Here some stuff about the books I read. For now I'm mostly using the bits I write for my Dutch online bookgroup so the text is usually mostly in Dutch but the quotes from English books are in the original.

zondag 6 november 2011

Room ~ Emma Donaghue (2010)

Decided to make a 'project' of reading this book. As it's about a woman and her son who are locked up in a room for years I thought it would be appropriate to read it whilst shut up in a room myself for the duration. So at midnight yesterday I retreated to the 'utilities' room (with toilet behind another door and a sink) with a kettle, teapot, cheese and marmite sandwiches, tomatoes, grapes and some cheesey biscuits. Had a couple of big cushions to sleep on too as I thought it more authentic to at least spend one night there instead of starting reading in the morning. Read till about 1.30 and then had a bit of a restless night with strange dreams and broken sleep (the cushions weren't so comfortable).

Woke up at about 8 and read further. Ate and read and dozed by intervals throughout the day, emerging at 17.15 with just enough time to have a cycle round the grounds before dark for some much needed fresh air.

So, what did I think of the book then?
Well, after all the hype I'd expected much more. I remember being very impressed by 'Hood' and enjoying 'Slammerkin'. This book was heralded as brilliant but I'm afraid it didn't do much for me. It's basically a tale of mother-love told by a 5 year old. I don't find 5 year olds particularly interesting. At one point near the beginning he was giving a detailed account of a children's TV programme and I thought I was going to die of boredom if he didn't stop soon. It was like someone telling their dreams but then even duller.

However the idea that he doesn't know that there's a world outside the room was an interesting one and that part was well done. And during the rescue bit it was fairly exciting - I was terrified that it wasn't going to work and the relief when it did was tremendous. (But looking back, didn't it all go just tOO easily to be quite believable...?) Imagine my surprise when, before the half way mark they were OUT of Room! (And I was still in mine.) I felt a bit 'cheated' somehow. I wanted to know more about how they managed to live in there and the rest of the book was all about how they got on afterwards. As far as I'm concerned the book could have stopped after the escape. The psychobabble of the rest was predictable and (to me) not in the least interesting. I read it because I kept hoping it would go somewhere but there wAs no more story. I'm also not sure what the mother being adopted herself added to the story.

Verdict? Don't believe the hype, this is not a 'necessary' book. Emma Donaghue can of course write, but this isn't one of her best.
I watch God's face falling slow slow, even orangier and the clouds are all colors, then after there's streaks and dark coming up so bit-at-a-time I don't see it till it's done.
'It's not a rule, just a convention.'
'What's a - ?'
'A silly habit everybody has.'
They're her book club but I don't know why because they're not reading books. She forgot to cancel them so they all came at 3.30 with plates of cakes and stuff.