Michelle's Reviews > Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
512643
's review

it was ok
bookshelves: novels, book-club
Recommended to Michelle by: Yoga book club
Recommended for: People who want to read about a five-year-old breastfeeding every seven pages.

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 poor kid and like him despite myself. A writer who can do that to me deserves an extra star.
115 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Room.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

November 3, 2011 – Started Reading
November 3, 2011 – Shelved
November 4, 2011 –
0.0% "The kid is friggin' annoying."
November 5, 2011 – Finished Reading
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: novels
July 13, 2012 – Shelved as: book-club

Comments Showing 1-50 of 61 (61 new)


message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim hahahahahA! I wanted to tell the kid to shut the fuck up many times but I couldn't figure out how to make him understand.. and the way he kept bumping into things in the real world? Okay... Yes. I laughed. I'm going to hell... I know.


message 2: by David (new)

David Yes. You are going to hell, Skimmers. Children are God's precious gift.


Michelle I didn't laugh when he bumped into stuff, which is surprising for me. I did loathe when he wouldn't use 'the' in his sentences. It is 'the table' not 'Table.' That got old by the second page.


Meels Okay, I liked it WAY better than you, but I understood every single thing you listed above.

The breast feeding at 5 was gross.
The "baby talk" was annoying.

That's the down side to book clubs. I don't like assigned reading...


Michelle I thought of something else I didn't like about it - it was very 'ripped from the headlines', you know? It was kind of 'sensational' and I usually don't like to read that sort of thing.

The good thing about the book club is we alternate selections and the next one is mine.


Suelynn I read room for a bookclub too. I liked it a little more than you did but your review was spot-on! Tried to "friend" you but my math isn't so good! LOL


Dominic As a mom the I understand the breastfeeding was totally necessary for providing nutrition to the 5 year old. There's nothing gross about that. It's natural to breastfeed. The mom only does it because they are not eating properly, so shes compensating for the lack of nutrition. And the boy talking about the left (breast) being better than the other I think also shows, his thinking because of course he's too old to still be nursing. I get it.


Holly Thank you for summarizing so eloquently my issues with this book too! I don't know how I'm going to rate it, but seriously, to your point 3, I was so creeped out too, I just couldn't get past it! Thanks for a good laugh!


Alanaspana Why is breastfeeding gross? That sounds like something a child would say. It is the most natural way a mother could nourish and comfort her child in that situation. Furthermore, breastfeeding releases hormones which help a mother to relax, something this mother definitely needed. How was she meant to wean him when she couldn't get even more than 11 feet away from him and was constantly short of food. Could you imagine the commotion that would cause? It would have been enough to send her over the edge. Notice how it did not become an issue until after they left the room, at which time the mother succumbed to societal pressure and weaned him.


Kihesha Hammonds totally agree about being weirded out about the breast-feeding especially when he is in the mall with his grandmother and sees the woman breast feeding her baby and says her prefers the left b/c its creamier


message 11: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Prager I didn't know it was possible to miss the boat so entirely... Is Twilight your next favourite book?


Elizabeth Drake Ryan, you can discuss why you disagree without being snarky.


message 13: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Prager Well, probably not, but I just feel as if the reviewer missed out on so much of what is in the book:
- The intentional claustrophobia of Jack's narration.
- The breast feeding as not being "Guh-ross" (http://www.goodreads.com/user_status/...) but as a symbol of their attachment.
- The synecdoche of Ma with the tooth and its eventual disappearance.
- The use of Dora the Explorer as a developmental crutch for Jack.
- The critique of popular media.
- The digs at academia.
- The deep interplay with Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave"
- The huge list of other texts that are mentioned and integrated into the text.
- The power of the story-teller.

These are just the things that immediately spring to mind. It boggles me that the main point of the review is to mock a target audience of "people who want to read about a five-year-old breastfeeding every seven pages."


message 14: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Prager Forgot something:
Basing your review on one aspect of a book is comparable to only eating the bun of a Big Mac and judging the sandwich as a whole. I'm deeply sorry to have upset the balance here by suggesting a book should be thought through before judged.

However, if you disagree with any of the points I made above I'd love to discuss them :)


Elizabeth Drake Those are fine points. But wouldn't you rather discuss the book and, perhaps, prove your point rather than mock and antagonize? Maybe in your own review?


message 16: by David (new)

David It boggles me that the main point of the review is to mock a target audience of "people who want to read about a five-year-old breastfeeding every seven pages."

You must have an easily boggleable mind then. You really need to get out more, troll. All that time in your parent's basement is really fucking with your brain juices.


Michelle Ryan wrote: "I didn't know it was possible to miss the boat so entirely... Is Twilight your next favourite book?"

