by Emma Donoghue

  • Room Summary

The novel is split into five chapters.

The novel opens with Jack turning five and Ma giving him a drawing she did of him as a gift. The narrative perspective is Jack's; therefore, the dialogue is extremely matter-of-fact and juvenile. He describes his interactions and daily routines with inanimate objects, such as the table and the spoon. Jack and Ma sing some songs together. Ma takes two painkillers for her bad tooth. Jack watches TV and interacts with Dora the Explorer as if she were real. Ma measures Jack’s height on the door frame. They complete more of their daily routine, such as reading more books and doing exercises. They have a nap, and then they have dinner. Ma and Jack make a birthday cake, but Jack throws a tantrum because there aren’t five candles. He shouts that she should have asked for candles as a Sunday treat. Ma writes a shopping list and leaves it. Jack goes into the cupboard to sleep while Old Nick , the man whom the reader learns captured Ma and imprisoned her in Room, visits Ma in the night.

Jack describes how he ‘has some’, referring to breast milk from Ma. The next day, their routine continues. They make a ball out of scrunched-up paper and play with it. While Ma naps, Jack finds a mouse and lures it out with crumbs. Ma tries to kill it, and Jack is distressed. After dinner, they watch TV and try to imitate the presenters to increase their vocabulary. Old Nick visits and has some birthday cake, telling Ma he would have bought Jack a present if he had known. Jack counts the creaks of the bed—what the reader understands to be the sound of Old Nick raping Ma—until they stop.

Jack cries the next day, as he hopes Old Nick will bring him a dog. After lunch and a nap, they do their routine of screaming at the skylight, in hopes that someone will hear them. When Jack wakes up the next day, Old Nick has bought him a remote-controlled Jeep. Ma cleans Room, and Jack plays with the Jeep all day. When Old Nick visits, Jack can hear him talking about how the groceries were a ridiculous price. Jack counts the creaks again. Jack still has the remote in the cupboard; he makes the Jeep fall off the shelf, and it hits Old Nick. Old Nick gets angry and leaves.

The next morning, Jack sees dirty marks around Ma’s neck from where Old Nick forcibly grabbed her. They begin to play their usual games; Scream goes on for longer than usual. Jack sees an advertisement for Ma’s painkillers on TV and thinks that those images are the same thing as her real painkillers. Ma tries to explain to Jack how the TV shows images of real things. Jack can’t stop thinking about the things "Outside." The next day, Ma is "gone," in a comatose state; this happens occasionally and Jack is used to it, though it profoundly discomfits him.

Jack watches TV all day, finding raw food when he is hungry. He examines the marks on Ma’s neck and wants to hurt Old Nick. He contemplates the TV, what is real, and what is not. In the night, Jack is woken up by Ma flashing the light on and off. The next day is Saturday; they play some more games, and Jack hears more stories. When Old Nick visits, Ma asks if they could have an extractor fan installed. He gets increasingly annoyed, telling her she is privileged in Room compared to some people.

The next morning is Sunday, and they have bagels for breakfast. Ma’s rotten tooth comes out and Jack decides to keep it. The narrative begins to focus more on Old Nick’s nightly visits. Ma asks for vitamins to keep them healthy. He tells her that he has been jobless for six months now. During the night, Jack gets out of bed to look at Old Nick. He wakes up, and Ma attacks him for trying to go near her son.

To punish Ma for her outburst, Old Nick cuts the power and stops bringing them food. Ma begins to realize that Old Nick would rather kill them then let the police discover his secret.

Ma finally begins to tell Jack her story for the first time. Jack stands on some chairs to see out the skylight, then Ma tries to explain the concepts of what is real and what is in the outside world. Jack has a hard time understanding this and thinks that Ma is lying.

The next day, it is colder. Jack sees an airplane through the skylight and begins to believe Ma’s explanation a little bit. Ma tells Jack that Old Nick abducted her when she was 19 and has kept her imprisoned all these years.

Eventually, after three utterly miserable days, the electricity comes back on.

The next day, Plant is dead due to the cold. Jack asks if there is water in the outside world, and Ma tells him about lakes and rivers. When Old Nick abducted her, he used the excuse that his dog was missing. Jack asks if the dog is sick, and that gives Ma an idea: if she were to pretend that Jack was sick, then Old Nick would take him to a hospital on the outside. Jack hates the idea of being separated from Ma and refuses to do it. That night, Ma shows Jack the full moon. Jack eventually, reluctantly, agrees to her plan. They discuss how Jack is supposed to behave over and over again.

The next day, Ma makes the room smell like diarrhea and smears her own sick on Jack, after making him hot with a flannel. When Old Nick visits, he refuses to take Jack to a hospital, but he says that he will go get some drugs.

Ma turns to Plan B, which she was prepared for and was actually hoping for: Jack will pretend to be dead, Ma will roll him up in a rug, and Old Nick will take him outside to bury him. Jack will unroll from the rug and escape. They spend the whole day practicing rolling him up and escaping. Jack takes Ma’s old tooth in his sock to bring a piece of her with him. Ma also gives him a note for when he is found.

In the evening, Old Nick comes to the room and Ma puts on a performance of tears and grief. Old Nick agrees to remove Jack and bury him somewhere away from his property. He puts Jack in the bed of his truck and drives away. At a stop sign, Jack manages to wriggle free, but he screams and Old Nick hears him. Jack runs away from the truck into the woods, but Old Nick catches him. A man walking his dog sees them and, finding the situation odd, calls the police. Old Nick runs away, leaving Jack.

