Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

Wowzers. This is an amazing book. My first read of this year's Booker Shortlist. I don't know how the others will compare but at the moment I really hope this wins. It is such a bold and brave book to write, such a difficult subject matter and a child narrator can be very difficult to pull off.

Room is told by Jack, a five-year-old boy who has lived in Room his entire life. Room is an eleven by eleven foot room with minimal furniture, a skylight, and a electrically locked door. He lives with his mother and is often visited at night by a man he knows as Old Nick. When he turns five his Ma reveals to him that there is a whole world outside of Room and she asks him to help them both escape.

I really don't know where to begin with the wonderfulness that was this book. And by wonderful I mean absolutely horrible, nausea-inducing, moving, moving, moving. I read this book in three days, and the only reason it took me that long was because I had to work all three of them, and on the second day I was going to a party and decided to drive and thus not drink because I was too scared to go in a taxi lest I get raped and abducted and kept in a room for years and years and years. Yes, I have a tendency to overreact, but still, bloody well done Emma!!

Perhaps the most moving aspect of this book is that is told by a five-year-old. The language and his observations are entirely innocent and I felt that this made the book so much more tragic and affecting than if it were told from Ma's perspective. In this way, we are exposed to the rape, violence and manipulation that Ma experiences but never explicitly and never with detail. It is ever so chilling. The plot is fast paced and compelling and frankly, I can't fault this book!!

Good luck for the Booker Ms Donoghue!!


nomadreader said...

I utterly adored this novel and hope it wins the Booker too. I've read almost all of the shortlist this year, and I must say, all are worthy in different ways. It's a very difficult decisions, but I'm pulling for Room.

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves this book. I need to read it now, I want to take part in the discussion!

farmlanebooks said...

Yeah! Great to see another fan :-) It is my favourite book of the year so far and I'm really hoping that it wins.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to read this one, and I really need to get on it! It sounds fabulous (well, as fabulous as anything with such a sad story can be).

Jessica (The Bluestocking Society) said...

Every review I read just cements my desire to read this right away. Unfortunately, I have a few other reading commitments before I can get to it.