Will’s review of Room > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Cecily (new)

Cecily I keep reading reviews that say this was inspired by the Fritzel case, so I suppose Donoghue has said that somwhere, but it strikes me as very odd because that was incest. This story is awful, but it doesn't have the additional horror and complication of being captive and raped by her father. It's more like Natasha Kampusch or Jaycee Lee Dugard.


message 2: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes You may be correct. I checked my notes and did not keep a record of my source re comparison of this story with Fritzel, so cannot say for certain what specific event or events might have informed Donoghue's narrative.


message 3: by Cecily (new)

Cecily No worries. I only put my comment here because I was reading reviews of the book, and yours was the fourth or fifth to mention Fritzl. (The first time, I assumed it was a misunderstanding, but by the time I reached yours, there seemed to be an odd consensus.)


message 4: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes Often I source such things in my notes, but not in this instance. In this case, I expect, it matters less where the original seed was obtained than it how the resulting flower bloomed, and this one looks like a rose to me.


message 5: by Cecily (new)

Cecily True - though I'd use a different flower in my analogy. ;-)


message 6: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Wow, you write great reviews. I've had this one in my order queue several times over the past year and I keep bumping it, maybe now it's time.


message 7: by Lynette (new)

Lynette Barfield Listened to this a couple of years ago in the child's voice. I really liked it a lot. I don't know who narrated it but it was mesmerizing. This was a selection for my library book club. Of all the people most just thought it o k. Only one other
Person listened and loved it like me. Don't know what to make of that, but I feel that the narration was the key. I remember almost becoming attached to this imaginary child. Just thought I'd throw that in. Food for thought.


message 8: by Steve (new)

Steve Good point there in your last line, Will. Great review prior to that, too!


message 9: by Gary (new)

Gary  the Bookworm Terrific review, Will. I was afraid to read this because of its subject matter. Using Jack as the narrator was brilliant.


message 10: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice I read reviews and heard this book being talked about in a very positive light back when it had just been released, so when Audible put it on sale a while ago, I bought it. Of course, that was when I was in my car at least an hour a day.... I do have it, though, so this review is another incentive. Thanks, Will.


message 11: by Florence (Lefty) (new)

Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh Have read so many reviews that focused on the critisism of Jack's voice, it being too adult for a child. Glad you touched on that but put it in perspective - recognizing it as a fault but balancing it against all the books merits. Anyway, I'd decided not to bother reading this until I read your great review. Thanks.


message 12: by Cecily (last edited Jul 05, 2013 12:39AM) (new)

Cecily Florence wrote: "Have read so many reviews that focused on the critisism of Jack's voice, it being too adult for a child. ..."

For me, the problem with Jack's voice is that it was bizarrely inconsistent: he had a very adult vocabulary (believable, as there was little to do, and his mother tried to teach him), but with some staggeringly implausible gaps (using "a he" or "the she" instead of "a man" or "the woman", for example) and recurring errors.

On the other hand, as has been said, telling the story through Jack's eyes makes it less graphic, painful and prurient, because there is so much he doesn't understand.


message 13: by Florence (Lefty) (new)

Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh Cecily wrote: "Florence wrote: "Have read so many reviews that focused on the critisism of Jack's voice, it being too adult for a child. ..."

For me, the problem with Jack's voice is that it was bizarrely incons..."


Yes, from the examples you give I can see how that would be really annoying, not logical at all, why wouldn't he pick up those nuances of speech? Will be prepared for it when I read the book.


message 14: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice Will, I'm taking a day trip tomorrow, and Room is loaded on my mp3 player and ready to go. :-)


message 15: by ☺Trish (new)

☺Trish Great, incisive review! I agree, this was a very compelling, well-written, and ultimately inspirational story. Since this was written before the Dugard story unfolded in the media,the Fritzel case being Donoghue's inspiration is more than plausible - modifying the "incest" part of that horror story is understandable.


message 16: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Beautiful review!


message 17: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Great review. While I was reading this, the women held captive in Cleveland were found. Was life imitating art? I think about this often and think all teenage girls should read it.


message 18: by Emma (new)

Emma The first half of this book was not easy to read, I found. When taken with the second half however, it made a thought provoking read.


message 19: by Liz (new)

Liz Great book


message 20: by Mike (new)

Mike Wonderful review, Will. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and seeing how the two contrast.


message 21: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes Mike wrote: "Wonderful review, Will. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and seeing how the two contrast."
Thanks. Me too.


message 22: by Malia (new)

Malia Nice review! This was such a gripping book, I'm so curious how the movie will be!


message 23: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes Have not yet seen it, but early reviews are very positive.


message 24: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Very nicely reviewed. I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and it was riveting. I hope you get a chance to see it Will.


message 25: by Will (new)

Will Byrnes Jaidee wrote: "Very nicely reviewed. I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and it was riveting. I hope you get a chance to see it Will."
I did and loved it, mostly.


message 26: by Cecily (new)

Cecily It might work better as a film (book I don't enjoy often do!).


message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro Your superb review was far better than the book, Will!
I must admit that I wasn't persuaded by Jack's voice and had to suspend belief for much of the story.
Well written though.


message 28: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Kevin wrote: "I wasn't persuaded by Jack's voice...
Well written though."


You're always so generous. For me, a narrator I can't believe as a character (as opposed to one who merely lies) couldn't tell a "well written" story.


message 29: by Kevin (last edited Aug 09, 2017 12:55AM) (new)

Kevin Ansbro Cecily wrote: "Kevin wrote: "I wasn't persuaded by Jack's voice...
Well written though."

You're always so generous. For me, a narrator I can't believe as a character (as opposed to one who merely lies) couldn't ..."


Yes, I probably was being too kind, Cecily. I always strive to find a positive. That said, it's not always possible.


message 30: by Janet (new)

Janet Keens I liked this book precisely because it was narrated by a child, who could not comprehend his real situation. But then, I simply love children, so I understand why someone would hate this book because of the child's point of view. I respect the author’s choice to write a dark-themed story narrated entirely from the perspective of a five year old boy, though. While the unreliable narrator is nothing new in literature, its deployment here felt fresh and so I give points for that. It’s not really a plot-driven book, although I found my heart racing on several occasions, desperate to find out what happens to this dear, naive little boy.


message 31: by Will (last edited Apr 25, 2019 09:12PM) (new)

Will Byrnes Well said, Janet


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