The police arrive. Officer Oh puts Jack in the patrol car. She patiently tries to decipher where Ma is being kept, and she manages to narrow it down to an outside structure with a skylight. They find Ma, and she comes running out to Jack. He asks if they can go back to bed in Room.

The police take Ma and Jack to a psychiatric hospital so they can recover in private. Jack doesn’t understand why Ma throws away his underwear, and he also does not understand all the lights of the hospital. They meet Dr. Clay, who will oversee their care. They have to wear masks to keep all the germs of the outside world out. Jack struggles to adjust to life outside of Room, with everyday activities such as a shower proving to be a challenge. A nurse, Noreen , looks after them, helping them down to breakfast and giving Jack an Easter egg.

Dr. Clay takes Jack for some testing; Jack screams when he has to have blood samples taken. The doctor explains to Ma that Jack is infant-level in his mannerisms and that he was so used to a confined space that he cannot gauge distance properly. Noreen brings them new clothes, and Jack finds it strange that Ma is dressed in skinny jeans. Ma’s mother visits them, and Jack gets to meet his grandmother. They talk about Ma’s abduction and how, at the time, the police had concluded that Ma had run off. Ma finds out that her parents divorced and that her mother has a new partner, Leo. Jack finds it strange that you can eat syrup with pancakes and that cleaners wash the sheets for them.

Ma urges Jack to go outside, but he is reluctant and has a panic attack when they get outside. The pair open their fan mail, and Jack has received many toys for his bravery; Ma says he can keep five, but he keeps six. Ma talks to Noreen about the charges that will be brought against Old Nick; we learn that Ma was pregnant once before, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and she had a stillbirth. Ma persuades Jack to go outside, and Noreen suggests that he pretend that they were reading about themselves in a book, in order to cope.

Ma is reunited with her brother, Paul , and his partner, Deana . Paul says that Jack can meet his cousin, Bronwyn , soon. Jack meets Leo properly and labels him “Steppa” for "step-grandfather." Jack continues to ask if the days of the week are the same as in Room, and he wonders what they’ll request for the Sunday Treat. They go on an outing to the dentist to begin fixing Ma’s teeth.

When they come back from the clinic, Ma’s dad has flown from Canberra to see them. When he sees Jack, he is repulsed and cannot stop thinking of him as the result of rape. Ma screams at him, and he leaves. Ma agrees to do a television interview so that the money can go towards Jack’s college fund.

Jack screams when Ma tries to leave, and he is allowed to sit by the side of the interview. The interviewer is a patronizing lady; she comments on the stillbirth when asked not to, and she is shocked when Ma reveals she still breastfeeds Jack. Ma cries, and Jack runs to her side.

The next day, Ma is "gone." Paul was supposed to take them both to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, and Jack decides to be brave and go anyway. On the way to the museum, Paul and Deana need to pop into a mall to get a birthday present for Bronwyn’s friend’s party later in the day. They buy Jack a Dora the Explorer backpack, but he gets in trouble when he tries to put a copy of one of his favorite books from Room, Dylan the Digger, in it, unaware that this is stealing. Deana takes Jack and Bronwyn to the bathroom; Jack touches Bronwyn inappropriately—out of curiosity—and Deana hits his hand away. They drive back to the clinic. When they get back, Jack finds Ma unconscious from an overdose of painkillers.

Jack goes to live with his Grandma while Ma recovers from her suicide attempt. He asks if she is only pretending to be dead, and Grandma is obviously worried. Jack sleeps on a blow-up bed in Grandma and Leo’s room. Ma’s condition is stable, and Grandma decides that Jack cannot spend all day in front of the TV again. Grandma takes Jack to a play park, but she gets angry when he cannot interact properly with other kids. She forgot to put his sunscreen on, so Jack is burnt.

Jack asks when Grandma and Steppa will die. He sees a bee and gets stung when he tries to stroke it. In the kitchen, Jack discovers matches and lights one. Steppa stamps it out and helps him to learn about the different kitchen implements, like the grater. Doctor Clay visits Jack and lectures Grandma about looking after Jack properly. Grandma takes Jack to another play park, but he gets shy in front of another child and they go home.

At home, Jack can hear Grandma and her friends talking about him. They call Grandma "heroic" for looking after him. The next day, Grandma has to have a bath with Jack, and then they cut his hair. Jack checks he still has his strength, like Samson after his haircut.

Grandma and Jack go on an outing. They go to the post office and send Ma a picture of a rocket. They visit Paul at his office. Then, Grandma buys Jack some yellow Crocs. When Jack plays with a little boy, Walker, he tries to give him a hug and accidentally hurts him. Jack says that he loves him.

Jack continues life at Grandma’s, talking to Ma on the phone. They go to the store to buy Jack a football. A woman recognizes Jack, and people begin getting lots of autographs of him; when Grandma notices, she is furious and yanks him home.

Jack is painting in Grandma’s kitchen when Ma appears. They have dinner there, and Ma announces they’ll move to an independent resident facility. They move in, and Jack gets his own room for the first time. Ma and Jack write down everything that is new to them and everything that they want to try.

Jack asks Ma to take him back to Room to visit. She takes him, reluctantly; it is a crime scene. As he looks around, Jack says goodbye and realizes that he no longer feels an attachment to it. They begin the rest of their lives.

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Room Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Room is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

What examples of loyalty from Ma to Jack do we see in the first two chapters of Room?

Ma shows her loyalty to her son by making sure that Old Nick has no reason to become angry with Jack or to reprimand him. She allows Old Nick to abuse her over and over again to keep Jack safe.

What chapter are you referring to?

What new toy does Steppa show Jack? What does Jack think of it?

Is this in Part 1,2,3,4,or 5?

