Friday, March 18, 2011
Room by Emma Donoghue
Harris, which is a subsidiary/related to Popular bookstores, does stock more Chinese than English book, but since I'm a member, it's really cheap to get the most popular books there (pardon the pun). I was actually really happy, and a little shocked that Euphe couldn't decide what book she wanted; it's great that since she finished her O's, she's been reading a lot more. I was also undecided as to what to get, but in the end, I bought Room by Emma Donoghue, a Man-Booker Prize Finalist. It was actually an impulse buy, since I wasn't really sure if I'd like it (I was actually also considering Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, to see if her book really was better than the horrible article).
The book is definitely a good buy, as the story is really well-written and can create empathy in the reader. For some reason, the narrative reminded me of stream-of-consciousness, although it's a far cry from that. It actually even reminded me of Paddy Clarke, which shows how much I've been studying the book. Both protagonists in both books are precocious children, although they naturally differ due to their different environments.
Jack (the protagonist), grew up in a 11x11 room, where his mom was held captive. In this case, the premise mimics the other horrific cases recently, where it has emerged that several girls were held captive for many long years. However, the book puts a new spin on the premise, since it's from the view-point of a child born and raised in Room, and it represents all the security in his life (initially, he didn't even believe that the outside world existed).
Jack is likable and his use of language is captivating. The book, to me, was very well depicted, especially in the latter half of the novel, where they have to deal with life outside Room. His confusion due to how he feels and how his mom feels having to leave Room is very natural and completely believable. And I found how people interpreted him (as various symbols, as a lit student is wont to do), very amusing, and a timely reminder of how literature students tend to over-interpret things.
But this book. It's worth the money.