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message 1: by Simon (Highwayman) (last edited Feb 14, 2012 12:12PM) (new)

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments Room

What did you like?
What did you hate?

Spoilers Allowed here

Discussion group open HERE - NOW


If you give this book a rating on Amazon or Goodreads why not post it here as well!!

message 2: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments HI GUYS.


I'm glad I picked this book as I think it opens up a lot of discussion. Obviously the first thing you notice is way it's narrated but once you get over that there is a lot of smaller things about the book that can be talked about.

For starters, I thought the bit in captivity was NEVER GOING TO END. Omg. I was getting so uneasy about the whole book and I think I would of liked to see MORE time on the outside and them coping.

message 3: by Lyra (new)

Lyra | 34 comments have to agree on that Elle. I would have liked more time in the world.

The narration did bother me.. I just could not lose the idea that the author was driving it. So I tried to get past that. Unsuccessfully! While I did amire some of that technique I just got impatient with it, as I couldnt suspend disbelief about it, and get inside the story ( yes, unlike many a fantasy and YA story LOL - but thats ust how it is, some books grab you and some dont.)

I felt that the author had invested so much time in 'the room' that she ran out of steam and had no energy to move on. Perhaps that was the point.

I wonder if my feelings of wanting to hear more about the coping is because I've read of the captivity 'stories' in the media and yet never found out any more about how one could ever begin to recover.

message 4: by Lyra (new)

Lyra | 34 comments Still thinking, sorry :)

I liked the early part of the book which I thought was quite clever describing a situation through a childs eye.

if that could have held me longer I might have a different opinion of 'Room' ? but it was too much for me, I felt very impatient with it after the first chapters.

I seriously hated the escape, it just seemed far too unrealistic for me

One thing that stayed with me was the bit where .. something like.... 'the world is more shocked at me breastfeeding a child for so long than us being kept in captivity' I thought that had quite an impact.

and I know this is silly but when I read it it was when another story was breaking in the news and I thought that it was like the author jumping on a bandwagon. But why shouldnt she write fiction about such a subject? why would that make me so uncomfortable? I dont know.

I think its because I think that situation is horrific and 'Room' was too unreal - I think because of the child narrative not working for me. I may have liked it better if it was told by the adult.

Now I'm looking forward to some more positive thoughts :)

message 5: by Elle (last edited Feb 15, 2012 08:33AM) (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments The breastfeeding bit threw me a lot. I had a chat with a friend who is currently breastfeeding her baby as I thought maybe my thoughts on it was my lack of experience with breastfeeding and being uncomfortable with the idea being so young but she said she was also very threw by it. She was put off by the story in general and shocked (like the people in the book were) - what disturbed her more was his 'goodbye' to his Mothers breasts.

I think her exact words were;

'She kinda showed the beginning of a very sick pervert if he didn't get the help he needed so badly.'

I have to agree, I was totally put off by his behaviour towards the world and while it was perfectly understandable, it was... kinda odd.

message 6: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments I thought the kids behaviour was believable for a child who didn't know it existed until 2 days before he arrived in it. I like the fact the story was narrated by the kid but it annoyed my that he spoke like a baby, there was no need for a 5 year old to speak will less ability than my 3 year old nephew even if he did only have his mother. There was also TV and books he could learn from. Plus I found the fact that she had taught him the anatomically correct term for body parts (penis) and yes the rest of his vocabulary was baby like.

The breastfeeding thing was weird but I think if I was in that situation I'd probably do it too. To me that said that she was worried he wasn't getting enough nutrition so she did what she could to make sure he did.

I think one of my favourite bits was when he tried to stroke the bee and it stung him. Such an innocent thing that kids know from no age, very cute. And I'm glad the author finally had him cut his hair.

message 7: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I'm glad he did it on his own without such a big deal about it, y'know?

message 8: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I just got bored. I'm clearly a very simple reader haha!

Another thing I wanted to discuss was your reactions to the part where he touched his cousin.

It surprised me in a way (like the bee too) - it was very *real*

message 9: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I thought the committing suicide was very, very out of character. I think that bit shocked me the most and I know someone else feels the same as they said in the other thread too.

message 10: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments It is a subject rather close to my heart - and I understand why in a way but the problem I had with it is that all the way through we are again and again shown her love for this child but she would leave him - maybe she thought he would be better of without her? But this isn't shown to be the case in any way so maybe we need to assume that - or maybe I'm just making excuses for a plot hole.

message 11: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (lanybum) Adie wrote: "It was after they escaped that i found the most realistic"

I sort of have the opposite view on this. I found the book fascinating up until just before the escape.

