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Extended Audio Sample Room: A Novel Audiobook, by Emma Donoghue Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (204,737 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emma Donoghue Narrator: Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Suzanne Toren, Robert Petkoff Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781607886280
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To five year old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up, it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five year old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child. Donoghue has crafted a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Room is that rarest of entities, an entirely original work of art. I mean it as the highest possible praise when I tell you that I can’t compare it to any other book. Suffice to say that it’s potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory.”

    Michael Cunningham, New York Times bestselling author of The Hours

  • “A novel so disturbing that we defy you to stop thinking about it, days later.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Remarkable…Jack’s voice is one of the pure triumphs of the novel: in him, she has invented a child narrator who is one of the most engaging in years—his voice so pervasive I could hear him chatting away during the day when I wasn't reading the book…This is a truly memorable novel, one that can be read through myriad lenses—psychological, sociological, political. It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love, all the while giving us a fresh, expansive eye on the world in which we live.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “One of the most affecting and subtly profound novels of the year.”

    Washington Post

  • Room is likely to haunt readers for days, if not longer. It is, hands down, one of the best books of the year.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Be warned: once you enter, you’ll be Donoghue’s willing prisoner right down to the last page.”

    Newsweek

  • “A bravura performance.”

    Elle

  • A 2010 Man Booker Prize Finalist
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller for December 2015
  • Winner of the Salon Magazine Best Book Award for Fiction
  • A 2010 NPR Best Book for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2011 Commonwealth Book Prize for Best Book: Canada and the Caribbean
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2011 YALSA Alex Award
  • Winner of the 2011 Indies Choice Book Award for Fiction
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the September 2010 Indie Next List
  • An ALA Notable Book for Fiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the 2011 Orange Prize Shortlist
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beverly Alexander-tillison | 2/11/2014

    " I like variety and in this novel I got it. Why can't a novel Protagonist be a five year old? Reading this novel from his vantage point allows the reader to remember what life was like when your life only centered on your immediate environment and your mom. Then again I'm a sentimental crybaby. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison Agius | 1/21/2014

    " I loved the viewpoint of this book. Seeing the world through the innocence of a child reminds us of its purity, openness and wonder. The basic premise being "everything is good" is a wonderful reminder of how gently and softly we should mould and nurture our children, but also, conversely, how robust they really are! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny Hawley | 12/25/2013

    " I felt like this book started very slow, and at first I wasn't enjoying it all that much, but a point came when I absolutely couldn't put it down. Ultimately, I found it fascinating, and while the topic - a kidnapped woman held hostage for 7 years, raped repeatedly, to the point of bearing a child, who is also held captive - seems horrible to read about, the 5 year old narrator never allows it to be morose or too disturbing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lena | 11/4/2013

    " Highly enjoyable. Read it with daughter - reading out loud in turns to each other. A lot of funny moments and words that boy can't say properly made us chuckle, a lot of discovering of his 'new world' made us think about the things we take for granted. Some wobbly, scary bits to keep you interested as well. We enjoyed the book tremendously! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 10/28/2013

    " Another book that started strong but seemed to struggle in the end. Interesting plot though. I liked the character of Jack and would recommend the book - but not strongly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Analiese | 10/17/2013

    " The story itself was very hard for me to read and there were parts (such as the kid talking about being breast fed) that would spark a lot of controversy between people. It is not an easy book to read because of the contrast of the boy's innocence and the situation he and his mom are placed in, but definitely an interesting read to those not bothered by this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Agr | 10/8/2013

    " I liked it. Would recommend. I wanted a little more in the after part.What happens to Jack and his mother as they age and grow up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverly Wilczek | 10/3/2013

    " I really liked most of the book, but the ending seemed rushed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Lepper | 9/30/2013

    " Can't say I enjoyed this much. I slogged through 220 pages or so and just lost interest in what was happening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi Bumpus | 9/15/2013

    " Very intense book. After reading it, I literally dreamt about the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison Junkans | 8/18/2013

    " The first 50 pages were kind of weird and hard to get through, but I enjoyed the rest of the book. This would be a great choice for a book club to read and discuss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane Petering | 7/20/2013

    " Disturbing ... Well written .... A mother's love for her child, in the worst of circumstances "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa Rube | 1/25/2013

    " The writing is brilliant, the story is devastating and beautiful. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judith | 1/22/2013

    " I actually can't say I read this book because I couldn't get past the first 10 pages. So many people were riveted, and so I can't help but think if I picked it up at a different point in my life I might have a different experience. So, maybe I will try again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stuart Riddle | 1/19/2013

    " Dark, but only suitably so. Captivating way to look at our bizarre world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marsha | 9/8/2012

    " Could N-O-T put this book down! Emma Donoghue did a fantastic job in relaying the story from the perspective of a 5 yr. old. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Dy | 8/15/2012

    " It was like reading a 300-page telegraph with someone with really bad, broken English. Good story tho. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody | 8/5/2012

    " Well written story but awful topic. Very disturbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindy | 3/28/2012

    " Sounds like it would be a hard book to handle but it really isn't. I think it's because it's told from the point if view of the little boy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 3/1/2012

    " Began powerfully. But I lost interest. Weak ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacy Lewis | 2/11/2012

    " Masterful storytelling. If you don't know what it's about, don't look it up. Just read it. If you do know, read it to see well Donoghue tells the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexa Lewis | 12/29/2011

    " Eerie and amazing, I was captivated. Read it all in one sitting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kayla Mannlein | 12/20/2011

    " This book made me feel sick. I would never want to feel as powerless as she felt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candi | 5/23/2011

    " I couldn't put this book down. Such an interesting book and the entire story told by 5-year-old Jack. I never read the back of the book or the synopsis unless it is for book club and I was glad I didn't know anything going into the book. It made it that much more interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 5/23/2011

    " Really good, was a little anticlimatic towards the end of the book though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 5/23/2011

    " I finished it in one sitting, only taking breaks when I felt too nervous, claustrophobic or overwhelmed. Whew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 5/23/2011

    " Best book I've read in a while. Fast-paced and suspenseful. Unique voice and perspective. Surprising and unpredictable. Broad appeal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 5/23/2011

    " Narrated by a 5 year old boy, Jack, who has lived in a room with his mother for his entire life. It was a disturbing tale, but a fascinating one at the same time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhonda | 5/23/2011

    " It was amazing. To write from the view of a very sheltered child. With all the horror the mom had to endure the book really kept you focused on her strenghts and the insight of a small boy. I was facinated with the voice and feel of this book. It was totally amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 5/22/2011

    " The concept of this book is pretty screwed up, but the way it was written and the uniqueness of the story sucked me in. "

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About the Author
Author Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the New York Times bestseller Room, as well as the bestselling Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Hood, and Stirfry. Her story collections are The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Kissing the Witch, and Touchy Subjects. She also writes literary history and plays for stage and radio.

About the Narrators

Michal Friedman (1967–2011) was a singer and voice actress. She was the voice of Annalise in Speed Racer, Tildie Soames in Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, and Tune in Winx Club, among others.

Ellen Archer is an award-winning narrator, actress, and singer with a degree in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters. She has narrated numerous audiobooks and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration.

Suzanne Toren has recorded over nine hundred audiobooks. She has performed on Broadway and in regional theaters in works penned by Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller. She has also appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas. She was awarded the Narrator of the Year Award for her audiobook recordings for the Library of Congress and has earned more than two dozen Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine.

Robert Petkoff has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order, and Quantum Leap. His Broadway credits include Sir Robin in Spamalot, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, and Tateh in Ragtime. His audiobook narrations have won multiple Audiofile Earphones Awards as well as a coveted Audie Award.