2 ♥ 5
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.
“In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there’s only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit….”
Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize, why?
I am not trying to sound mean. The reason I got through this book is because of my stubborn determination to complete reading challenges.
Writing is very tough, I hate giving such unfavorable book reviews, but here it goes.
It was disappointing. More so because the hype surrounding it.
Was the plot good? Sure
Was the narrator any good? No!
The first 40% of the book is a real effort, its frustrating. For a book to be great, it has to grab you in the first few pages, this one failed. Once you get through good 50-60%, then the plot pace picks up.
The concept is good, of kid as a narrator, especially a 5 year old(Jack). But does that justify this genre and theme? Hell no!
To me it was annoying reading his POV, there was no real substance there. I thought for someone going through such tragedy, he was a real brat. He didn’t have much sympathy for his mother or the others who wanted to care for him. We know he is capable of affection and for that reasons I didn’t like him.
I wish Jack was a couple more years older. The emotional hit was lacking, if there was any it just superficial. Sorry Emma.
Jack is unreliable to move the story along. For all the hype surrounding it, especially the shortlist, I felt cheated after reading it. The Ma’s role though had some great moments but it didn’t materialize or have enough time to develop. We don’t get to see her struggle. I get its the kids POV is the selling point here, but it doesn’t achieve anything. Ma’s side is hardly glossed over, as a reader I don’t know what state of mind led her to certain actions. And that really killed it for me.
I really don’t know why people keep saying its tragic. It was sad, definitely. I’ve read some YA books more tragic than this. It was sort of an agnostic take to the story.Narration was the weakest link.
There are moments when Jack is saying “Ma is gone”, we don’t really get to see how . Or know what is happening.That left me with unanswered questions.As I was reading, I felt something big was happening, but I never got the emotional jolt that this book promised. It was even more disappointing since this was on my to read list since 2 years.
Well another one bites the dust.
Pros: Good plot, writing
Cons: Jack POV, slow pace of plot
The blurb says:
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.
Energetic? It wasn’t. Was the story resilient? Yes but it was so understated. Brilliantly executed? I doubt that.
I am not saying this is horrible read, you might even like it if you go without much expectation, without buying the hype.
For my own sanity’s sake, I’m no longer reading hyped books. Screw them.
Just watched the trailer, seems like movie is going to be much better than the book. In fact you can skip the book and watch the movie.
Come to think of it, the book does read as a script.Hmm..it really has good material for a performance than a novel.
Update: I enjoyed reading the second half of the book, it was far more engrossing and the pace was just right. It is here that you find the layers, they peel of to show a great story.
Oh and heads-up, don’t watch the trailer before movie. Spoiler alert.
The book is sadly not as life affirming as the movie claims to be.
2016 Books Read: 3/100
—Take care, happy reading!—
“Books fall open, you fall in. When you climb out again, you’re a bit larger than you used to be.” – Gregory Maguire