Study Guide for Room

Room study guide contains a biography of Emma Donoghue, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • Character List

Essays for Room

Room essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Room by Emma Donoghue.

  • Narrative Perspective in Emma Donoghue’s 'Room'
  • Belonging Is Imposed from Without Rather Than From Within: Comparing "In the Park" and "Room"
  • Novels of Newness and Rebirth: 'Room', 'Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded', and 'Robinson Crusoe'
  • Motherhood and the Human Condition: An Analysis of The Slave Mother and Room
  • Physical, Mental, and Emotional Freedom in 'Room'

Lesson Plan for Room

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Room
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • Room Bibliography

Wikipedia Entries for Room

  • Introduction
  • Plot summary
  • Awards and honours
  • Adaptations

review of book room

Home — Essay Samples — Life — Room — A Review Of The Book Room By Emma Donoghue


A Review of The Book Room by Emma Donoghue

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Published: Nov 22, 2021

Words: 730 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

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by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma Donoghue

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review of book room

Difficult-to-watch but beautifully performed survival tale.

Room Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

The bond between parent and child is so strong tha

Jack is intelligent, curious, and kind. He loves h

It's obvious that Ma has been systematically raped

The only content in the film related to sex is vio

Variations of "f--k" (used as both an exclamation

Sprint cell phone, children's programming like Dor

Parents need to know that Room is based on an intense, disturbing, award-winning novel by Emma Donoghue that focuses on a precocious 5-year-old boy named Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who lives in an unthinkable situation with his mother, Ma (Brie Larson): They're both trapped in a kidnapper's shed, and Jack was…

Positive Messages

The bond between parent and child is so strong that it can create meaning in otherwise-hopeless situations. Also: With someone you love and care for around, you can survive almost anything. Also suggests that young women should be kind but have a healthy distrust of strangers' intentions.

Positive Role Models

Jack is intelligent, curious, and kind. He loves his mother, who's also his best and only friend. Ma teaches Jack and makes sure he's active and learns, even in their horrible situation. Both of them are very brave, though at one point Ma attempts suicide. Ma's mother is patient and loving after reuniting with her daughter and meeting her grandson.

Violence & Scariness

It's obvious that Ma has been systematically raped and intimidated for her seven years of captivity. She's also been injured and beaten, but mostly sexually assaulted during her time in the shed (during one assault, Jack is hidden in a wardrobe and hears noises). Old Nick hurts and chokes Ma in one scene. Ma attempts suicide by taking an overdose of pills, buts she survives.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

The only content in the film related to sex is violent in nature (details in "Violence" section).

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

Variations of "f--k" (used as both an exclamation or adjective, not as a verb to signify sex) are used almost a dozen times. Also "s--t" and "bitch."

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Products & Purchases

Sprint cell phone, children's programming like Dora and Sesame Street , the novel The Book Thief .

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Room is based on an intense, disturbing, award-winning novel by Emma Donoghue that focuses on a precocious 5-year-old boy named Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who lives in an unthinkable situation with his mother, Ma ( Brie Larson ): They're both trapped in a kidnapper's shed, and Jack was born in captivity. The movie features a great deal of suggested violence (particularly rape), as well as an upsetting scene of the kidnapper yelling at and injuring Ma. There's also an incredibly tense sequence when Jack attempts to escape from his captor and another scene in which a character is shown having overdosed on pills (she survives). Along with the violence, there's some strong language, including nearly a dozen uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. But in the end, despite their horrific circumstances, Ma and Jack have a beautiful, incredibly close relationship that's hopeful and inspiring. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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review of book room

Community Reviews

  • Parents say (15)
  • Kids say (49)

Based on 15 parent reviews

Extremely faithful adaptation leaves you soaring with hope

It's fine for kids 9 and up, what's the story.

ROOM, adapted for the screen by the source novel's author, Emma Donoghue, is mostly a story about two people: 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma ( Brie Larson ), who live together in a single room. Told from Jack's point of view, the movie makes it clear that he's used to the routine of watching TV, reading, playing, and living in a space with just his Ma ... except for at night, when "Old Nick" visits and Jack has to hide in a closet. What the audience knows that Jack doesn't is that he and his mom are Nick's captives, and they live in a locked shed in Nick's backyard. When Ma, who was kidnapped at age 17 and has been held captive for seven years, senses an opportunity for her and Jack to escape, she must convince and coach him on a plan that's both dangerous and heartbreaking. If they succeed, will they be able to deal with being back in the real world?

Is It Any Good?

Room is an admittedly unsettling adaptation, but it's also a beautifully acted testament to the unsinkable bond between a mother and son, whose love propels them to rescue each other. Larson gives a career-making performance as the woman known simply as "Ma" for most of the film. She and young Tremblay make a remarkable duo; Tremblay, in particular, is riveting and natural in a way that's incredibly rare for a child actor. Both actors fully embody Donoghue's literary characters -- a young woman whose life was cut short at 17 but whose child, born in sadness and seclusion, brings her the only hope, joy, and companionship possible in her situation. The desperately tense scene in which she prepares Jack and then sends him to escape from their kidnapper's claws is so anxiety-provoking that even those who've read the novel and know how it ends will feel viscerally uncomfortable until it's finally, finally over.

