Audio Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

Posted April 20, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in Audio, Books, Entertainment / 0 Comments

Audio Review: Room by Emma DonoghueRoom by Emma Donoghue
Published by Hachette Audio on September 13th 2010
Genres: Mystery, Literary
Format: Audio Book
Source: Audible
ASIN: B00435FFO4
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. 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 is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

“Everybody’s damaged by something.”

I first saw the film adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s Room when I attended AMC Theaters “Best Picture Showcase.” If you’ve never heard of it, every year the theater has a marathon of all the films nominated for the Academy Award. It’s a really fun event, and this year was my fourth year attending. At first, I found Jack’s narration a tad strange, but one I got into his speech I began to really enjoy it. I thought the film was excellent, and recommended it to everyone after I saw it.

Though I enjoyed the film, I was afraid reading the novel would be difficult so I decided to get the audiobook. This was a great choice! Not only did I find the voice narration to be top-notch, but it was almost like reliving the movie. Of course, as the story progressed I began to notice the differences between the book and film, but this didn’t happen my enjoyment. Every time I got in my car it was my time to listen to this heart-breaking tale of a mother and her son forced to live in a 11ft. x 11 ft. room. Even though I knew how things would end, I was still riveted to this tale.

What I noticed the second time around, is that I empathized a lot more with Jack. When I watched the film I felt really bad for Ma, because of what happened to her, but through the audio I realized that Jack was just as much of a victim. By being relegated to living within the confines of a room, Jack is emotionally and socially delayed in ways that probably will affect him his entire life. Though Jack also narrates the film, we also get to connect with the other characters in a different way that makes it easier to downplay the ramifications of his imprisonment. I’m normally not an audiobook fan, so I was surprised by how much I became invested in this story. Room is well-written, but the subject mater may be difficult to read for some, so beware! However, if you’re interested in this heart-breaking, surprisingly humorous, novel I highly advise you to check out the audiobook. You won’t be disappointed.

About Emma Donoghue

Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their son and daughter.


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