This is possibly the most engaging book I have ever read. And I read a lot.
The book is very loosely based on the story of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was locked in a basement by her father for 24 years.
Jack has spent his entire life in "Room" with his Ma and knows nothing of the existence of an outside world until shortly after his fifth birthday.
The story is extremely compelling, not just because of the sheer horror of the underlying premise, but because the characters are so gripping. The book is told from the perspective of Jack, an utterly precocious and endearing child who appears to be extremely normal despite his unusual upbringing. It's not until later in the book that we start to see exactly how Jack and Ma have been affected by their ordeal.
I literally could not put this book down and read it in one sitting. I laughed, I cried, but most of all I came to appreciate how truly incredible the human spirit can be. This is a story of hope, but it is also a story of amazing courage shown by two very special people.
9 out of 10 from me.
Then again, my Mum read it and didn't like it much, so go figure!
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I've just started to read this book - I'll have to come back and give my verdict, but so far the start has been 'cute' (for want of a better word) with the insight into their stifled day-to-day routine.
Well, finished it a couple of days ago and loved it. Honestly struggled to put it down once I had properly immersed myself in the story.
The 'innocent' voice of Jack as narrator creates an intriguing and fresh approach to an experience which people could not fathom when Elisabeth Fritzel's story came to light, let alone speak about it in such frank terms. I felt Donoghue caught the tone of Jack and Ma's experience brillantly - the contrasts between the day-to-day routine set up in Room and the overwhelming instability of Outside as experienced and described by Jack drew me in as a reader as I shared his highs, lows and general confusions.
Strangely enough, I was also satisfied with the ending. I'm a bugger for reading the last page if I can't stand the suspense any longer or I can't stand reading another page of a tedious book, but still want to know the ending. If you're like me, don't read the end. I'm glad I didn't just because, obviously, the novel can be very emotional and horrifying (by the very nature of it's storyline) at times, frustrating at others and I did find myself a little wriled up while reading, yet the ending gave a closure for both the characters and myself which I appreciated.