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Room

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3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  412,036 Ratings  ·  34,493 Reviews
It's Jack's birthday and he's excited about turning five. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside.
Paperback, 401 pages
Published September 13th 2010 by Picador USA
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Caitlin Vail I think it's meant to seem tedious... it helps the reader relate to some of the frustrations and limitations the mother must be feelings on a regular…moreI think it's meant to seem tedious... it helps the reader relate to some of the frustrations and limitations the mother must be feelings on a regular basis, having known a world outside Room. I say read on... (less)
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Lauren
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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j
Mar 20, 2011 j rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was all ready to hate this book. Doesn't it sound obnoxious? An adult novel about harrowing things, but narrated by a 5-year-old? Mere gimmickry, right, a showy writing experiment, likely to win praise from the easily impressed.

But I don't think I am that easily impressed, and damn, this book is kind of a stunner. Because yes, if not handled exactly right, a book narrated by a child probably would be obnoxious. I haven't read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close yet, and I might or might not
...more
TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez
Ever since its Booker nomination (it made the shortlist), Room by Irish writer Emma Donoghue has set the literary world on fire. Most people who review the book seem to love it. They talk about how riveting and suspenseful the book is and how they felt compelled to finish it in a single reading. I guess I’ll have to be one of the few dissenting voices. I really, really, really disliked Room and yes, I do have specific reasons why.

I can’t imagine anyone not knowing the basic plot of Room, but for
...more
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Such a gripping and emotional read! I'm glad I finally took the chance to pick this up and read it.
mark monday
Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, i can't believe i have to read this! argh. my colleague Michael (hopefully not a GR member) loaned this to me; clearly he knows that i am a "reader". but just as clearly he does not get that i like my books to have at least an edge of un-reality to them. you know, fantasy. horror. science fiction. historical fiction. and if not that, then just something, anything that moves them away from mainstream depictions of the modern real world. now Room looks like a snap ...more
Stephen
Healthy ambition is a laudable trait and I admire people willing to reach beyond their grasp in the attempt to achieve something special.
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I respect the author’s choice to write a dark-themed story narrated entirely from the perspective of a five year old boy. While the unreliable narrator is nothing new in literature, its deployment here felt fresh and so I give points for that.

Unfortunately, that is about all I can give points for because the novel itself was a huge miss for me. Huge!!

Obviou
...more
Wendy Darling
I've read about a lot of different crimes, in far more detail than I'd care to remember. In all the tragedies that I've read about, manmade or otherwise, no act of violence has ever made my heart wrench more than the prolonged imprisonment of a human being for sexual purposes. It's also the crime I have the most difficulty in comprehending, as I cannot imagine the amount of inhumanity it would take to capture someone and look her in the eye, day after day for years, without mercy and without pit ...more
Khanh (the Grinch)
This book was awful. Emotionless. Annoying.

Look, I get it, it's quite difficult to write from the perspective of a 5-year old as a grown up. I can hardly remember what it was like being five, and I can't even begin to write from the POV of one. I do, however, know an enjoyable story when I see it, and I know when I'm annoyed. And I know that this book annoyed me greatly.

The hallmark of any brilliant novel is the ability to make the reader empathize for the characters in the book. I want to be ab
...more
Tulpesh Patel
Sep 30, 2010 Tulpesh Patel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Based on, or ‘inspired by’ shocking cases like that of Josef Fritzl, Room is the story of a boy, Jack, born and raised with his captive mother in a 12 foot square room. Narrated by the boy himself, it’s a child’s eye view of a small world housing a great deal of imagination, pain and love.

Packed with the emotional punch and occasional humour that comes with having a child narrator, comparisons will inevitably be drawn to John Boyne’s The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas. In my opinion, Room surpass
...more
Kemper
May 25, 2011 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Hey, there Nick.”

“Uh, hello.”

“Nice day for working in the yard, isn’t it?”

“Uh, yeah. Real nice.”

“Say, that is a helluva shed you’re building there.”

“It's nothing special.”

“Oh, don’t be modest, Nick. It’s a real corker. It’s even got a skylight for some natural light. What are you going to be doing in there? A little artwork?”

“Just, you know, projects…. and stuff.”

