It’s Jack’s birthday and he’s excited about turning five. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside.
If you feel like being a five year old boy for a couple days or hours, then pick up this book. You’ll find yourself in the mind of an especially articulate child who is very happy in his own world, but whose fifth year changes everything. Sounds good to you?
There’s a catch–there always is–because he’s locked in a room with his mother and there’s a whole another world outside the locked door.
The book was published in 2010 and it won’t take you long to come up with a handful of possible sources for its inspiration, unfortunately. And yet, Donoghue manages to turn it into a charming tale of survival, adventure, and new beginnings.
Objectively, this a very well written book. Jack’s voice is pitch perfect for someone his age and somewhat extraordinary circumstances. There’s a clear structure to the book, and there’s humour as well as candid observations.
I could wax poetic of the literary values of this book, but the truth is all that didn’t stop me from being bored out of my skull. There were moments towards the end when Jack’s boyish enthusiasm got the best of him and actually made reading Room interesting, but those were only moments.
I’m not Dr. Clay wanting to take an advantage of subject psychological article series–I’m Steppa, the outsider who lets things and people be what they are rarely wanting to intervene and who retreats to his own space to ponder on things larger than life. Like chocolate.
It’s a good book, you should read it. Objectively speaking.