New Book: Emma Donoghue's Room

When I first read the premise of Room (narrated by a little boy who has only ever lived in a single room) it immediately sounded like one of those dull, clever books that more charitable people might label “high wire acts.”

But, Aimee Bender’s review in the New York Times actually makes it sound quite worthwhile:

Although I hate to reveal plot points, some are necessary to discuss the book, and early on, the story reveals that Room is actually a prison, with a villain holding the key, and that Ma (as Jack calls his mother) is being kept against her will. Fierce claustrophobia sets in — what had seemed an odd mother-child monastery is now Rapunzel’s tower or Anne Frank’s annex or a story from the news about a stolen child living in a hidden compound. Jack, interestingly, does not feel trapped; that the two live in Room against his mother’s will is not something the son knows right away, and this contrast creates the major fissures and complexities in the book: Room is both a jail and a ­haven.

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Room was better than I expected. A bit plodding at first, because the repetitive nature of describing every tangible object by its name: Table, Chair, Door. If it had kept up like that I likely wouldn’t have finished it, but it does change.

One thing that made me really a bit uncomfortable was the striking similarities with the Duggard case, in fact, in moments it felt invasive and inappropriate. Overall, it was satisfying. Not great, but pretty good.

I have to admit, I found the book pretty disappointing — for basically the opposite reason as Amy here. To me, the later parts of the novel (when, SPOILER ALERT, we’re no longer confined to Room) felt a lot more cliched as the focus shifts from Jack and his unique POV and vocabulary over to the familiar realm of the media circus and the struggles of the victimized mom to re-adapt to society. Whole pages go by where he basically just sits there and listens to other characters — cops, talk show hosts, doctors — deliver hefty chunks of exposition. At least all that stuff about Rug and Meltedy Spoon was original.

You can check out my post on it here:

I want to know if anyone knows if this book: ROOM – has been translated into Spanish?
Which editorial? thanks
Lety Wicks

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