Author: Emma Donoghue
Source: OC Public Library
The audiobook of Room is by Blackstone Audio Inc. The narrators are Michael Friedman, Ellen Archer, Suzanne Toren, Robert Petkoff. A boy of age 5, Jack, is the one telling his story in this novel. So, we have a boy here who reads the book.
Initially, the speech of the boy is annoying and incomprehensible. Imagine chatting with a five-year–old. Odds are you won’t catch their vocabulary at the beginning. But if you put in enough time with them, you turn into a master in understanding their phrases accurately. It took listening to the first chapter twice to understand Jack’s words.
The one who speaks as Ma (Jack’s mother) has a machine-like voice, not at all justifying her character. And irritating for the ears.
The audiobook gets 3/5, only for Jack’s voice. And suggest reading the hardcover rather than listening to the audiobook if you ever pick this novel.
A man kidnaps a teenage girl and throws her into his shed turned prison where he assaults and rapes her daily. She gets pregnant and delivers a healthy baby boy. She names him Jack. This was five years ago. She raised Jack in that room by herself. Old Nick, the kidnapper, provides them with grocery, clothing, toys, books, etc and takes away the trash. Jack’s whole world is that room. He has never been outside. For him, everything he watches on television is unreal. They follow a specific routine every day. All this continues until they finally escape. But once outside, they face different problems.
The story starts with Jack’s description of his days. You read the same routine page after page. It becomes boring after just one chapter. You hope the story will pick up the pace when the author reveals that Jack and his mother as Old Nick’s captives. But, the author disappoints again giving yet another detailed description of Jack’s day. Even the grand escape seems dull when it finally happens.
The only piece I enjoyed was Jack’s discovery of the world. Like the time when he walks down the stairs on legs instead of the using his butt. Or his innocent delight that his muscles are intact even after a haircut. His first experience on a swing, or of ice-cream, or of potato chips. His astonishment of being alive even after getting soaked in rain. These are small cute moments from the novel are worth reflecting on. Now we have grown up, we have lost those feelings of curiosity and wonderment. Exploring the world through the eyes of a child is a treat.
I won’t recommend this book. But you are still free to pick it up and read it.
Thanks for stopping by. Happy Reading!