4.05 (695,401 ratings by Goodreads)

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The award-winning bestseller that became one of the most talked about and memorable novels of the decade, Room is "utterly gripping...a heart-stopping novel" (San Francisco Chronicle).
Held captive for years in a small shed, a woman and her precocious young son finally gain their freedom, and the boy experiences the outside world for the first time. To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating -- a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 321 pages
  • 137 x 208 x 25mm | 318g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0316098329
  • 9780316098328
  • 30,425

Review Text

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma...
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Review quote

"Remarkable.... Jack's voice is one of the pure triumphs of the novel: in him, she has invented a child narrator who is one of the most engaging in years - his voice so pervasive I could hear him chatting away during the day when I wasn't reading the book.... This is a truly memorable novel, one that can be read through myriad lenses - psychological, sociological, political. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live."--Aimee Bender, The New York Times Book Review "Powerful.... Seen entirely through Jack's eyes and childlike perceptions, the developments in this novel--there are enough plot twists to provide a dramatic arc of breathtaking suspense--are astonishing.... Donoghue brilliantly portrays the psyche of a child raised in captivity...will keep readers rapt."--Publishers Weekly "Only a handful of authors have ever known how to get inside the mind of a child and then get what they know on paper. Henry James, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and, more recently, Jean Stafford and Eric Kraft come to mind, and after that one gropes for names. But now they have company. Emma Donoghue's latest novel, Room, is narrated by a 5-year-old boy so real you could swear he was sitting right beside you.... Room is so beautifully contrived that it never once seems contrived. But be warned: once you enter, you'll be Donoghue's willing prisoner right down to the last page."--Malcolm Jones, Newsweek "One of the most affecting and subtly profound novels of the year."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post "I loved Room. Such incredible imagination, and dazzling use of language. And with all this, an entirely credible, endearing little boy. It's unlike anything I've ever read before."--Anita Shreve, author of The Pilot's Wife and A Change in Altitude "Emma Donoghue's writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness. Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it's over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days."--Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry "A riveting, powerful novel.... Donoghue's inventive storytelling is flawless and absorbing. She has a fantastic ability to build tension in scenes where most of the action takes place in the 12-by-12 room where her central characters reside. Her writing has pulse-pounding sequences that cause the reader's eyes to race over the pages to find out what happens next.... Room is likely to haunt readers for days, if not longer. It is, hands down, one of the best books of the year."--Liz Raftery, The Boston Globe "A novel so disturbing that we defy you to stop thinking about it, days later"--Sara Nelson, O Magazine "A bravura performance."--ELLE "Room is that rarest of entities, an entirely original work of art. I mean it as the highest possible praise when I tell you that I can't compare it to any other book. Suffice to say that it's potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory."--Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours and By Nightfall
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About Professor Emma Donoghue

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge doing a PhD in eighteenth-century literature before moving to London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their two children. She also migrates between genres, writing literary history, biography, stage and radio plays as well as fairy tales and short stories. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (Frog Music, Slammerkin, Life Mask, Landing, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Akin, Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes.
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Rating details

695,401 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (263,100)
4 39% (268,599)
3 17% (119,276)
2 4% (30,999)
1 2% (13,427)

Our customer reviews

I bought this book as the theme and story was completely new to me. I would say the books is worth a read , though some points were incredulous and hard to digest. The 5 years child portrayed is incredibly precocious and the whole story is narrated from his point of view only which creates perplexity ( in one sentence he asks futile questions about almost anything because he has been in confinement and has not seen the world , in the other sentence he explains the readers the answers to his own questions. This perplexity could have been avoided if the story was narrated from a third point of view or by the same child after he's grown up.)This has been the only pitfall of the book as it is hard to digest the incredible narration and vocabulary by a small kid. Other than that , the story pulls-off mother-child relationship in the darkest corner of the world and excels in portraying the undying love of a mother.The story is moving , characters are strong and narration is compelling.It is a story of hope and strength. A definite more
by Vidz
I loved this book and found it un-put-downable! You see this story through the innocent eyes of a young boy and question what you take for granted...This story stayed with me long after I finished more
by Maggie Swithenbank
I believe that 'Room' offers an insightful look into the power of human perspectives. What we believe becomes our reality as is the case of the 'Room' for the book's young character. Although the book describes an example of gross human deprivation as the boy and his mother are imprisoned within a tiny room, the attitude of the boy's mother enables a feeling for the boy that all is as it should be - So much so, that freedom equals confusion for the child.......A great story told -through the eyes of a small more
by Leana Fletcher
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