Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book Review - "Room"

I thought I had better redress the balance after my review of The Gargoyle and give an example of a book which is packed with feeling from start to finish and luckily the very next book I read was such a book.

I confess that after The Gargoyle my faith in my own ability to choose a good book had been rather damaged, so it was with a little trepidation that I began Room by Emma Donoghue.  I needn't have worried.  I read about forty pages in bed one night and then consumed the rest of the book the following day.  This is what books should be like, in my view.  I want the book to become more important than the rest of my life so that I can do nothing else until it is finished.

The first time I remember this happening very clearly was during my "A" level year, when I started reading Lord Of The Rings.  I got to a certain point in the book and realised that it was probably more productive to just abandon my studies completely until I had finished reading it than snatch hours here or there and spend the rest of the time between worrying that I wasn't studying enough and missing the book.  Since then it's been the benchmark of a really good book that it can grab me that way.

So, back to Room.  This may not be in my top ten all time books, but it's up pretty high. I remember choosing it because from the blurb, I thought it was a great "what if" plot.  I 've always been fascinated by human psychology and was looking forward to exploring the effects of an extremely unusual situation on the development of the central character, a five-year-old child.  What I wasn't expecting was to experience so much of what his mother feels as well, the more powerfully because those feelings are never described.  Through Jack's account of events we are also in touch with Ma's experience of them.  Without being over-sentimental, the story was nevertheless very moving.

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I may not write any more book reviews here.  (Feedback on whether I should would be appreciated.)  As I think I've indicated, I enjoy most books I read and as I found it much, much more difficult to write about this enjoyable book than I did about the one I hated, the omens are not good.

1 comment:

  1. I adored this book - I put off reading it because of the subject, but then she hooked me from page one. I'm glad you liked it too!