter, it's actually a warm, uplifting story. You can't help but fall in love with them both, and it's a story that won't leave me for some time.

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Wow! This sounds really good. I'm going to add to my wishlist. Michelle, your so right about reading a book without preconceptions or even knowing much of a plot. That's the way I prefer to read most of my books.

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Weird. I've never seen it in anything other than paperback here, and I bought my copy weeks ago. It was the same with Breaking Dawn - I never saw it in hardback here, but it was in paperback here for months before the UK got it.

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My copy is an advanced reading copy, and it says to be published August 2010. Maybe, for some reason, it went straight to hardback in the UK, but paperback in Ireland? What a strange thing if so.

 

Added: According to amazon, both editions were released July this year. Strangely, they are both priced the same.. the hardback has been reduced, but not the paperback!

Edited by Michelle

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This book actually sounds really good. I saw my friends mum reading it a couple of days ago and she looked really into it. I am going to have to pick up a copy when I can.

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I'm so glad I spotted this review Michelle, I was looking at Room in the shop the other day and ummed and ahhed over it, now I've seen your recommendation I'll be sure to buy it. Thanks. :)

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Well I am sorry to say I just couldn't get in to this book at all, maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it. I didn't like the writing style, but I may give it another go in a few months time.

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Aw I'm sorry to hear that Alison10. I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up again, I thought it was great. :wink:

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I stumbled across this book by accident on Amazon,liked the sound of it and bought it today in WHSmiths. Looking forward to Winter evening read.

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I finished Room yesterday. It only took me a couple of days of reading.

 

I really enjoyed the first person perspective of Jack. However I will admit it became a little tiresome in the second half as I wanted to know more about what the other characters were thinking /feeling.

 

My favourite character was Steppa. Particularly the lego scene.

 

Overall, I would say this was an engaging read however I wouldn't say it was enjoyable just due to the traumatic subject matter. However, I think it was a valuable book for me to read because of the uneasy feeling it leaves me with. I generally think of myself as being quite tough and maybe a little bit devoid of feelings at times. I know sad things are happening in my life but I can't really feel it. Then I wonder if I am actually capable of feeling sad. However, lately I have been reading outside my comfort zone and think maybe I am actually really really sensitive and just avoiding all the bad feelings. That's kind of nice to know.

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Oh. My. Gods! It’s rare I come across such a wholly engrossing novel as this – I literally couldn’t put it down and read late into the night till I was so tired I was falling asleep and physically unable to continue – I still fought the exhaustion and tried to continue! It’s so beautifully written – utterly claustrophobic and poignant. The twist of having the tale told by a five-year-old boy who believes Room (which is 11-square-feet) is the entire world is very clever, and the way things unfold make it a refreshing when told from his perspective. I honestly cannot recommend this novel highly enough, and in the wake of such cases as Franz Polzer holding his own daughter captive for 24 years, it’s terrifyingly real. Read it. Read it right now!

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Wow Kell that's quite a review, esp from a readaholic like yourself. I had downloaded the sample a while ago, and although intiguinging, did not download the book at the time. I have just rectified that :)

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I read 'Room' a few weeks ago, here is my review ~

 

'Room' is the story of Jack and his Ma, and where they live, a place called Room, Jack was born there and does not know anything else, his Ma is his whole world and Jack is his Ma's whole world. Ma tries to make things as normal as possible for Jack, he plays with his friends, who are cartoon characters on TV, he learns from his cartoon friends and his Ma and every night he sleeps in Wardrobe waiting for the door to Room to go 'beep beep' and open with the arrival of Old Nick, who Jack has never see up close because his Ma forbids it. Jack's world changes when his Ma tells Jack about 'Outside', what he can see when he looks out of 'Skylight' and Ma's plan to leave 'Room' forever.

 

What I thought of 'Room' ~

 

There has been endless positive reviews about 'Room' and I am going to add to them with another positive review, 'Room' is nothing short of brilliance, Emma Donoghue's has created one of the most insightful, whimsical, intelligent and endearing characters in five year old Jack. 'Room' is told from his point of view, everything in his world has order, he understands it, he has his Ma with him and that is all he needs. The character of Jack's Ma is well written, a woman raising her son in the strangest of circumstances, keeping his safe, teaching him as much as she can, her concerns as Jack gets older and what she should do to make sure they both get the lives they deserve, Jack and his Ma' strength as a family unit shines through, they are fiercely protective of each other.

 

Jack's individual look at the world shines through too, which will make you laugh and cry, you will feel for Jack and Ma, their fight to have normality in their lives is inspirational.

 

'Room' is well researched and without giving too much away, it explores all aspects of what Ma and Jack go through, you feel for both of them because they do not deserve their past and you feel positive for them for their future.

 

'Room' is a book that will stay with you, I guarantee Jack and his Ma will be in your thoughts from time to time.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Rating ~ 10/10

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I've also just read this and it was mind-blowing, I'd recommend it to anyone. And thanks everyone who've been reading this book and writing your reviews on it on either here or your reading blogs, I wouldn't have found out about this book without you :hug:

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This has become my favourite book.

 

I felt like I was there. I felt sorry for his Ma.

 

Do you think they might this book in to a film?

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I think it would be very difficult to make into a very good film because there are certain elements I think Hollywood would feel they had to cut which are, in my opinion, integral to the plot - things like the continued breastfeeding, which would be difficult to film with an actual 5-y-o, or even a young actor slightly older than that. People tend t obe wiggged out enough by breastfeeding (which is a shame) without seeing long-term nursing in films. If they cut that out, it would change a large part of the relationship dynamics between Ma and jack, and how their relationship is viewed in the outside world.

 

That said, I would love to see them try, so long as they were true to the story.

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It was something we discussed at the book club. They view was it might to big a role for a child to play.

 

I actuallly miss Jack.

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