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Room Audiobook

Room

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Publisher's Summary

The story of a mother, her son, a locked room, and the outside world.

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, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma, and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside....

Told in Jack's voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.

©2010 Emma Donoghue (P)2010 Hachette Audio US

What the Critics Say

"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)

"Room is one of the most profoundly affecting books I've read in a long time. Jack moved me greatly. His voice, his story, his innocence, his love for Ma combine to create something very unusual and, I think, something very important.... Room deserves to reach the widest possible audience." (John Boyne)

"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)

"I’ve never read a more heart-burstingly, gut wrenchingly compassionate novel . . . As for sweet, bright, funny Jack, I wanted to scoop him up out of the novel and never let him go. In him, Donoghue has created 21st-century fiction’s most uniquely loveable voice. She deserves to win this year’s Man Booker Prize." (Daily Mail)

"extraordinary power of Donoghue's utterly gripping story which, although not essentially just hers, has never been told in such a way before." (Mirror Book of the Week)

"In filling this book with things that are both truly horrific and rather lovely, Emma Donoghue has achieved a work that is deeply unsettling on every level. It is a strange paradox that a book about imprisonment and torture should have become an arena for discussing the proper care and love of children. I think I am glad to have read it." (Financial Times)

"What saves this beautifully nuanced book from being in any way a voyeuristic reaction to true crime is less the descriptions of captivity than the inevitably changing nature of the child / parent relationship, which Donoghue explores here so minutely, recognisably and exultantly." (Sunday Telegraph)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (127 )
5 star
 (78)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.4 (117 )
5 star
 (72)
4 star
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3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
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Story
4.4 (117 )
5 star
 (74)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    debbie toowoomba, Australia 08/02/2016
    debbie toowoomba, Australia 08/02/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    12
    2
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    Story
    "I laughed and I cried! Artfully told by author and narrator."

    Everything about this audio production and novel is excellent. How the author sustained the perspective of Jack throughout the novel is truly an art. The narrator of the audio had me both in tears and laughing. I'm not sure I will be able to be in public when I watch the movie as I found the story emotionally challenging. A truly extraordinary novel that comes to life in this audio version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ashleigh 06/07/2015
    ashleigh 06/07/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    Really long, but interesting and a little bit insightful. Don't think I'd read/listen to it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 21/03/2015
    Emily 21/03/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    The story is told from the perspective of a 5 year old; while this is insightful, I found it really tedious to listen to at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    clare 03/10/2016
    clare 03/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "just wow"

    great tale of love and change. fantastic character agency. well researched, with a very strong finish

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 28/06/2016
    Susan 28/06/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unique and moving"

    The perspective of this story from a child raised in such restricted and traumatic circumstances is touching. In some ways I found this more poignant as it does not revel in the sensational aspect of this crime. The child's view and behaviour reveals more about the impact and implications of this crime upon others than is usually considered. The strength of this young woman's character is amazing. A great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    victoria 12/06/2016
    victoria 12/06/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "hauntingly addictive"

    This book is amazing I couldn't stop listening to it. A very unique way of story telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thuvaraka 19/04/2016
    Thuvaraka 19/04/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A decent listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Room to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version but did watch the movie. I believe the audio version to be superior to the movie.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Exploration of the subject matter from the POV of a 5 year old child gave it a new layer.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The narrator appeared to perfectly capture the essence of the 5 year old boy. The voice actor for the mother sounded somewhat disinterested, however overall I was pleased.


    Any additional comments?

    ** spoiler alert **

    I decided to listen to this book upon recommendation from a friend of mine who had thought it best that I begin without any clue to the plot. And so I began this book without any expectation of content or quality.

    I found myself to be pleasantly surprised and I can understand why this was recommended to me given my line of work in mental health. As Jack slowly begins to describe his day to day life, there is a clear insight into how limited his world is. I have read negative reviews complaining about the constant child-like language and yet ability to pronounce difficult words like "hippopotami" but this is to be naturally expected with a young boy denied of social development and skills who has been taught to play "parrot". Life as he knows it does not exist beyond the walls of the room. The enmeshed relationship between mother and son are viewed as clearly pathological and yet I found this to be quite interesting. Similarly, due to his limited world, Jack was never taught about the perils of "stranger danger" and this is clearly noted in his interactions and lack of understanding regarding boundaries. Having said this, it appeared far too easy for Jack to overcome his separation anxiety, simply for the sake of plot movement. Similarly, his miraculous escape from the room did raise some eyebrows and I find it very strange that a paranoid kidnapper would not look at a supposedly deceased body to confirm this.

