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Group Reads > Room - *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarah23l) I haven't started it yet, but those of you who are already reading it should feel free to begin a discussion. I'll join in when I start reading it.


message 2: by Diane (last edited Jan 02, 2011 05:53PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I started it today. Did you end up buying it, or are you on wait list at the library?


message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I'm starting it today. Can't wait!


message 4: by Diane (last edited Jan 03, 2011 06:35PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Without giving anything away, I have to say it is a very interesting way to write a story. Even though it is written in Jack's voice, it is very clear to understand what Jack is talking about:

"dirty on your neck" "having some". It is also very clear how much Ma loves Jack.

It's an interesting book for me to read, having no children.


message 5: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments I agree, Diane, that this is an interesting way to tell the story - a 5 year old's view of the world that he knows is so different to that of an adult.
I found that I got a bit irritated by some of the things Jack said - having known quite a few 5 year old children,his "voice" didn't always seem authentic. But then, there are few children that I've known who have had such an odd upbringing! I'm just being "picky" here, I think!
Anyone feel claustrophobic?


message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I agree about Jack's "voice". I have two 5 year old nephews and it didn't seem right sometimes. But you raise a good point, they were brought up VERY differently! It hasn't made me feel claustrophobic yet, a little dirty maybe. The kind you feel if you have been cooped up in bed all day or something. I haven't got far into the book yet though.


message 7: by Diane (last edited Jan 04, 2011 08:19AM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I'm up to page 88 and I am surprised at how quickly the book is going. In fact, it's picked up quite a bit now so that I'm having trouble putting it down. Dang that I have to go to work. I've read about Ma's background, but not yet how she ended up in "Room".

Angela, excellent point about feeling "claustrophobic". For me, yes.


message 8: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments I read the book really quickly - for me, that is. Once that feeling of discomfort - claustrophobia? grubbiness?- passed, I really wanted to find out more. A compelling read, I think.


message 9: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Shimotakahara (lshimo) I started Room over the weekend and could not put it down. I agree with Diane that Jack's voice is quite distinct and original.... He does seem quite advanced in his language development for a five year old, but perhaps this is realistic since he's spent so much time getting one-on-one language stimulation with Ma. But most of all it is the child's imagination and ability to make so much out of so little that capture my imagination. I have just read to the point of Jack and Ma's escape and I can't wait to see how the plot thickens in the second half!

Ex Lit Prof
www.the-reading-list.com


message 10: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments I think the problem with Jack's voice is not what he says, but the way he says it. With all the one-to-one with Ma, I would have thought that his sentence structure would have been better. As I said earlier, I may appear to be picky, but something just doesn't ring true in my old school teacher's ears! However, I do agree about his imagination and ingenuity.


message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I thought the way he calls things like "Stove" or "Room" was off. Like in some parts Ma corrected him so why wouldn't she have corrected that?


message 12: by Nadia (new)

Nadia A (bagambo) I read Room in one sitting and afterward I wished I had not read the book. I just didn't like it at all. I felt that there was so much potential for the book to be great, but it fell short due to Jack being the narrator. There was so much more to explore that was left out that I believe would have added a new level of depth to the book that I felt was missing. Having to read Jack's voice was rather annoying at times and disappointing, because I would rather have been reading Ma's thoughts on the situation before, during and after Room.


message 13: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments For me, using Jack as the narrator made me think about Ma's reactions more than if she had been the narrator. It made me question why she reacted or organized their lives as she had -for instance, making Jack sleep in the wardrobe. The more I think about the book, the more I'm appreciating it!


message 14: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I think the story wouldn't have had the same impact if it was told through Ma's perspective. Seeing everything through Jack's eyes was so different because he didn't see things the way we would have. If Ma was the narrator it would be bogged down with depression and helplessness. Where as Jack doesn't mind the room because it is all he has ever known.


message 15: by Nadia (new)

Nadia A (bagambo) Maybe if we could have had the story told via Jack and Ma, then the story would have had more depth to it.


message 16: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Jo wrote: "I think the story wouldn't have had the same impact if it was told through Ma's perspective. Seeing everything through Jack's eyes was so different because he didn't see things the way we would hav..."

Jo, I think that's a great analogy.