This isn't the kind of movie that's pleasant to watch. While not as graphically violent as war survival dramas, it's nonetheless upsetting and emotional. That the story is told from Jack's point of view is what makes both the book and the movie so unforgettable. Intelligent beyond his years yet utterly unaware of the world around him, Jack is a mysterious creature to behold, while his Ma, to any parent in the audience, is undeniably a hero for having the courage to raise such a beautiful, kind soul under such heartbreaking limits. Prepare to cry, to feel, and to cheer for Jack and Ma; this is the kind of film that stays with you long after the credits roll.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about Room 's implied versus overt violence . Although there isn't a lot of graphic violence shown on screen, how are violence and tension suggested? Which has more of an impact on you -- what you see, or what you don't? Why do you think that is?

Do you think Ma is a role model ? What tough decisions did she make that you admire? What do you think you might do differently?

What does Ma means when she tells her own mother that if she hadn't been told to be nice all the time, she might not have been kidnapped? What are your thoughts about that statement?

How does the media portray Ma's ordeal? Why does the reporter plant a seed of doubt in Ma's mind about her decisions?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : October 16, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming : March 1, 2016
  • Cast : Brie Larson , Joan Allen , William H. Macy
  • Director : Lenny Abrahamson
  • Inclusion Information : Female actors
  • Studio : A24
  • Genre : Drama
  • Topics : Book Characters
  • Character Strengths : Courage , Curiosity
  • Run time : 118 minutes
  • MPAA rating : R
  • MPAA explanation : language
  • Awards : Academy Award , Golden Globe
  • Last updated : February 26, 2023

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The Spare Room: A Novel

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The Spare Room: A Novel Hardcover – June 20, 2023

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  • Print length 352 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Ballantine Books
  • Publication date June 20, 2023
  • Dimensions 6.5 x 1.23 x 9.54 inches
  • ISBN-10 1984820494
  • ISBN-13 978-1984820495
  • See all details

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ballantine Books (June 20, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1984820494
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1984820495
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.5 x 1.23 x 9.54 inches
  • #1,492 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
  • #3,538 in Psychological Thrillers (Books)
  • #9,449 in Suspense Thrillers

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About the author

Andrea bartz.

Andrea Bartz is a Brooklyn-based journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of the Reese's Book Club pick WE WERE NEVER HERE. Her second thriller, THE HERD, was named a best book of 2020 by Real Simple, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, CrimeReads, and other outlets. Her LA-Times bestselling debut, THE LOST NIGHT, was optioned for TV development by Mila Kunis. It was named a best book of the year by Real Simple, Glamour, Marie Claire, Library Journal, Crime Reads, Popsugar, She Reads, and other publications. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Elle, and many other outlets, and she's held editorial positions at Glamour, Psychology Today, and Self, among other titles. Her forthcoming thriller, THE SPARE ROOM, will be published in June 2023.

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review of book room

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Room Book Review

If you saw the Movie …

There was a time when we were infants and with our mothers all of the time, but as we grew older we were alone or with others, which doesn’t happen in Room because a five-year-old boy, Jack, and his twenty-seven-year-old mother, Ma, are locked in a room together day in, day out. They spend all of their time together, so much so that Jack, if liberated, might not even know how to

It’s a wonder that the two of them find so much to do in that Room! They watch Dora the Explorer on TV or measure the door frames, listen to music or exercise or play games that Ma has made up. To the boy there’s “real” and there’s “on TV” (unreal). He talks to himself in his mind (our narration) about Bed and Duvet and Skylight and Wardrobe, and his mother is always there with him, taking care of Stove and making certain that he doesn’t watch too much TV because he could “rot his brains”! Jack seems to not realize that there’s a world beyond this Room where people really play in the snow or ride around in cars or have friends and pets (he looks forward to seeing Spider, who makes little webs that his mother dislikes, or Mouse, although his Ma clogs up the mousehole). This story is an odd premise (although women have been kidnapped and forced to have children in isolation by social deviants), and we wonder what would happen when Jack reached puberty and maturity.

Once, because of an injury, I had to spend long periods of time in bed (but could still do my writing) and had with me, as my trusty companion, a female dog who was very compassionate and attune to my pain and my moods. I learned every coloring on her body (if ever lost, I could describe her to you perfectly) and I came to know what all of her sounds and positions meant exactly, but I didn’t always know what she was thinking! Room is written from the point of view of Jack’s thoughts (and also realized through dialogues with his mother) so that we can experience the parameters of his limited but very intense life.

Finally (through a series of incidents I’ll leave up to the readers to read by themselves) Jack and Ma are no longer in Room but Outside, Ma for the first time in seven years and Jack for the first time in his life. And everything is so entirely different, so much so that later Jack thinks, about Room, “It’s like a crater, a hole where something happened.”

Emma Donoghue has the ability to draw you in to these unusual circumstances by referencing familiarities from everyday life and creating an affection for Jack, who sees, because of his past, the world so differently than we do. It is also very easy to identify with the other major character, Ma, as she has tried to protect her young son and teach him how to live, unaided, for so long, but must now re-enter the world with her own post-traumatic stress. Ms. Donoghue builds and builds on the plot until we’re entirely at ease with Jack’s way of thinking and can only wish for him that he will eventually fit in. Excellent writing, and just about everyone will love this book!

Room, a novel by Emma Donoghue, published in paperback on September 13, 2010, by Little, Brown And Company, 321 pages. Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Christina Zawadiwsky

Christina Zawadiwsky is Ukrainian-American, born in New York City, has a degree in Fine Arts, and is a poet, artist, journalist and TV producer. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award, two Wisconsin Arts Boards Awards, a Co-Ordinating Council of Literary Magazines Writers Award, and an Art Futures Award, among other honors. She was the originator and producer of Where The Waters Meet, a local TV series created to facilitate the voices of artists of all genres in the media, for which she won two national and twenty local awards, including a Commitment to Community Television Award. She is also a contributing editor to the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology, the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and has published four books of poetry. She currently reviews movies for , music for , and books for .

review of book room

Related Posts

Why handwritten notes make a great impression, my bed is an air balloon by: julia copus illustrated by: alison jay, ellie is cool now.

