Room – Emma Donoghue


7937843Room by Emma Donoghue

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: September 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: EXTREMELY Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mother & Child Relationship, Kidnapping, Survival, Struggle


BLURB:

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world… Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience – and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work. Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

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You know how sometimes you struggle reading thick classic novels?

Well next time you read Moby Dick, consider yourself lucky it isn’t Room, because this is the #1 most gruelling story I’ve ever (willingly or unwillingly) read.

I know the narrator is five years old, so I shouldn’t hold it against him that he’s constantly distracted and rarely focuses on the important stuff (like the kidnapping part), but the truth is, there’s a reason why five-year-olds don’t publish books.

Clearly this is a success, and the average rating is actually very high, considering how bad the writing is. I think the story is poignant and indeed deserved to be told, but not from the 1st person POV of a child.

I managed to read more than half of it, and when I did reach the halfway point I became so happy I was closer to the end, but then I realized that I should never feel this way reading a book for pleasure.

This book brought me no pleasure whatsoever. You want to be entertained and be kept on your toes? Read Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, or anything else, really. Hell, read a classic! At this point, I don’t care what it is I read next as long as it’s not this book’s twin.

Am I disappointed in myself that I wasn’t able to finish it? No because I think it’s very much okay to want to put a book down when said book is giving you a headache.

I know what I like, and I know what I need, and this is not it. Goodbye, Jack. Maybe we’ll find each other again when you’re twenty instead of five. Also, I hope you’d have stopped talking about your ‘‘silly penis’’ that always stands up in the morning by then. Or is that too hard?

Couldn’t resist.

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6 thoughts on “Room – Emma Donoghue

  1. I have the exact same feelings about this book! I couldn’t finish it either. It was disappointing because, as you said, generally the ratings had been quite good and the movie was a bit of a hit I think. I just couldn’t ger=t into it.
    Great post though 🙂
    Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man, I have this book, but haven’t read it. I didn’t realize the narrator was a 5 year old.

    I appreciate your honest review! I don’t think this book is going to be for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree with you. I was so surprised how bad Room was after seeing such high ratings. After finishing the book, I tend to think of Room as an experiment gone wrong. Sure, it sounds like a good idea to write a book from the perspective of a five-year-old who has never seen the outside world. But that’s also the problem, the child doesn’t have enough knowledge about the world around him to narrate the story. Maybe if the author would have made Jack a few years older, Room would have been a bit better. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I understand why you didn’t like it. It’s not for everyone but I like that a 5 year old is narrating it. I think that’s exactly why I like this book. I like it when authors experiment with their format or narration. I loved the playfulness of the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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