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) UPDATE I am on page 166. **SPOILER** if you are not that far. Jack's escape was intense! I was so stressed reading that part. Exellent story.


message 18: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) | 39 comments Nadia wrote: "I read Room in one sitting and afterward I wished I had not read the book. I just didn't like it at all. I felt that there was so much potential for the book to be great, but it fell short due to J..."

Nadia, I was also underwhelmed by this book. It was alright. I get the story. The room was all Jack knew. Most people are afraid of change. Kids are resilient and young children especially adapt to their situation. I found the mom's story much more interesting.


message 19: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments For me, the fact that life in Room was "normal" for Jack highlighted the horror of Ma's life. I think that if the story had been told explicitly, detailing the horrors that Ma had, and was, facing, it would have taken something from the novel.


message 20: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I think it needed to be from Jack's perspective for after leaving Room. We need to see how his logic makes him want to go back and the kind of things he thinks about once out of Room. It shocked me a little when he thought he had to go back to Room to use the toilet. It's just one of the many things you wouldn't consider unless you were him. That's what makes the book extra interesting for me.


message 21: by Nadia (new)

Nadia A (bagambo) ms.petra, I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who felt underwhelmed by this story. I completely agree with you that Ma's story was much more interesting - I would have preferred to read about her much more than Jack.


message 22: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Finished this morning! I will back later today to discuss.


message 23: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I have about 80 pages left. Can't wait to discuss it!


message 24: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I thought this book was very well done.

I agree with Angela's comment. The reader knows exactly what was going on with the relationship between Ma and Old Nick, and the captivity of Ma and Jack in Room, but without any explicit, gory details. I think that's a major accomplishment for an author.

**ENDING SPOILER** I loved the closure at the end. Even for me. It was actually very touching that Jack was insistent in wanting to go back to Room and how he said goodbye to everything. Room did not represent any negatives for Jack (all thanks to Ma), it was all that he had known. I was glad that the author chose to end the book this way rather than going on with a trial scene for Old Nick.


message 25: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Shimotakahara (lshimo) Diane D. wrote: "I thought this book was very well done.

I agree with Angela's comment. The reader knows exactly what was going on with the relationship between Ma and Old Nick, and the captivity of Ma and Jac..."


I agree with Diane D. about the ending. I found the ending subtle and evocative - I was left aware of how greatly Jack's scope of experience had widened since his departure from Room, and yet it was as if he could now take the best memories of Room (i.e. his memories of Ma) with him.... Paradoxically, his memories of captivity were not all bad, thanks to the child's sense of wonder and delight. Can't wait to blog about this novel!

Ex Lit Prof
www.the-reading-list.com


message 26: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I agree about the ending too. I think it was important for Jack to see that Room wasn't the same anymore and it was no longer the place where he felt safe all through his life. Then could then leave and try and build some kind of normal life with it behind them. I found it so sad when Ma tried to kill herself and Jack was left all alone. Especially when her family were trying to take him out and have normal days with him but it was just overwhelming and strange to him and that made people frustrated. It annoyed me that his grandma didn't have enough patience. What did she expect?


message 27: by Diane (last edited Jan 13, 2011 12:20PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I need to defend grandma (because I am thinking that she is probably in her late 50's/early 60's). It had to be overwhelming enough to have a 5 year old come and live with you -- not that she didn't love him, but seriously, it's a complete turnaround of your life-- but to have a 5 year old 'celebrity' and one that had such a unique upbringing for the past 5 years, made it even more challenging. I'm 53 and I can't imagine having the energy/lifestyle to take care of a 5 year old 24/7 even if it was temporary. Given all that, I think she did a pretty good job of it. Steppa, on the other hand, was excellent dealing with Jack, but being the man, I think grandma had the most responsibility.


message 28: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments It's so interesting, reading different people's perceptions of characters and so on.
Personally, I could identify with Grandma. I'm nearly 62 and have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. I love my family without reservation, but to be absolutely honest, the thought of having to look after one of our little ones for more than 24 hours is a daunting thought. In "Room", I really felt for Grandma. The daughter that she thought she had lost forever returned, but - understandably- didn't want to share her experiences with her mother. Then, she had to come to terms with the fact that her daughter wanted to die... and then, she has to have Jack to live with her and Steppa. She obviously loves Jack, but what an upheaval! I felt that although she sometimes appeared to lose patience, in fact, she tried very hard to accomodate Jack's needs and introduce and support him in the "normal" world.
I felt most annoyed with Ma's brother and sister-in-law, who didn't appear to have thought through the implications of their trip with Jack. I felt so sorry for Jack when they were in the shopping arcade.
What a resilient little boy he turned out to be!


message 29: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Don't get me wrong, I understand how hard it must have been for the grandma, but she just seemed to not have enough patience with him when he was obviously scared and finding adapting really difficult. Maybe that's just me being 22 and not being able to relate to someone of that age.