“You got a central AC unit for it? Plus, I see you put some furniture and a fridge in there. If you were married, I’d think you were
...more
Jason
Mar 22, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, 2012, reviewed
Have you ever see that 1997 film Life Is Beautiful? No? Well, it’s about this Italian Jew who is sent to a concentration camp with his wife and son during World War II, and in order to shield his son from the horrors of war, he tells him that they are really just playing a super fun game and that everyone in the camp is a contestant. Not surprisingly, his son believes the whole thing (kids are pretty dumb, right?) and he is able to maintain this ruse right up until the Allied invasion. So, Room ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 21, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What makes up the world to five-year-old Jack, our window into life in Room? His mother for sure, a loving, very engaged 24/7 presence. Old Nick is an occasional visitor, although only glimpsed through the almost-closed doors of a wardrobe. A skylight allows Jack and Ma to see the sun, and sometimes the moon. A television offers a view on Outside, the world beyond Room. Jack and his 26-year-old mother get through their days with a strict schedule, a rich imaginative life and absolute love for ea ...more
Michelle
Nov 07, 2011 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to read about a five-year-old breastfeeding every seven pages.
Recommended to Michelle by: Yoga book club
Shelves: novels, book-club
This book didn't have a chance with me.
1. It was written from the perspective of a five-year-old boy.
2. For the first two thirds of the book the kid was annoying.
3. The mom breastfeeds the kid a lot. I counted twelve times before I stopped counting. The kid creeped me out by talking about which boob tasted better.

Why read it?
It was this month's selection for a book club I am part of. It wasn't my pick.

Why two stars rather than one?
Well, I'll be damned if I didn't start to feel sorry for the po
...more
Mith
ARGH! NO! NO! NO! IF I HAVE TO READ ONE MORE ASININE CHAPTER, WRITTEN FROM A FIVE-YEAR OLD'S POV, ON THE MUNDANE THINGS THEY DO IN THE ROOM ALL DAY, WITHOUT HAVING THE PLOT PROGRESS EVEN REMOTELY, I'LL... I'LL...







Annalisa
Jul 30, 2011 Annalisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book clubs
Wow. A book hasn't swallowed me whole like that in a long time. This one will be haunting be for awhile. I wish I could tell you what it's about, but I wish I hadn't read the back cover 30 pages or so into and changed my own perception. It's best to figure it out along with the story.

I will say that it's about a 5-year-old boy who has never left the room where he lives. His whole world is Room and Bed and Rug. It's a little jarring to read from his point of view and I was worried I wasn't going
...more
Steph
Jul 21, 2015 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel narrated by a five year old? I'm not a kid person at all so do not think you need to be a mother to appreciate this story. There is something about Jack's way of looking at Room and at Outside that is refreshing instead of irritating. It's nice to not be dragged down by all the complexities of an adult narrator for a change and I know I would have given this story less stars if it were told through his mother's eyes. This is a story that Jack needed to tell and I am very happy that he di ...more
La Petite Américaine
Room has been called "remarkable," and "sensational." It was not only shortlisted for the Booker Prize, but it was also chosen as a Favorite Book of 2010 by our fair goodreads community, proving once again that heads are up asses in of literary critics and readers everywhere.

How this book is anything but blither is beyond me.

The reality is that the plot for this book was ripped from the headlines, based on the stories of Jaycee Dugard, Natascha Kampusch, and the Fritzl family. Emma Donoghue wa
...more
karen
Jan 24, 2011 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

here's a confession:

if i voted for your review of this book before today, i had not fucking read it. oops, sorry! (upon quickfast, sherlockian investigation, i now know that only means two of you - and i read the first half of both of them before, i swear, and have now read them in their entireties) but i didn't want anything spoilt for me. i didn't want to know if the book was triumphant or devastating or funny or tragic or philosophical or melodramatic. i wanted the tone to be surprising, i wa
...more
Huda Yahya

غرفة : عندما ترى العالم بعيون طفل

في كلِّ مكانٍ في العالم
ستجد عيون طفلٍ متسعة
تتلألأ فيها الرغبة في المعرفة
وتشم فيه رائحة الخيال

الجميل والمختلف في هذه الرواية ،هي أنّها يتم سردها عبر جاك الطفل الصغير
والسؤال هو كيف يمكن لبالغٍ أن يتحمل رواية كاملة
برؤية ،وبلغة طفل
لم يرى نور الشمس لسنواته الخمس؟

هنا تكمن براعة إيما

استطاعت أن تبقينا مشدودين مع هذا الطفل الظريف بلا ملل
بل ستندهش لرؤية العالم من خلال عيونه المندهشة
فهي ليست عينا طفل عادي
بل طفلٍ لم يعرف سوى شكل الغرفة التي عاش بها
ولم يتصور عالماً غيرها


يق
...more
Deanna
Jul 27, 2015 Deanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a couple of years ago and it remains a favorite. Hearing that it's being made into a movie is intriguing. I'm always excited/anxious when this happens as I worry that it will replace some of things I loved most about the book...if that makes sense.