The book seemed to a bit awry for me when they started to plan the escape and went downhill from there i'm afraid.

Once they had escaped the book seemed to lose all direction and didn't quite know what it wanted to be. Emma Donoghue was clearly trying to make a point with this but by doing it so bluntly I fear the book lost a bit of credibility for me. The speech for instance the mother gave at the TV interview was completely out of character. It was the author preaching not the character talking.

Adie, I agree with you re. the breast feeding. She had a source of nutrition for her child that the captor had no control over. Of course she would hold onto that as long as she could. Shocking, yes but understandable given the circumstances.

Anyway the short version of this is that it wasn't bad, it's just not as important as it was aiming to be.

message 12: by Elaine (new)

Elaine (lanybum) Adie wrote: "Elaine, I meant unrealistic. I just thought that they would have been kept under supervision longer especially after she tried to hurt herself.."

Yes that does make more sense and yes, completely agree.

message 13: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Yeah I agree Adie! If there was a moment in that ladies life that would be in character of her committing suicide it would be when she lost her first child.

message 14: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments What did you guys think of her parents and family members?

I personally thought the Grandmother was brilliant.

message 15: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Steppa was truly brilliant as well!

message 16: by Maureen (Mews) (new)

Maureen (Mews) (Mews) | 719 comments I just finished it and agree with some of the comments. I had a bit of a bad start with it. I absolutely hated the writing style in the voice of the little boy and didn't think I would be able to continue. I did though and I actually found it quite hard to put down afterwards.

The breast-feeding did annoy me a bit. I understand the reasons for the mother doing it...the extra nutrition etc. It's not that that annoyed me. It was the constant harping on about it that annoyed me. It was almost as if the author was doing it to have this kind of reaction from readers. I don't know if she was trying to make some kind of point about it.

I enjoyed the "outside" part of it too, but I am not sure it was totally realistic. I was fine with the way Jack described things and reacted to things, which I think would probably be similar in a real-life experience like he had. I just felt that it was lacking in the details of the aftercare from the Doctors and the Police.

message 17: by Maureen (Mews) (new)

Maureen (Mews) (Mews) | 719 comments The whole plan A/plan B thing really got to me too. I really couldn't put it down when that was going on. But it made me question if as a mother could I do the same thing. I have to answer no I don't think I could. The risks would have been too much (for me personally), but who knows how I might have felt after all those years in that situation.

I suppose it had to happen to move the story along though and that's why I was fine with it. I mean it would been pretty boring to just continue to read about their daily life in Room and have nothing happen. I just wonder if plan A/plan B was the best way for the author to execute their escape/rescue.

message 18: by Katrina (new)

Katrina (katmod) I have to say that I couldn't put this book down-I read it in about 3 days!
A completely different type of book that I wouldn't have thought about reading unless you guys on here pointed me to it. I loved the childlike language (eventually I did- 4-5 pages in!) as it made me see the book from a perspective I had never come across before. It opened my mind with it's language.

Saying that- it did lose it's way a little though from the escape to the grandparents input as I found that part forgetful.
I can only conclude though that this book has left a lasting impression on me; and to me that is what a good book is all about.

message 19: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I agree with you on the fact it was a little forgettable before the Grandparents came in.

Something I really liked was the 'Old Nick' thing! I loved the reasons behind him calling him that.

message 20: by Katrina (new)

Katrina (katmod) I think the fact that someone happened to be walking their dog at the same time as he escaped was a bit annoying. I wanted him to get lost and go on an adventure or something like that. I felt a bit robbed on that score. It was too easy after the trauma of all the Room stuff.

I forgot the reasons about OLD Nick!!! remind me?

message 21: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I thought it was more about Father Christmas. I would call Santa Old Nick - plus that is where he got it from - the TV about Santa only coming at night!!

message 22: by Philip (sarah) (new)

Philip (sarah) Willis | 5174 comments I really enjoyed this book despite the irritation caused by the 'child like'narrative.
I was actually taken by surprise that they found their freedom so early in the plot as I felt there were still areas there that could have been further explored.
What I found most interesting was how in so many ways the child really missed the room,he acquired many toys ,experiences and people in his life after he escaped but did they really make up for the comfort he found in being the main focus of his mother's life and time?

message 23: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I knew that the Author has stated before that she loosely based it off the Fritzl case!

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Easter egg

message 25: by Emma (new)

Emma (emzibah) | 4396 comments Egg

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Uh huh

message 27: by Kate (new)

Kate (littlekate1) | 574 comments 1 left....

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