It’s almost unimaginable to think of being trapped in a room for a few days, much less for years! I’m very curious about how this topic is treated in this book.

I’ve read stories like this, and seen clips on TV, of “caves” or strange places where women were abducted and hidden by deviants – in one a woman had two girls by him and taught them everything she knew, until she was found and went back to school – so it’s a viable topic, and I wonder how the little boy in Room thinks about being there, since he’s known nothing else. Good review that makes me want to read the book.

Any work of fiction seriously written from a child’s point of view intrigues me, since it’s hard to show that naivete and wonder towards the world. I’ll definitely seek out this book.

At the beginning you wonder if Ma and Jack will ever get out, but of course they will. You can only write so much about being locked in a room. It’s the transition from being locked up to realizing there’s a whole world Jack hasn’t seen that makes this book interesting to me.

Even though Room is a heavy subject I liked it because it stuck with me after I finished it. that is the sign of a good book to me. Great review!

Everyone, thank you for your comments! At first I didn’t think I’d find Room interesting, but by the end of it I was so attached to Jack (and secondly Ma) that I remembered the book almost as if it were about real people!

The Room sounds interesting – especially as it is from a child’s viewpoint and he knows nothing else. You didnt say, but now I am wondering what Jack thinks of Nick… and how long after their release does the book continue- for sure looking for this book!

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Lying All the Way to the Bank in ‘America Fantastica’

Tim O’Brien’s manic satire follows a disgraced journalist on a criminal road trip through a myth-addled nation.

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A brightly colored and frenzied illustration shows, at left, a man in a crimson shirt and sunglasses at the wheel of a sports car on the move. A woman in a skimpy yellow dress, sunglasses and with a nervous expression sits next to him, with two bags of money between them. Two-thirds of the image shows an elongated cutaway under the hood; the heads of such pop culture figures as Ronald McDonald and Elvis Presley are mixed in with the gears and inner workings of the engine.

By Noah Hawley

Noah Hawley’s most recent novels are “Before the Fall” and “Anthem.” He is the creator of “Fargo” on FX.

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When scientists take a core sample of fiction from the post-Trump era, they will discover American novelists struggling to unpack the political and social repercussions of his reign. Just as historians work to document the facts of the last 10 years, so, too, do novelists try to reveal their meaning . Tim O’Brien’s diagnosis of what ails America in 2023 is “mythomania,” which he defines as an epidemic of lying that swept our nation during the Trump presidency, infecting man and, he writes, bird alike.

In “America Fantastica,” a manic road-trip-meets-crime-spree novel, O’Brien — the award-winning author of “ The Things They Carried” and “Going After Cacciato” — speaks through an omniscient narrator, one who regularly interrupts the story to describe the spread of this so-called disease:

Bullyism skyrocketed. Marriages collapsed. Prayer groups turned violent. By the last day in July of that year, perjury had become a feather in the cap, E no longer equaled MC squared, and the interchangeability of truth and falsehood filled psychiatric waiting rooms.

Centered on the exploits of Boyd Halverson (not his real name), an investigative reporter turned J.C. Penney manager slash serial liar, the novel begins with his robbing a bank in Fulda, Calif., and taking the teller, Angie Bing, hostage. What follows is a cross-country escapade, from Texas to Minnesota, filled with colorful characters who include Boyd’s ex-wife, her new C.E.O. husband, her scheming billionaire father, the married owners of the bank in question (who don’t report the robbery because they’re too busy robbing the bank themselves) and Angie’s homicidal, reality-challenged fiancé, who sets off in pursuit.

It is a tall tale that reads like flyover state Elmore Leonard . And if O’Brien had just set out to write a comic misadventure, the book would certainly pass muster as entertainment. But by adding a veneer of topicality, O’Brien aims to turn his characters into case studies for a nation’s moral failure. In doing so, he burdens the book with the weight of cranky satire.

In O’Brien’s America, citizens simply woke up one morning and decided to lie. All the people, all the time. They know what the truth is. They just choose not to tell it. While this may explain a certain opportunistic grifter class, it skirts the psychological struggle facing ordinary Americans, who deny science and embrace conspiracy theories as a way to avoid painful, personal disappointments.

O’Brien’s book itself has a narrative credibility problem. The Boyd Halverson we meet in the opening chapter is a man whose actions are rooted in the real world. On the run, he takes Angie to Mexico, then to his hometown, Santa Monica, where he hunts down his ex-wife, hoping to reconcile. When that fails, he packs Angie (now somehow in love with him) into his car and drives to Minnesota in pursuit of the father-in-law who destroyed his marriage.

Along the way, we learn from ancillary characters that Boyd is famous in internet circles as the “ur-liar of liars” and “Pharaoh of Fantasy” — a man who fabricated his past and has spent his post-divorce years sowing political untruths online. But we never meet that Boyd. The man we follow is a humbled alcoholic in the middle of a very real mental breakdown, one who struggles to ground himself and confront the failures of his past.

In other words, the character described and the one O’Brien has written don’t feel like the same man. It is only in the end that we get a clearer understanding of Boyd’s complex relationship to the truth, and explore the nuance of what might make an otherwise honest man devote his life to lies. But without the proper setup, the reveal has little impact.