Why do you ask? Did you breastfeed until you were five or older?


message 18: by Michelle (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:01AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michelle All that time in your parent's basement is really fucking with your brain juices.

'Ryan' was in a shed in some dude's backyard, so I guess I can understand why he feels so strongly about this book.


message 19: by David (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:00AM) (new)

David Forgot something:

'Ryan from Canada,' you have no photo. No books. No reviews. No friends. And apparently you only comment on reviews for this book.

You are a sad little cowardly troll.

However, if you disagree with the point I made above I'd love to discuss it. :)


message 20: by David (new)

David Ryan just sent me a PM:

Unfortunately I can't comment because after bringing up a list of potential discussion points I was blocked :(

I'm sorry if I came off a little strong at first but I do just have a deep attachment to the book... Please tell Michelle that I would like to discuss it and I promise to be polite.


Do with this as you will, Boobatron.


message 21: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Prager "I just feel like there is much more to this book than what you discussed in your review is all... Maybe give it another shot keeping in mind some of the other motifs. Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave" can be found here: http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/al... , I think it is one of the most key texts referred to in the novel. Also, roomthebook.com has a section where you can look at all the different texts that are found/referenced.


Michelle It boggles me that the main point of the review is to mock a target audience of "people who want to read about a five-year-old breastfeeding every seven pages."

I was being helpful. There is a fetish for everything, and I am okay with that.


message 23: by David (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:11AM) (new)

David Just because a novel touches on interesting themes does not imply that the novel is good. There are countless books that attempt to deal with topics that far overreach the author's limited talents.

And there's that gray area known as personal taste that you seem to be discounting. You can't debate someone into liking a book. There are no empirical data or citations that will make an unloved book lovable.

What is your investment in this book exactly , Ryan? It seems to be the only book you comment on. Are you Emma Donoghue?


message 24: by Michelle (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:19AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michelle Ryan wrote: ""I just feel like there is much more to this book than what you discussed in your review is all... Maybe give it another shot keeping in mind some of the other motifs. Plato's "The Allegory of the ..."

Thank you for the information. I am okay with not liking this book. I am okay with my review. I read Room for a book club, and it was not something I would have read otherwise.

Other reasons I didn't like the book: I felt it was too 'ripped from the headlines.' I'm not interested in that sort of thing. I also didn't care for some of the writing - it is mentioned that the events take place in the United States, yet the writing had 'Britishisms.' Perhaps a better editor could have fixed those instances.

I think it's weird that you would create a Goodreads account just to bash people who did not like this book, so I blocked you. You clearly wish to discuss this book, so I unblocked you.

I have heard good things about Emma Donoghue so I would not let this experience hinder me from reading her other works.


message 25: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Prager Ha, alas I am not Emma Donoghue but I am flattered that you think it's possible.

In terms of personal taste, sure, you can't debate somebody into liking a book but I feel that through discussing something you may be able to uncover new things about a book which may grant a new perspective.

In terms of overreaching the author's talents, I found the theme regarding impacts of social isolation during childhood to be very well Handeled (pun for any musicians out there). Where do you feel she fell short?


message 26: by David (new)

David Where do you feel she fell short?



I haven't read the book. My point is that you listed the themes the author dealt with in this book. That list tells me nothing about whether she actually dealt with them well. My guess is that Michelle thought Donoghue did not, despite her intentions.


Elizabeth Drake Ryan, I know it is difficult to read tone online, however I do mean this in the kindest way possible.

It seems you are up for an argument or debate, rather than a discussion. You cannot "win" here. One person did not like the book, one did. I cannot see a scenario where you would both come to be on the same side, nor can I see you convincing Michelle to re-read the book while keeping in mind ANY motifs. She did not ENJOY the book the first time around, so why waste time reading it again when there are so many books out there?

P.S if you genuinely wish to be part of the Goodreads community and to be taken seriously, you need to beef up your profile. Add some books, write some reviews. Commenting on only one book when you haven't even reviewed it yourself, makes people that much more likely to hit the block button.


message 28: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Prager You have an interesting point about the Britishisms. On my first read through I was also taken aback by some of the terminology -- as how would a boy in a room be familiar with "shake our booties" (page 10) -- but I figured it was just through Jack's exposure to the world via TV; I suppose one of their three channels could be British... Another explanation could be through Alice in Wonderland. Jack references this book frequently and Lewis Caroll was in fact British.


message 29: by David (new)

David Again, why are you so invested in this book that you would create an account for the sole purpose of scolding those who dislike it for reasons you don't approve of?

That seems a little suspicious to me.

Do you like any other books?

