Jamie's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
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's review
May 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: on-the-nook, 2012-reading-goals, read-in-2012, field-exam-reading-list
Read from March 21 to 23, 2012 — I own a copy

An ingenious little novel told from the vantage point of a little boy who's never been beyond the bounds of a single room. I think that's obvious from the goodreads summary, though. I've really never read anything like it; I think perhaps the closest narrative comparison I'd have is Henry James's "What Maisie Knew"--in this, a little girl similarly attempts to understand the adult happenings (divorces, fucks, love affairs, etc.) going on around her and out of her control or articulability--but then, I didn't like that James novel and I ate this one up in two sittings. (Sidenote: I always really want to like James, and for some reason I keep reading *about* him, but I just can't seem to wrap my affections around him. What novel will sell me?)

I don't know to what extent "SPOILERS" are applicable here--certainly it's a page turner at points, & I wouldn't want to ruin that. I suppose what I'll say is that the novel is meticulously narrated, wonderfully human, horrifying and tender. I suppose if you have a weak stomach--or if you're one of those sad people who cries when people post cute cat/baby combination memes on Pinterest or whatever--you may not be able to handle this. But it seems to me a fascinating sort of sore thumb in the contemporary fiction landscape. I'll definitely keep Donoghue on my short list for the to-read pile.
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Anne I loved James's portrait of a lady. I've tried to get into the ambassadors but i've been distracted twice. I think I know what you mean about him being a bit of alien.

Couldn't agree with your review more.

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