It doesn’t help that O’Brien has chosen to examine American untruth by writing a crime novel, a genre that is, by definition, filled with liars, no matter when it’s set. “America Fantastica” is a catalog of thieves and con men, each dumber than the next but convinced that they alone are the smartest person in the room. And while that may describe the never-ending Trump circus, by using such a broad brush to paint the nation, O’Brien has created a novel that reads more like a cartoon.

AMERICA FANTASTICA | By Tim O’Brien | Mariner Books | 464 pp. | $32

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I stayed in a room at the Royal Hawaiian hotel that costs $1,040 a night. It was worth it, but I'd book a longer trip next time.

  • In May, I stayed in an oceanfront room at the Royal Hawaiian Resort that goes for $1,040 a night .
  • My balcony had a beautiful view of nearby resorts, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head State Monument.
  • I'd book a longer stay next time so I can partake in resort activities , like paddle-board lessons.  

The Royal Hawaiian was one of the first hotels in downtown Honolulu and sits adjacent to Waikiki Beach.

review of book room

Despite being in a busy downtown area, the Royal Hawaiian is a tranquil, historic hideaway with modern amenities.

The luxury resort is nicknamed the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" for its iconic pink color.

The property is part of Marriott's international collection, so I used points to redeem my room.

review of book room

I opted to stay in the Mailani Tower — built in the 1960s — because, unlike the other buildings, it has balconies.

I used 58,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and only paid a $314 cash upgrade for an oceanfront room. Without points, the room usually costs $1,040 a night.

After checking in, I found out I'd been upgraded to a corner room with a much larger wraparound balcony.

When I checked in, I got a welcome drink and voucher for the Royal Hawaiian's famous banana bread.

review of book room

Upon arrival, guests are given leis and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer, or a mocktail.

I also got a voucher for the property's famous banana-bread muffins, which are served every morning at the hotel's coffee shop .

The room had very comfortable furniture.

review of book room

My room had a lounge chair, a desk with space to work, and an extremely comfortable bed.

The balcony was big and furnished.

review of book room

The outdoor balcony was large and featured a beautiful breeze-block wall.

It even included an outdoor couch and a dining table with chairs.

Each room had a bathroom and pink seersucker robes.

review of book room

Although the bathroom felt somewhat dated, it had unique features like a bidet attachment and a set of seersucker robes embroidered with the hotel's logo.

Our balcony had a great view of Honolulu.

review of book room

Our balcony overlooked Waikiki Beach , the Diamond Head State Monument, and the resort's pool. 

The building also neighbored Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, which offered live music every night that we could hear from our patio.

There was historic decor and beautiful flowers around the resort.

review of book room

The Royal Hawaiian's property featured expansive gardens and a wide variety of gift shops .

Its lobby showcased historic portraits of the hotel and the noteworthy guests that have visited. Old restaurant menus with previous dishes and their prices were also displayed.

The hotel's Mai Tai Bar is known for its titular cocktail.

review of book room

The resort offers several dining options , including the beachside Mai Tai Bar that serves lunch, dinner, and lots of cocktails.

It's unsurprisingly known for its mai tais, and the current menu offers many different iterations of the rum-based cocktail. 

Live music constantly played at the bar , so it was pretty busy both times I went. 

Beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent for an additional cost.

review of book room

I expected beach chairs and umbrellas to be complimentary for the stretch of beach outside the hotel, but I was happy to pay the fee.

Unfortunately, when I visited the stand at both 4 p.m. and 9 a.m., there were no chairs available.

If you're planning a visit , I suggest contacting the property in advance for rentals.

The pool was small, but we could also use one at a neighboring resort.

review of book room

Although the pool seemed small, especially at such a popular resort, guests could also swim at the Sheraton Waikiki, which is within walking distance.

Special activities like lei-making, paddle-board lessons, and morning yoga are included in the mandatory resort fee. But since I visited during a holiday weekend, they were fully booked.

Luckily, I still got to watch the Friday evening fireworks on the beach with onsite dining.

I'd absolutely book a room at this property again.

review of book room

My stay at the Royal Hawaiian was great, and I enjoyed being close to downtown dining and shopping. 

I feel like if I'd done more research before my arrival, I would've been better prepared with advanced reservations for things like beach chairs and activities. 

I wouldn't hesitate to stay again — in fact, I'd book a longer trip so I can take advantage of all the extra amenities.

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more .

review of book room

Screen Rant

The kill room review: comedy thriller loses its footing but sticks the landing.

The Kill Room is a fun time, especially if you don’t expect too much from it. Despite the lack of well-developed characters, the movie is enjoyable.

  • Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson star in The Kill Room, offering a glimmer of hope for their careers in this understated but funny dark satire about hitmen and the art world.
  • The movie has a creative plot and a charismatic cast that helps land the punchlines, but its clumsy pacing and stagnant execution hold it back.
  • Despite its flaws, The Kill Room offers a humorous take on the art world and its criminal underbelly, with enjoyable performances from Thurman, Jackson, and Manganiello.

Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson are actors who used to garner great excitement for the projects they starred in. Lately, that excitement isn’t quite there as the duo, outside of recognizable IP films, haven’t picked the best projects for their particular talents. The Kill Room offers a glimmer of hope as Thurman and Jackson share the screen in an understated but funny dark satire about the world of hitmen and art.

Nicol Paone’s dark comedy thriller follows Joe Manganiello’s Reggie, a hitman who, alongside his handler, Gordon (Jackson), turns to the art world to help launder their bloody money. Enter Patrice (Thurman), an Adderall-addicted art gallery owner hit by hard times. The trio comes together for a plan that involves Reggie creating works of art that are “bought” by clients seeking his hitman skills. The scheme works too well, with Reggie’s art becoming a success and him earning the moniker The Bagman, which is both on the nose and apt. The hoity-toity art-loving community eats up his grotesque art, proving that these faux intellectuals have little to no sense, or that a genuine artist is lurking underneath Reggie’s hulking figure.