I was really mad at the brother and sister in law too. They were meant to be taking care of Jack and not dragging him around shops while they did their own personal shopping. It was really selfish of them.


message 30: by Diane (last edited Jan 20, 2011 04:55PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) LOL, Jo regarding your comment about being 22 :)
We'll see how you feel about Grandma in about 30 years **wink**


message 31: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Lol I'm not going to age! Don't burst my bubble!!


message 32: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments Jo wrote: "Lol I'm not going to age! Don't burst my bubble!!"

Hahaha!!!


message 33: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Ah, Jo, it happens to the best of us ;)
Remember, like fine wine, we get better with age!


message 34: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Wise words, Diane! Lol


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarah23l) I've been listening to this on audio and it's been a struggle because the Jack's voice really grates on my nerves. Of course, now that it's beginning to get interesting I have to return it to the library because there's a hold on it. Grrr.....


message 36: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 220 comments Sarah wrote: "I've been listening to this on audio and it's been a struggle because the Jack's voice really grates on my nerves. Of course, now that it's beginning to get interesting I have to return it to the l..."

Interesting what you say about Jack's voice. When I read it, I found that aspect difficult to get used to and can imagine it would be very difficult with an audio book. You might be better off now trying to get hold of a hard copy to finish it off.


message 37: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Sarah, is the audio read by a younger person or an adult? I can actually imagine it being more annoying on audio than reading the book.


message 38: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Maybe Room is definitely a better read than audio. I can't imagine listening to Jack's voice.


message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarah23l) Angele - I was able to check out a hard copy of the book, so hopefully it will be a little easier to handle Jack's "voice" on paper rather than having to listen to it.
Jo - I'm not sure what age the narrator is. I don't know if you've ever seen the PBS Kids show Caillou, but it sounds just like the voice of that character.


message 40: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I've never heard of that. I hope you have more luck with the book!


message 41: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarah23l) You're not missing anything, trust me.


message 42: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Haha good to know!


message 43: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Angela wrote: "I agree, Diane, that this is an interesting way to tell the story - a 5 year old's view of the world that he knows is so different to that of an adult.
I found that I got a bit irritated by some o..."


I felt this same way.


message 44: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Nadia wrote: "I read Room in one sitting and afterward I wished I had not read the book. I just didn't like it at all. I felt that there was so much potential for the book to be great, but it fell short due to J..."

I can totally see this...I ended up liking the last part ok...but did not like the beginning at all.


message 45: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Nadia wrote: "Maybe if we could have had the story told via Jack and Ma, then the story would have had more depth to it."

I agree...especially in the beginning...ugh.


message 46: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Jo wrote: "I agree about the ending too. I think it was important for Jack to see that Room wasn't the same anymore and it was no longer the place where he felt safe all through his life. Then could then leav..."

I must defend Grandma too...she made the book for me...she was awesome....she had tons of patience!!!! You're so young Jo...just wait....I didn't have half that much patience with my own kids some days!!!


message 47: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Angela wrote: "It's so interesting, reading different people's perceptions of characters and so on.
Personally, I could identify with Grandma. I'm nearly 62 and have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. I love my fami..."


Here again...I think Paul did great....so did Jack...it was their little girl who freaked out! I see this every time I step foot in a mall...that whole scene seemed really realistic to me and I think they handled it well....to go in in the first place wasn't the brightest idea, but they are only human. I was just glad it worked out.


message 48: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I agree that they handled the mall situation well but it was silly of them to take him there at all. Especially with all the media attention. Did they think Jack would just behave like everything was completely normal to him?


message 49: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I do understand losing patience with kids because I have two 5 year old nephews and a 1 year old niece. Believe me they are hard work sometimes! But if they had been through what Jack had been through then I just feel like I would be a lot more understanding and patient. Maybe I wouldn't if it actually happened! But it's hard to say without living it.


message 50: by Shelli (new)

Shelli It's also a lot different when you are older! I hope I have any patience left when/if I'm a grandma!!


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