Monday, September 27, 2010

Room by Emma Donaghue

Room is one of those rare books that I went out and bought in hard copy. That's really rare, I normally don't see the point of spending that much money and I don't like hardbacks anyway. But the story of Jack and his Ma, living in Room for years and then trying to get used to the Outside was something I had to have right away. I'm sure that the many rave reviews around the blogosphere helped too.

I took Audrey Niffenegger's advice, printed on the front cover, and started reading Room when I had time enough to read it in one sitting. Thankfully, because it was impossible to put down. The story became so real to me that I couldn't leave it for any amount of time.

It's a brilliant premise. Jack was born in Room so he doesn't know that anything else exists. On his fifth birthday, his Ma decides to tell him that there is a whole Outside and that he's old enough to help them get there. The book isn't about the escape though, it's about how Jack views his world, both in Room and then after. It's understandable that when he's confronted with everything that our world contains all he wants is to go to sleep in the same bed he's slept in since he was born. Chilling.

People have said that reading Room changes the way you look at things around you and that it stays with you for days. That's exactly it. I didn't much care for Jack's comments about how we rush around in life and don't find time to appreciate the little things, they may have been slightly contirved, but it did strike me that there are thousands of little things around me that I don't notice anymore. I still don't have time to stop and appreciate them properly, but I think I'm more aware of the world around me. And I am grateful for all the things that make my life what it is.

I really hope that this book wins the Booker Prize. I haven't read the others shortlisted, but that's because none of them really grabbed me. Which one(s) did you like?

Challenges: 2010 Countdown, R.I.P. Challenge

9 comments:

Melody said...

I know what you mean about buying HC. Not only they're expensive but they aren't easy to carry around and keep too, but sometimes it's worth it when the story is that good! I got this book but just haven't got around to reading it yet. So many books, so little time! *sigh*

joanna said...

Oh Melody, curl up on the sofa and read it now! :-)

raidergirl3 said...

Squeee! It's waiting for me tomorrow at the library. I'm the first in a line of 25 to get it. Can't wait, and then I'll come back and read what you wrote.

Iliana said...

Oh I just saw a review of this one up on NPR too I think. This sounds wonderful Joanna. It's definitely on my radar.

I haven't read any of the other nominees but this is probably the one highest on my wish list!

reviewsbylola said...

There are two things you did that I wish I had done too. 1. Buy the book *I borrowed it from the library). 2. Given myself the time to enjoy it in one sitting.

joanna said...

Raidergirl - Ooh, I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think!

Iliana - It really is wonderful and I think you'd really like it.

reviewsbylola - Oh I hope you enjoyed it anyway! Finding time to read anything in one sitting is a luxury, I know...

thesleeplessreader said...

I also loved it. Just by the buzz my money was on Parrot & Olivier, but after reading it I'm completely rooting for Room.

It's amazing how the Dobnaghue manages not to make it too dark and heavy, right? When I'm telling people about it I'm never able to convince them that it's not as heavy as it sounds...

joanna said...

sleeplessreader - exactly!! Everyone says that it's too creepy and depressing and it's impossible to convince them it's not! Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! :-)

Kailana said...

I am glad you liked this book. I was really shocked that it wasn't nominated for the Giller award (Canadian Book Award)!