The satirical nature of the film speaks to the rather ludicrous nature of the art world. Paone’s comedy is not paving a new path, as we've had a number of projects take a jab at the art world, like the start-studded Velvet Buzzsaw . After a slow and awkward start, The Kill Room builds on its premise in a very promising way, as the movie does have a creative plot and a charismatic cast to carry it. The comedy is a bit too broad, but the commitment from the cast helps land the punchlines. Thurman and Jackson are given the space to chew up the scenery while Manganiello plays it cool. The clever humor and the cast's commitment make up for the clumsy pacing and somewhat stagnant execution.

There is entertainment to be had as the very premise of a hitman becoming an art sensation is funny enough to carry us to the amusing end.

The film has what it needs to be incredibly engaging and even an instant classic, but its visual component leaves a lot to be desired; The Kill Room can’t quite overcome the VOD quality of filmmaking. At every turn, Paone plays it safe, and Jonathan Jacobson’s script doesn’t quite inspire a more ambitious approach. That being said, there is entertainment to be had as the very premise of a hitman becoming an art sensation is funny enough to carry us to the amusing end.

If there was one thing to really gripe at, it is the one-dimensionality of the characters. On paper, we understand that some of the characters are serious threats to society, and Patrice is merely someone in over her head who is entertaining this danger to level up her career. However, there is no real heft behind these characters; they are just a collection of ideas that never become fully realized people. There is a hollowness to them that drags the movie down a bit. If we were to really acknowledge how dangerous Reggie is, then the joke of him being an art sensation would hit harder. Paone manages to build momentum in the comedy but fails to impress upon us the seriousness of the violence and danger, which, juxtaposed with the premise, makes the movie infinitely more funny. Jacobson’s script, as imagined by Paone’s direction, suggests the idea was enough on its own when, in actuality, there needed to be much more time dedicated to developing it.

The Kill Room is a fun time, especially if you don’t expect too much from it. Despite the lack of kinetic energy and well-developed characters, the movie offers a rather humorous take on the art world and its criminal underbelly with characters that are enjoyable to watch. Thurman, Jackson, and Manganiello run away with the movie and prove that each has so much to give in their respective careers, and hopefully, they can attract projects worthy of their gifts.

The Kill Room is now playing in theaters and available on digital. The film is 98 minutes long and rated R for pervasive language, violence, and drug use.

review of book room

Lewiston Sun Journal

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Kids’ Book Review: ‘Kiki Kicks’

review of book room

By Jane Yolen and Ariel Stemple

Illustrated by John Ledda

Ariel Stemple, one of the authors of Kiki Kicks, was bullied as a child. Despite family support, she was often scared when she was with others. At 7 years old, she started practicing martial arts and her life changed for the better.

Like the author, Kiki’s mother practices karate. Like her mother, Kiki wants to feel strong and confident; she considers her mother a mountain, a mountain of strength. Advertisement

Encountering bullies at school, she knows they want to be strong for the wrong reasons…to be mean to others, to hurt those who cannot defend themselves. Kiki wants to be strong enough to defend herself in a gentle way. She also knows, if others sense her confidence, she will likely not be bullied.

The picture book, Kiki Kicks, has colorful and clear illustrations that are both soft and loud. You will likely be able to decide which pictures are gentle and which are strong.

Meet Kiki’s Sensei and learn the moves she teaches her students as well as the attitudes she instills within them. Like Kiki, you just might be able to say, “I feel strength. Power. Peace.”



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Judi Dench with Ian McKellen in a 1976 production of Macbeth in Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent review – Judi Dench’s seven-decade love affair

The veteran actor’s pragmatism, generosity and wit are to the fore in these reflections on her career – and there’s plenty of room for rude anecdotes

“A ll I ever wanted to do was play Shakespeare, nothing else. It was a kind of zenith for me,” says Judi Dench , discussing her first professional role (Ophelia with the Old Vic) straight out of drama school in 1957. Despite the book’s jokily disparaging subtitle – “the man who pays the rent” is how Dench and her late husband,Michael Williams, used to refer to the Bard when they both worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1970s – her passion for Shakespeare shines through every conversation reproduced here.

The book is the result of four years of interviews with Dench by the actor and director Brendan O’Hea, who has known her for 30 years, and were originally intended as recordings for the archive at the Globe theatre, where he is an associate artist. Transcripts can run the risk of feeling somewhat dead on the page, but Shakespeare is saved from that fate, partly by skilful editing, so that the teasing, sparring and mischief that characterised Dench’s side of the conversation is faithfully reproduced here, with O’Hea as her straight man, but largely because her voice is so distinctive and familiar that you can hear it in your head. When she talks about Shakespeare’s characters, it is as if she is discussing the flaws and preoccupations of people she knows intimately. A further personal touch is provided by Dench’s own watercolour sketches of characters, which she was persuaded to include on the grounds that they might encourage others who, like her, are visually impaired, to paint.