This book had such a hold on me that I finished it in two sittings. After I was done it was all I could think about for days and still think about quite often. Dora the Explorer was on TV as I was flipping channels the other day and I
...more
Tatiana
Nov 02, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Booker nomination
Shelves: contemporary, 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petra X
Looking back on it from a year later, I have to say it was just so unimpressive as to make me wonder how on earth it could have been up for the same prize as Salman Rushdie or this year's winner, Marlon James. It's like they're in the Wimbledon final and she's playing for the county championship.

What I liked about the book was the lightness of atmosphere, almost as if the room was painted white and let sunlight in. It was, I suppose a reflection of the way the mother tried to keep it for her son
...more
Cecily
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY?

This seems to be a real Marmite book (love it or loathe it, with no fence-sitting), so I'm going to mix my metaphors: I bit the bullet, to see which way the wind was blowing and was surprised to find myself sitting on the empty fence. I was very undecided about stars, but there are many much better books I've given 3*, so this gets 2*, even though there was, on reflection, more to it than I first thought. The quality of the writing is not sufficient for 3*.

Overall
...more
Jen
Sep 26, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
**Spoiler alert**5 year old Jack and his mother live in an 11X11 room that is their world; their prison. He has known no other. Everyday objects take on human qualities and become personified; games are reinvented and crafts created constantly. St Nick comes at night -he brings necessities, removes trash, leaves bruises on his mom's neck as he creaks the bed all the while Jack hides in Wardrobe. Intense. The plan takes shape for escape and they practice, practice, practice. I am as scave (scared ...more
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 17, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I-read-to-be-entertained-only kind of readers
Recommended to K.D. by: None
Shelves: booker, drama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth
Oct 31, 2010 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Madeline
Sep 24, 2015 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I meant to read this right after it came out, and then I kept putting it off for...holy shit, five years? This came out five years ago? My bad, guys. What finally convinced me to get this from the library, as usual, was the trailer for the movie version. It's coming out this fall and Brie Larson is playing Ma, which I am all about. Check it out.

Odds are good that everyone reading this already knows the plot, but once more for the people in the back: the book opens with Jack telling us that today
...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 0.125* of five

I couldn't finish it. P88 or so, I said to myself, "Self," I said, "you are being manipulated, Self, and it feels so cynical and so heartless that even you, Self, cynical old heartless bastard that we are, can't stand it."

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Margitte
Oct 03, 2014 Margitte rated it it was amazing
I was looking through some books in a bookshop, when the owner came up to me and said he was watching me and noticed the kind of books I chose from the shelves. He said he had just the right one for my selection. I already had five stacked up. I had my doubts at first. He said to call him when I finished reading the book.

So, Room was the book. The first few pages had me scramble for something else to do. I even played Spider Solitaire, anything, to just get away from a little boy's thoughts that
...more
Justin
Oct 24, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit I almost put this book down because of the way it was written. The whole five-year-old perspective thing was mildly annoying with all the capitalized words and horrible grammar, but I quickly got over it. I got over it, and it never really bothered me again, although there were some verbs and adjectives thrown around where I thought there was no way a five-year-old would know that word, but whatever.

I digress.

This book is awesome. Once I got used to what was going on and who was tell
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
CBC Books: Emma Donoghue: How I Wrote Room, the Movie 19 32 Jan 22, 2016 09:00AM  
HHS Senior Englis...: Jack's Grandpa 15 23 Jan 20, 2016 08:25AM  
HHS Senior Englis...: Return to Room 17 23 Jan 19, 2016 05:03AM  
HHS Senior Englis...: Reliable Narrator? 18 21 Jan 19, 2016 04:57AM  
HHS Senior Englis...: Two Novels? 24 24 Jan 19, 2016 04:48AM  
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Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of ...more
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“Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing.” 2589 likes
“In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well...I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.” 180 likes
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