    I felt that much was able to be gained from the mother's interactions with the boy. Despite the storytelling occurring from his point of view, I was able to connect with her own feelings of despair and frustration through her responses. Even through a simple repetition of her words by Jack, with no interpretations on his part, her defiance and associated guilt where easily communicable if attention is paid. Despite her acting as a sounding board, she was still able to fleshed out to a reasonable degree. I would have liked to get a better understanding of her true conflictual feelings for her son as even though she repeatedly states that Jack is her saviour, it is hard to believe that there were no warring emotions about her saviour being the son of her abuser and the subsequent paradox of her shining light as a constant reminder of her trauma.

    Overall I would give this book 4 stars. It wasn't so engrossing that I felt compelled to read it all in one sitting. I did not find it suspenseful nor chilling. Rather I found it fascinating to consider the impact of social isolation on a child from birth and the subsequent struggles with assimilation into society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally 11/04/2016
    Sally 11/04/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All the feels"

    A brilliantly performed audio book. Such a powerful piece of writing with so many emotional responses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 19/03/2016
    Emily 19/03/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    9
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    Story
    "Worst Aussie accent ever."

    It was an interesting and thought provoking concept for a story. Worst Australian accent I've heard though.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Humphries 02/02/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
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    Story
    "Loved it."

    Captivating story and brilliantly read (although the guy's 'Australian' accent was simply atrocious). So fascinating to hear it from Jack's point of view and in his unique way of speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Marcie
    Guildford, United Kingdom
    5/03/11
    Overall
    "Like a car crash you cannot look away from"

    I have rarely heard a better production made with more care. This book is an excellent narrative told from the viewpoint of a child born into the captivity of a 12 x 12 room. It also makes us look at the superficiality of our culture and the extraordinary things that ordinary people can achieve if beset by hardship. In this case a woman who is kidnapped and forced to live in captivity for 7 years. If I get snowed into my house for 2 days I start freaking out, so I do not really want to imagine what this character has had to endure before we end up meeting her and her wonderful son Jack.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • C. Whigham
    edinburgh uk
    16/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "absolutely loved it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    after listening to this version i have chosen this book for my book club to read i could not put it down, it even inspired me to go running so i could keep listening!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    i loved jack such a stoic wee boy!


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    the narrators were great they made the story really come to life


    If you could rename Room, what would you call it?

    i woudlnt, and i love that its just 'room' and not 'the room' you need to read it to understand why


    Any additional comments?

    fab read it!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    24/02/11
    Overall
    "Fascinating and original book"

    This is a remarkable book. First of all, it is SF-like in creating an entirely different world, the one the boy constructs (with the aid of his mother???s explanations) to rationalize the very strange environment he finds himself in - which is not at all strange to him, as it is the only one he knows. But, much more than this, it is also an absorbing and thrilling adventure, and an impressive story of maternal love, full of emotion but not at all sentimental. A really great listen, though at first I found the high-pitched narration of the boy a bit jarring. But the story was so good that I soon got over that and was drawn in completely.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Judith
    28/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent"

    Captivating story, beautifully written. Performance of this audiobook was outstanding and extremely entertaining! I loved every second of it and finished it in 2 sessions!

    Thank you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Janie
    CAIRNS, Australia
    18/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book is so good it's a freak!"

    Books like these only come by once in an eon, especially when the audiobook version is read so damn well, it just couldn't be better. There are so many layers of meaning in this book it gives you pause to reflect a long time after you finish reading it. It's about freedom and love, and ultimately about the human spirit's ability to transcend and move forward from one's own worst fears, memories and experiences. This book should be read by everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nina
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    8/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfectly written and narrated as well"

    This was a very interesting book which I couldn't stop listening to for a minute. It gave me the creeps when I imagined someone having to spend their childhood being locked up in a tiny room but on the other hand it described the amazing courage and hope that the main character Jack and his Ma showed throughout their ordeal. I loved Ma's creativity and Jack's perspective on the world as the book is told in his voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dawn Macgregor
    23/11/10
    Overall
    "Thoroughly enjoyable for a different listen."

    This is one of the few books that I listened to in two days as it was entrancing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • S
    20/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling"

    a sad story of love and endurance, with some brilliant observations of the world by a child

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. Karen Roche
    8/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "en trawling read"
    If you could sum up Room in three words, what would they be?

    absolute page turner


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack, i love that the book is told from his perspective and really portrays children's innocence


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    very well read, such an achievement really for a young person


    Who was the most memorable character of Room and why?

    Jack


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marion Low
    Pretoria, South Africa
    23/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wished I loved this as much as I wanted to"

    Spoilers.

    The first half of the book is magical, constantly tugging on my heartstrings. Unfortunately this beauty is lost the moment they manage to escape. Jack and Ma may have escaped the clutches of old Nick, but they were now being kept prisoner by the author, spewing sanctimonious sentiments about modern society, humanity and consumerism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Michael
    Gosport, United Kingdom
    13/11/10
    Overall
    "Great book but Jack's voice could have been better"

    Fantastic book. Very gripping story-line with some real tear-jerker moments.