Over the course of her seven-decade career, Dench, now 88, has played most of Shakespeare’s major female roles on stage, from her 1957 Ophelia to her 2015 stage run as Paulina in The Winter’s Tale at the age of 81, in addition to memorable performances for film and radio. The book is organised around each of these characters, with O’Hea’s questions prompting an examination of motive and intention, and Dench’s replies often digressing into anecdotes about particular performances and the other actors and directors involved. From this perspective, you can see why the interviews were conceived as an archive resource; with her longevity and extraordinarily sharp memory, Dench is a one-woman repository of British postwar theatre history. She recounts her experiences of working with well-known directors of Shakespeare – Peter Brook, John Barton, Peter Hall, Terry Hands, Trevor Nunn, Kenneth Branagh – and playing opposite some of the greatest actors, including Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, Coral Browne, Peggy Ashcroft and, of course, “Mikey”, with whom she often worked, especially in the early years of their marriage, though she says they never talked shop at home: “It wasn’t a conscious decision; it was just the way it fell out. I think it’s good to keep the lid on things. Overshare, and you let the air in.”

The chapters on individual plays are interspersed with sections on broader aspects of performance, under headings such as Company, Rehearsal, Critics, Audience and the delightfully general Fireside Ramblings. What comes across most forcefully from these sections, apart from Dench’s impish humour, is her conception of any production as an ensemble effort and not as the vehicle for a star. “You very rarely talk about yourself in isolation,” O’Hea observes at one point. “It’s only ever in relation to the other actors or the audience.” Dench regards this as obvious: “Of course – otherwise you’re acting in a vacuum … Acting is a three-way conversation between you, the other actors and the audience.” She’s quick to shut down any attempts on her interviewer’s part to overintellectualise either the plays or her “process”; when O’Hea explains that “nothing” is thought to be Elizabethan slang for female genitalia, she retorts: “ Much Ado About Vagina? Don’t be ridiculous … Some dirty-minded scholar with no sex life has made that up.”

Her process is revealed to be both instinctive and pragmatic, erring on the side of “less is more”, an approach she “learned from standing in the wings at the Vic every night and watching what was happening on stage”. She laments the demise of the repertory system in this regard, but believes passionately in the importance of keeping the plays alive: “Shakespeare is an international language, a beacon for humanity, and a bridge across cultures.”

Lest that sound too high-minded, be assured that the book is full of ribald anecdotes, many involving, in true Shakespearean style, mistaken identities. She tells of one promenade production where she spotted a director she knew in the audience and dropped a note into his lap as she passed that read “I suppose a fuck’s out of the question”. “But when I glanced over during the scene, I saw that it wasn’t Howard at all, but a much older gentleman who looked very alarmed.”

This is a gloriously entertaining tour through the canon in the company of perhaps the most experienced living Shakespearean actor; reading it feels like a chat with an old friend.

  • Autobiography and memoir
  • The Observer
  • William Shakespeare
  • Biography books

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What does bookroom mean?

Definitions for bookroom book·room, this dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word bookroom ., did you actually mean bookworm or backroom , wiktionary rate this definition: 0.0 / 0 votes.

bookroom noun

A room in which books are kept; a library.

How to pronounce bookroom?

Alex US English David US English Mark US English Daniel British Libby British Mia British Karen Australian Hayley Australian Natasha Australian Veena Indian Priya Indian Neerja Indian Zira US English Oliver British Wendy British Fred US English Tessa South African

How to say bookroom in sign language?

Chaldean Numerology

The numerical value of bookroom in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

Pythagorean Numerology

The numerical value of bookroom in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

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Translations for bookroom, from our multilingual translation dictionary.

  • sala de libros Spanish

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review of book room


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    793,426 ratings50,188 reviews To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world.... Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience—and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world.

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    I think Room is a good book for teenagers as it deals with some complex issues and also explores the concept of love in dark areas; despite the horrifying plot of the story, Room isn't a...

  7. Room Summary

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  8. Customer reviews: Room: A Novel

    31,392 total ratings, 6,568 with reviews From the United States Jennifer VINE VOICE Haunting, Unique, Compelling ... You Won't Forget This Book Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2010 Verified Purchase I'm sure that somewhere in your home you have a room that measures about 10×10 or 11×11. I want you to imagine this room.

  9. Room (novel)

    Room is a 2010 novel by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue.The story is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother. Donoghue conceived the story after hearing about five-year-old Felix in the Fritzl case.. The novel was longlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize and won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize regional prize ...

  10. Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

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    Read Full Review >>. An emotionally draining read, yet at the same time impossible to put down, it has all the makings of a modern classic. Donoghue's inventive storytelling is flawless and absorbing. She has a fantastic ability to build tension in scenes where most of the action takes place in the 12-by-12 room where her central characters ...

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    Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old.He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick.

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    Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the international bestseller "Room" (her screen adaptation was nominated for four Oscars), "Frog Music", "Slammerkin," "The Sealed Letter," "Landing," "Life Mask," "Hood," and "Stirfry." Her story collections are "Astray", "The Woman ...

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    Emma Donoghue's mesmerizing novel 'Room' is a captivating and inventive story about sexual assault and motherhood. The book is built on young 5 year old boy named Jack, where he is held captive in a small room with his mother. In the beginning of the book we notice that 'Room' is like a small jail cell.

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    If Room remained purely claustrophobic throughout, Ms. Donoghue and her reader might tire of Jack's version of events, not to mention Jack's bubbly cheer. So it's fortunate that this novel has the dramatic turning point that it needs. Eventually the spell is broken: Jack and Ma are freed. They can leave Room behind, but they'll have to make Outer Space their new home …

  17. What do readers think of Room?

    This book will strike at every mother's heart as she imagines what she would do in the same circumstances. Ma was extremely creative in bringing up Jack in "the room" at her young age and there's no way that I could have done what she did and still stay sane and hopeful about life. This book made me cry, laugh and marvel at the human spirit.

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  29. What does bookroom mean?

    Definition of bookroom in the dictionary. Meaning of bookroom. What does bookroom mean? Information and translations of bookroom in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web.