Why don't you write a review/treatise on why you think this book is so well-done? I think you would have better luck influencing people who haven't read the book yet rather than needling those that have.


message 30: by Michelle (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:43AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michelle This book is discussed in many threads on Goodreads. I'd suggest you look here, Ryan:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/list_b...


message 31: by L'aura (new) - added it

L'aura Seems you have a problem with breastfeeding. Logically, if the child wasn't nourished this way, how would he have survived? Would the captor go down to the local Walmart and buy baby formula for the baby?


message 32: by Michelle (last edited Jun 08, 2012 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michelle I don't have a problem with breastfeeding. I have a problem with a five-year-old breastfeeding. I also have a problem reading a book where a five-year-old breastfeeding is mentioned as often as it was in this book. Jack wasn't only drinking breast milk in the book - he was also eating solid food that the captor brought them.


message 33: by Jason (new)

Jason Why do you hate mothers, Metro?


message 34: by Michelle (last edited Jun 08, 2012 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michelle Probably because my mother left me in a dumpster after she gave birth during prom.


message 35: by Jason (new)

Jason Well, prom is a very special night.


message 36: by Books Ring Mah Bell (last edited Jun 08, 2012 11:43AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Books Ring Mah Bell I think what you need Michelle, is a good breastfeedin'.

come to me, my sweet, and suckle.




please note, the left side is creamier!


Michelle I'll be right over for a taste test.


Books Ring Mah Bell WHY do you hate women, moms, and breast feeding?!?!?!?

WHY!


You see tits as toys only, don't you!!?!?!?


Marianne I agree about the whole "kid talking about which boob tasted better"...it was like Really?? I really needed to read that?


Megster Michelle, I agree with you and had a great time reading the comments on your post. Very entertaining.

People, I get the breast feeding= important= nutrition. Mothers rock. But seriously, don't need to read about temper tantrums over mama not letting baby... Oh wait I mean a child nearing grade school age... Suck on her tit at all hours of the day. Lets address it once, it happens its important for nutrition, and then NOT obsess on it for paragraphs at a time. I care about what is going on in the mothers head, not what her tits taste like and which is the best.

I have a feeling there was more to be taken away from this book than was offered. When I think of this book I do not think of plato's allegory of the cave, I think of how fucking annoying that goddamn kid was.


Michelle Lets address it once, it happens its important for nutrition, and then NOT obsess on it for paragraphs at a time.

Thank you! I completely agree.

I know taste is subjective (Heh heh. See how I did that?) and a lot of people weren't bothered by a five year old breastfeeding all the time (?!), but I certainly don't want to read about it.


message 42: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz I just started this book and agree with some of the reviewers that the kid's speaking style (everything is addressed without "the", i.e., Table, etc) is annoying. I believe he would have caught on to the proper rhythm/syntax of speech because he would have caught on from conversations with his mom and from TV where people always use "the", "a", etc.

I also caught that first reference to breastfeeding and thought, well, they are stuck in this one room together; it would have been impossible to wean the kid (I speak as a mom who breastfed her babies). Usually, you need some distraction and distance (a separate room) to achieve weaning.

I will keep reading and post my review when I have finished the book.


message 43: by Alana (new) - rated it 1 star

Alana Thank you Michelle! I was disturbed every time jack said "I want some" ugh such an annoying book.


message 44: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz I was annoyed by the boy's speech, but i got over it by the time i was 1/3 into the book. I breastfeed my kids when they were babies, and while i would never want to breastfeed a toddler/preschooler, i can understand the point. It was very difficult to wean my 1 year old son. He cried and carried on for a week. If i didn't have Mt husband to help by trending to him during that week, i don't know how i would have achieved it. So this woman was captive with her son and how would she have stopped? There was no distraction to break up the routine.


Irleneybug Ryan wrote: "Well, probably not, but I just feel as if the reviewer missed out on so much of what is in the book:
- The intentional claustrophobia of Jack's narration.
- The breast feeding as not being "Guh-ros..."


I completely agree!


message 46: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz I think Dominic's take on the Breast feeding issue is the most balanced. Also another woman mentions how hard it would have been to wean in that small a space. Having been a nursing mom once myself, i can attest to how difficult it is with some babies. Some move on easily, others, you definitely need the dad's help and the ability to be absent when nursing time comes around.


Kelly Hull I just finished this book and your review was the first that talked about this "breast-feeding" issue. I was grossed out by it too and I'm all for it, but when the kid is five and has preference for which book and which one was "creamier", it was too much for me. Then after we get beyond that, we need to have a rotten tooth he sucks on. Seriously? Are we going for shock value here?


message 48: by Anna (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anna I know right that kid just wouldn't shut up!


message 49: by Chinh (new)

Chinh Do Thanks for the head-ups, I will be sure not to pick this book up.


Karen I'm glad I'm not the only one that the breastfeeding description is bothering. I'm fine with breastfeeding in general, but the description is just plain weird and way too often.


« previous 1
back to top