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Would I recommend the book “Room” written by Emma Donoghue?  If you are looking for literature value, this is not a book worth reading due to its poor readability and passages filled with ambiguity, wordiness, grammatical errors, poor organization and incorrect sentence structures.  There are novels employing child narrators without sacrificing the literature value such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, “The Book Thief” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”.   

 

The story is not as dramatic as one would have anticipated due to the way it was narrated, by a five-year-old boy.  The author’s effort to constrain the tone and sentence structure to a five-year-old boy by purposely inserting errors into the sentences to make it sound like a five-year-old boy makes the entire novel hard to follow and distracting to a degree.  It is sometimes hard to get beyond pages and pages of broken English rambling by the five-year-old boy and the inconsistency of language used throughout the novel.  By the way, I am a mom with a five year old and an eight year old but I do strive to teach my kids to speak clearly and to use proper language, so others can understand. 

 

Nevertheless, if you don’t care the inconsistency of language and can get pass the broken English of a five year old, you might find this book quite unique.  Room tells an uplifting story of incessant hope, unconditional parental love and strong will to survive.  Since the story is narrated by a five year old, it is less horrific and depressing.   Were the story to be framed through the mother’s eye, it would be too devastating.  It is not easy to keep a balance.  While this narrative style may be unique and refreshing, it also makes the storyline harder for us to fully follow as it lends the authenticity of the narration as we see it through the limited viewpoint of a little boy who couldn’t grasp all that was going on. 

 

However, if you can get pass all that, on a deeper side, Room does explore the indomitable nature of the human spirit and does pose many questions about child development and child psychology centering on parenting (parental love, breast-feeding and attachment parenting) and society (social confinement/restriction: the influence and judgment of society).  How different the world would be from a little child’s perspective!

 

When I write a book review, I try not to reveal too much for fear of spoiling the fun others might otherwise enjoy, so I am not going to get into details on the plots.  Still, I would like to point out that the plots aren’t tightly woven and the story lacks momentum and loses half its intensity in the second half of the book, dwindling off towards the end.  The second half of the book is more pragmatic where Jack’s world faces intrusion and becomes overwhelmingly confusing as he flees his perfect world of harmony from the Room and ventures to the Outside.   

 

Somehow, I can’t help thinking of the restraints laid upon freedom of thought in countries where dictatorship, totalitarianism or communism is practiced.  Their citizens might not even realize their mental confinement through the brainwash from their governments.

 

 

Written by Elisa English, 版權所有, 不可轉貼轉載

On April 15, 2011 in Minneapolis

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