Emma Donoghue’s “Room”

First heard of this novel in an excellent article at NPR. Just downloaded from Amazon, decided to peek at the first few pages. Fifteen minutes later, I had to force myself to stop reading so I could get some work done. Riveting stuff.


The Boston Globe
“Room,’’ a riveting, powerful novel from Irish writer Emma Donoghue, tells the story of a 26-year-old woman who has been held captive in a locked room for seven years. The book is told from the point of view of her son, 5-year-old Jack, who calls this home “Room’’ and knows nothing of the world outside its soundproof walls. Jack sleeps in a wardrobe at night and entertains himself with various imaginary games that, while perfectly normal to him, are dismal to the reader.

One of the most highly anticipated books of autumn, “Room’’ deserves all the praise it’s received ahead of its release, including recently being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. An emotionally draining read, yet at the same time impossible to put down, it has all the makings of a modern classic.

The Guardian
Much hyped on acquisition and by its publisher since (and longlisted for the Booker prize last week), Room is set to be one of the big literary hits of the year. Certainly it is Emma Donoghue’s breakout novel, but, seemingly “inspired” by Josef Fritzl’s incarceration of his daughter Elisabeth, and the cases of Natascha Kampusch and Sabine Dardenne, it’s hard not to feel wary: what is such potentially lurid and voyeuristic material doing in the hands of a novelist known for quirky, stylish literary fiction?

It is a brave act for a writer, but happily one that Donoghue, still only 40 but on her seventh novel, has the talent to pull off. For Room is in many ways what its publisher claims it to be: a novel like no other.

Excerpt, interviews, and Book trailer at the author’s website

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