Michael's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
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's review
Oct 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: e-reader
Recommended to Michael by: MontiLee Stormer
Read in October, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed meeting Jack.

I was intrigued by Room the moment I heard about it: the story of a five year old whose entire world consisted of the one room in which he lived, the items in that room, his mother, and her abductor. I knew that the story was told from the viewpoint of the five year old Jack. I was a little concerned when I started to read and realized that the story would be told in the five year old Jack's voice. Childish thought patterns, improper sentence structures, convoluted ideas of reality; all of this had the potential to become a gimmick which seemed brilliant at first but which got annoying fast. Fortunately, this was not the case.

The elements of the story are compelling. The reader is introduced to Jack an Ma and gets a quick tour of the unique way in which Jack perceives the world. This is followed quickly by the attempt to escape and the difficulty Jack has with his integration into society.

All of this makes for good reading, but the true genius of the book is that the author never breaks the limits of what Jack should be able to know. The reader quickly susses out why Jack and Ma are being held in Room and who Old Nick is. Jack does not know this and all of his actions reflect this. What Jack has been taught to believe about the "real world" and how this affects his thought processes is fascinating. When Jack is then thrust into this world, his coping mechanisms are appropriate as are his actions and dialogue.

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