Sunday, 9 September 2012

Room - Emma Donoghue

Well that wasn't as bad as I though it was going to be. 

This book sets itself up to be one of those "why did I do this to myself?" books. The kind that are so upsetting that every now and then they still keep you up at night with their ickiness (I'm looking at you, Fall on Your Knees). The problem is that those books can also be amazing. The nice thing about Room is that it didn't get into that part of my brain, but it was still fairly excellent. (To be clear, though, Fall on Your Knees, with all its awfulness,

 is h'way better than Room, but it will take part of your soul as payment.)

Told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy named Jack, Room is the story of a Mom and her kid. Seven years ago, a man abducted Ma and locked her in a highly secure, 11-by-11-foot room. Five years ago, she had his child. For Jack, Room is the whole world: nothing exists beyond its walls. His perspective is so unique (thank God), and watching its development is captivating. Donoghue goes into great detail about the Room and Jack's relationship to the objects in it. How Jack sees the world, the significance of the games that he and his Ma play, these kept me turning the pages even more than the action.

This book holds back from exploiting its readers emotions, even though it would have been so easy to up the Awful Factor to unbearable levels. As it stands, it keeps it to terrible freaking subject matter, written up as a thriller. One scene actually had me drenched in sweat. I got very invested in Jack and I felt strongly about his well-being. (Also, it gets hot in this apartment.) SO. A good read, a quick read, and recommended. 

This books is a R.I.P.ping good suspense/thriller. 

18 comments:

  1. I love Emma Donoghue (note: normally plenty of lesbians in her books) and this was the first book of hers I read so I think of it fondly (you know, within reason) and at the time I was like 'this is the best!' but now I'm more like... Other Donoghue things are the best ever!

    I don't really know where I was going with this, other than I'm glad this didn't eat your soul, and also read more Donoghue cause she's awesome! :)

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    1. Excellent! I definitely will - I really liked her writing style. And I liked that it didn't keep me up nights, though that may mean I'm dead inside.

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    2. HER STYLE IS DIFFERENT IN EVERYTHING ELSE. AND BY DIFFERENT I MEAN WAY BETTER.

      ...I read like three of her books and then tried Room. I hated Room. Because I don't want to read from a five-year-old's perspective.

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    3. Yes, this makes sense. It was so different that I really liked it, but I can see how it could be grating! Really have to read some of her other stuff.

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    4. Alice: "Talking animals? Children? Moving right along."

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    5. THERE WERE TALKING ANIMALS?

      I will only do this if it's done by a third person adult, Lemony Snicket type of narrator.

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    6. Not talking animals in THIS book...in GENERAL.

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    7. If there were talking animals in this book it would add a whole new level of fuuuuucked. We should write to Donoghue and suggest a sequel.

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    8. I liked the 5 year old narrator! Cause how would it be if you'd been in a room your whole life and didn't know anything about the outside world? Donoghue wants us to know!

      Also, it would have been TERRIBLE if it had been narrated by Ma. Just... No.

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  2. Ahhh your review is such a tease! I want to read it just so I can find out the guy's motives for creating the room!

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    1. Read eet! This book is so good and creepy. There's so much more I want to talk about, reasons why the writing is so excellent, but it'll spoil the whole story.

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  3. I had to stop reading after that description of Fall on Your Knees JUST so I could add it to my to-read list immediately. I have issues...and very little soul left to go around.

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    1. It was sooooo good, but SO upsetting. I believe Raych at Done Read described it as similar to a devastatingly beautiful painting of a corpse. Yes. That.

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  4. I am now intrigued and super afraid of Fall On Your Knees because I do not want to pay with my soul, thankyouverymuch.

    I liked Room but Jack's point of view was grating. Do not want a five year old narrator.

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    1. I was going to say Fall on Your Knees might not be upsetting to everyone, but no. It is. And yet AMAZING.

      Yeah, it's a bit like a writing exercise over 400 pages. It's a lot. BUT, I was OK with it.

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  5. My experience of Room is slightly different in that I "read" it in audio form, so the reader was actually a child. I wasn't expecting that but soon grew to love the little boy.

    The reviews have been mixed--lots of one star ratings as well as five star ratings, but I really liked it. It's almost two different books--the before and the after--and both were compelling for me.

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    1. Oh wow, that would be interesting! And you're so right about it being like two different books. A great way to describe it without spoiling anything.

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