Book Review: Room by Emma Dono

Room by Emma Donoghue may be the most unpleasant book I’ve ever read. The basic premise, for the few of you that don’t know (I didn’t), is about a woman that is kidnapped and locked in an 11’ by 11’ room and used as a sex toy. She has a son in the room and raises him to the age of 5. This is not a spoiler, as this all has happened prior to the books beginning and is revealed in the first 5 pages. If this as the premise for a book doesn’t already have it established as an unpleasant read, imagine this if you can: the entire book is narrated through the spatially challenged five year old boy.

From a psychiatric standpoint, the book was phenomenal. Some of the commentary on society and how we are shocked and outraged by all the wrong things is horrible, how we judge the actions of people in unthinkable situations without allowing ourselves to really think about them is horrible, and how we live in a society that such things even happen is horrible. Tie all of those up with how a socially impaired child reacts to them, and the book really becomes a fascinating read.

I read for enjoyment though, and while I am a fan of horror, the reality of this horror is one that I didn’t enjoy reading. I do not regret reading it. I actually think everyone should read it. But I did not enjoy it.

Also, if you read to relax and have young children, this is like putting your child to bed only to sit down and listen to someone else’s child ramble in your ear like a Chatty Kathy Doll.


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