I’ve been reading too much literary fiction this summer – I never again want to attempt to read Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Churchill Factor in a week – so I attempted to ‘lighten things up’ by reading Room. If you’ve not read the book (or at a stretch, seen the film) and want some advice, THIS IS NOT THE THING TO READ TO RELAX.
It’s an interesting concept (although in real life, absolutely bloody terrifying); five year old Jack has lived in Room for his entire life, along with his Ma. Jack thinks that there is no outside world, it is all ‘just TV’. They are kept alive by regular food deliveries from Old Nick, who is able to control everything. Food. Water. Electricity. Life. Death. Jack also thinks that he has everything he needs – does he really want to leave?
For the first part of Room, I was figuratively holding on for dear life, because the pace refused to slow down. It suddenly turned from a description of their normal day to an all-guns-blazing, better-bring-in-the-Marines escape mission. However, despite the considerable amount of action, what’s most interesting (albeit not to me, because I was seeking an action novel) is Jack’s psychological development, which is what the majority of this novel centres around. An interesting concept, yes, but that does not necessarily constitute a good read.
Personally, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected to. I expected (secretly, wanted) it to be a lot darker, and I really did not expect it to be told from five year old Jack’s POV. I’m not sure if I liked that or not; on one hand, it made the concept of child development and psychology more interested and integrated into the story, but despite his relatively complicated syntax, there were times that I simply got irritated.
A fairly common occurrence, if I have too much coffee and not enough sleep.
In theory, this would be a brilliantly mind-blowing book. In practice, it can be a bit of an ‘easy read’ (although perhaps not for mothers), but if you’re looking at it from a psychological stance (which I wasn’t), you may be able to glean more from it.
Have you read Room, and/or seen the film? Is, Heaven forbid, the film better? Drop me a line!
I hope the film’s better, anyway. I never thought that I would say that, but it’s true.