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Room: A Novel

Room - Emma Donoghue I would like to begin my review by confessing that I am not quite a kid person. There appears to be a Wordsworthian trend in our culture to idolize youth, to see children as somehow more "evolved" than their corrupt adult counterparts. I happen not to buy that notion at all. Having said that, there were some things I liked about Jack as narrator and Room and some things which were frustrating. First off, I felt it was a little bit limiting to filter everything through Jack's perspective. Just as I personally don't like conversing with children because I find doing so dull and un-stimulating and sort of tiring, Jack's voice, at times, began to get tiresome, and I wanted another perspective and more nuance. Jack's thought and ideas were circular and repetitive, which is actually quite authentically child-like, and in that the author succeeds admirably. I personally, however, found it as tedious as conducting an hour after hour conversation with a child, if such a thing were possible.The plot kept things going forward though, and I really enjoyed the relationships that are created throughout the book- Jack and his Ma, Jack and his Grandma, Jack and Dr. Clay. In reading the book, though, I felt like I was trying to piece together a "real" perspective of things, to distill and interpret Jack's ramblings into something more real, palatable and interesting to me. I think Donoghue succeeds quite fantastically in what she attempts. Jack seems quite real. He is not a child "older than his years" nor is he an idealized tv child. I guess what I'm trying to say is that she succeeds too well in some ways because I was not always fully engaged by Jack's character. But maybe that's because I don't think that everything that comes out of a child's mouth is all that interesting.Reading this book was a bit like babysitting...