The story of a mother, her son, a locked room, and the outside world.
It's Jack's birthday, and he's excited about turning five.
Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real - only him, Ma, and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside....
Told in Jack's voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.
©2010 Emma Donoghue (P)2010 Hachette Audio US
"Emma Donoghue's writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness. Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it's over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days." (Audrey Niffenegger)
"Room is one of the most profoundly affecting books I've read in a long time. Jack moved me greatly. His voice, his story, his innocence, his love for Ma combine to create something very unusual and, I think, something very important.... Room deserves to reach the widest possible audience." (John Boyne)
"I loved Room. Such incredible imagination, and dazzling use of language. And with all this, an entirely credible, endearing little boy. It's unlike anything I've ever read before." (Anita Shreve)
"I've never read a more heart-burstingly, gut wrenchingly compassionate novel . . . As for sweet, bright, funny Jack, I wanted to scoop him up out of the novel and never let him go. In him, Donoghue has created 21st-century fiction's most uniquely loveable voice. She deserves to win this year's Man Booker Prize." (Daily Mail)
"extraordinary power of Donoghue's utterly gripping story which, although not essentially just hers, has never been told in such a way before." (Mirror Book of the Week)
"In filling this book with things that are both truly horrific and rather lovely, Emma Donoghue has achieved a work that is deeply unsettling on every level. It is a strange paradox that a book about imprisonment and torture should have become an arena for discussing the proper care and love of children. I think I am glad to have read it." (Financial Times)
"What saves this beautifully nuanced book from being in any way a voyeuristic reaction to true crime is less the descriptions of captivity than the inevitably changing nature of the child / parent relationship, which Donoghue explores here so minutely, recognisably and exultantly." (Sunday Telegraph)
I wont review the book in great detail as others have done this. What I will say is that it is certainly a good story written cleverly from a child's perspective. It is however, let down by the narration. The 'childs' voice is grating to begin with, although I did get used to it as I got more into the story. The Irish and Australian accents were probably the worst I've ever heard - laughably so, which detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Don't let this put you off though - they only made brief appearances.
"Great book but Jack's voice could have been better"
Fantastic book. Very gripping story-line with some real tear-jerker moments.
The only thing I didn't like about this audio version is the voice of the child. It sounded like an adult woman pretending to be a 5-year-old boy. I realize they probably couldn't get a real 5-year-old boy to narrate it but surely they could have got an older boy to narrate, rather than a woman.
"Uncomfortable book, but very well executed"
I found this book extremely uncomfortable to listen to because of the subject matter. That said, the viewpoint of Jack, an innocent, makes it slightly more palatable, while also allowing Donoghue to pile on the irony.
Like other listeners, I found the child's voice jarring at first, but soon settled in. I thought the person reading the child's part did incredibly well at conveying subtle emotions, and also liked the input from other voices for the other characters. If you can deal with the child's voice (which isn't for everyone, going on these reviews), I think this is a book that works very well in audiobook format.
It took a while to get over the irritating Ralph Wigham ( from simpsons) voice, and to get into the situation the characters were in.
Once into it, the story was quite interesting and exciting how the characters were coping with the situation, the simplicity of existing.
So, all in all, a reasonable listen, just that irritating voice...listen to the preview before buying
This is definitely my favourite book of 2010. I notice some reviewers have not liked the narrator, and am surprised to read one person deleted the book after only 10 minutes - my advice would be to give it some time, as you do get used to him, and actually I think as you warm to the character more, it becomes quite endearing. This book stayed with me for weeks after, and really got me thinking, mainly because it's been written from a child's perspective. Very clever, very touching - a real gem of a book.
"It's right up there amongst the best I've heard!"
Quite an amazing listen that brought tears to my eyes during a long train journey. I would advise to ignore any negative reviews that have been based soley upon the narration of 5-year-old Jack's voice. For me, it is the voice of Jack that had my emotions at breaking point at several points during the book. However, although I didn't find his voice difficult to overcome, obviously some did so bear it in mind - but DO stick with it because, as the book progresses, you will fall in love with him and want to take him home! Highly recommended!
"Narrator sounds like Ralph Wigham..."
This is a great story which kept me hooked throughout - hence the 3 stars. However, I found this version difficult to listen to, since the narrator sounds like Ralph Wigham from The Simpsons.
The story is told by a 5 year-old boy, who - as is often done with voiceover work - is narrated by a woman putting on a childish voice. In this case, the voice was too blatantly female, as well as difficult to understand. I found this incredibly annoying, as it ruined the atmosphere which oozes from the book by making a tense situation sound simplified & cartoonish.
This is one of the few instances in which I would recommend reading the actual text version over the audiobook.
"Brilliant thought provoking"
At first the child's voice was very grating to listen to but once I got into the story it fitted very well. Can't say much without spoiling the story but I loved it. It was sad, emotional,heartbreaking, funny, moving, amazing in just about everyway. Give it a go once you overcome the voice you will realise it fits the story brilliantly. Cant recommend it enough.
"Poignant picture from a child's eyes"
Room is a unique book, that lends itself well to audio, it took me a little time to get used to the child narrator's voice but it does suit the character very well, as does the mother's. I actually started reading the kindle edition along with the audiobook, and I still ended up imagining the same voices, which to me, says that they got it right. The story is very quaintly told, with the naive Jack explaining things in the unique way that kids do, and his understanding of the way things work can be very funny. There are some curious things he says though, which hint at the truth, as we know there is life outside their Room... There are many questions raised during the course the story, and consequently many spoilers, so I won't go into too much detail, but I will say this: this book is not for kids, and it could be triggering if you have been through traumatic experiences- it has some very dark themes and it can be hard to keep going later on, but it is ultimately very rewarding, and excellently told.
"Better as a Novella"
Room had so much publicity. For many months it featured in shop windows, on the pages of newspapers and in posters. I did enjoy it for the most part. The readers made a good job of bringing the characters to life. The only drawback was that I felt that there was too much development of the minutiae of life in the room before the plot kicked into it's rhythm. It could have been much more honed and focussed. That being said it is a good story and quite well told.
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