Monday, 28 February 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

This book has been all over the blogsphere, booksites and bookshop windows for ages I am starting to wonder if there are many people left who haven't read it!

For those handful of you who haven't, the novel is narrated by 5 year old Jack. His whole life has been spent in one single locked Room. His world is created by Wardrobe, the place to sleep, TV where his bestfriends live, Rug where he does his PE lessons, and his mother who works hard to create as normal life for him as she possibly can. Kidnapped, his mother is determined that her son will not know that he is missing out on life outside Room. So much so, that she doesn't tell him about the world outside.
Yet one day he discovers the truth. From then on we see how he processes the information and deals with the reality of his life.

I loved many elements of this novel, the 5 year old narration and view point, the mother-son bond and the little shell of a world in which they exist. In a few places the story is dubious - his language skills are just too far advanced, and in one or two places the narration stutters and an anonymous narrator seems to slip through for just the breifest of moments.

As much as I enjoyed the book I'm surprised that it got so far in the Man Booker prize as I read it as a light read (my plane read) and wouldn't consider it literature. I also can't see it hanging around for a long time, and would class it with Jodi Picoult style novels.
What did you think about it's Booker nomination? Did you think it deserved its place?


Vivienne said...

I think it may be the subject matter that might have led to its Booker nomination. Although it is a light read, it is a dark subject and very topical at the moment.

Jo said...

I agree with you that this was an odd inclusion on the Booker list, and I also think it was the subject matter that put it there. Ican't make the comparison to Jodi Picoult, because I've ever read one.
I do however think jack's language was its saving grace. I thought it was fascinating how all the words he learnt in Room in the context of
just him and Ma were of very little use to him in the wider world.

Chris said...

I'm so glad that you seemed to like this one overall :) I really liked it too! I'm with you though on the Booker just seemed an odd choice for that!