    The only thing I didn't like about this audio version is the voice of the child. It sounded like an adult woman pretending to be a 5-year-old boy. I realize they probably couldn't get a real 5-year-old boy to narrate it but surely they could have got an older boy to narrate, rather than a woman.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Caroline
    ambleside, United Kingdom
    29/01/11
    Overall
    "reasonable"

    It took a while to get over the irritating Ralph Wigham ( from simpsons) voice, and to get into the situation the characters were in.

    Once into it, the story was quite interesting and exciting how the characters were coping with the situation, the simplicity of existing.

    So, all in all, a reasonable listen, just that irritating voice...listen to the preview before buying

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    15/02/11
    Overall
    "Good listen"

    I wont review the book in great detail as others have done this. What I will say is that it is certainly a good story written cleverly from a child's perspective. It is however, let down by the narration. The 'childs' voice is grating to begin with, although I did get used to it as I got more into the story. The Irish and Australian accents were probably the worst I've ever heard - laughably so, which detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Don't let this put you off though - they only made brief appearances.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    Manly, Australia
    17/10/10
    Overall
    "Uncomfortable book, but very well executed"

    I found this book extremely uncomfortable to listen to because of the subject matter. That said, the viewpoint of Jack, an innocent, makes it slightly more palatable, while also allowing Donoghue to pile on the irony.

    Like other listeners, I found the child's voice jarring at first, but soon settled in. I thought the person reading the child's part did incredibly well at conveying subtle emotions, and also liked the input from other voices for the other characters. If you can deal with the child's voice (which isn't for everyone, going on these reviews), I think this is a book that works very well in audiobook format.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Sam Woodward
    UK
    17/09/10
    Overall
    "Narrator sounds like Ralph Wigham..."

    This is a great story which kept me hooked throughout - hence the 3 stars. However, I found this version difficult to listen to, since the narrator sounds like Ralph Wigham from The Simpsons.

    The story is told by a 5 year-old boy, who - as is often done with voiceover work - is narrated by a woman putting on a childish voice. In this case, the voice was too blatantly female, as well as difficult to understand. I found this incredibly annoying, as it ruined the atmosphere which oozes from the book by making a tense situation sound simplified & cartoonish.

    This is one of the few instances in which I would recommend reading the actual text version over the audiobook.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Astrid
    Cheltenham, United Kingdom
    15/01/11
    Overall
    "Outstanding!"

    This is definitely my favourite book of 2010. I notice some reviewers have not liked the narrator, and am surprised to read one person deleted the book after only 10 minutes - my advice would be to give it some time, as you do get used to him, and actually I think as you warm to the character more, it becomes quite endearing. This book stayed with me for weeks after, and really got me thinking, mainly because it's been written from a child's perspective. Very clever, very touching - a real gem of a book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    27/11/10
    Overall
    "It's right up there amongst the best I've heard!"

    Quite an amazing listen that brought tears to my eyes during a long train journey. I would advise to ignore any negative reviews that have been based soley upon the narration of 5-year-old Jack's voice. For me, it is the voice of Jack that had my emotions at breaking point at several points during the book. However, although I didn't find his voice difficult to overcome, obviously some did so bear it in mind - but DO stick with it because, as the book progresses, you will fall in love with him and want to take him home! Highly recommended!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah Jane
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    3/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't want it to end!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a fabulous book. I was put off by the subject matter, but persuaded by some good reviews and the fact it is narrated by an ensemble cast. Always a good sign if the publisher is willing to commit extra funds to book narration. I was completely gripped and felt the narrators were completely stunning. They assumed fairly flat voices in contrast to the cheerful Jack, but this complemented the sheer horror of what befell the mum and her little boy.


    What other book might you compare Room to, and why?

    I think it stands out from the crowd.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The importance of being a kind, patient and committed mother


    Any additional comments?

    I want to have temporary amnesia so I can listen to this again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Scotland
    9/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"
    Would you listen to Room again? Why?

    This is different from anything I've read before, and it was lifted into the category of brilliant by the performance. Beautifully constructed book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Told from the viewpoint of a young child, this story is funny, heartbreaking and uplifting. The part of the child 'Jack' was beautifully read. I loved it from start to finish and couldn't stop listening.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    This book is completely transformed by the narration. I found it to be exceptional and much more interesting than if I'd read the hard copy.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending of the book was very moving, but the entire book is just brilliant.


    Any additional comments?

    I read widely and this book is one of the best I've ever read. It stands out as different from the rest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nicky
    18/09/10
    Overall
    "Brilliant thought provoking"

    At first the child's voice was very grating to listen to but once I got into the story it fitted very well. Can't say much without spoiling the story but I loved it. It was sad, emotional,heartbreaking, funny, moving, amazing in just about everyway. Give it a go once you overcome the voice you will realise it fits the story brilliantly. Cant recommend it enough.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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