10. lokakuuta 2012

Room - Emma Donoghue

I took it as my business to familiarize myself with horror as a genre, and Room was one of the books I spotted from Book Depository’s list of horror. As I read it, it turned out not to be so horrifying – maybe it’s the way the book is written, from the point of view of a five-year-old – and more of just interesting, maybe in behavioral science kind of way instead. Throughout the book I kept thinking “why was this in horror” and “when will it end” and “it really progresses very fast”.

First of all the style of the book was unique and original, annoying maybe, but innocent and cute at the same time. Once you got used to Jack making word sandwiches and bending words every which way, it was actually a lot of fun. What made the book so un-horrory was indeed the way it was written. Jack was used to all things Room, and he never minded most of the things happening there. He didn’t think it was the slightest bit odd that food just materialized from Outside to Inside, when according to his Ma there was nothing Outside. He didn’t ever wonder where Old Nick – their captor - must have lived, he just came and went almost every night at nine.

If you step into the character of Jack, you won’t find the 197 creaks of bed the least bit scary, just annoying, something keeping you awake when you really wanted to sleep. If you think of them as an adult might, you’ll find them maybe every bit as disturbing as they were meant to be. In the plot summary it never says where the Room is or who owns it, whether Ma was put there by officials or just someone. It took quite a while before it dawned to me how things actually were, and after that I was just waiting them to get out. And they did, quite quickly too, I might add. Jack turns out to be a very clever and resourceful boy, even if he’s missing his manners and doesn’t understand the concept of inside and outside.

All in all the book gets boring too many times for its size, it’s not at all as captivating as it promises and it indeed is not horror, not psychological or any other kind. Jack does not understand the smallest thing about the world and that made me want to scream more than once. His relatives are stupid as well, his Ma isn’t happy even after their happily ever after and Old Nick just disappears way too easily into the system. There’s lots of things a bit off in the book, and even though some of them can be written off by the world being explored by a five-year-old, there’s still many things that are disturbing enough to affect the reading experience. I did not enjoy this book, but I don’t regret reading it either.


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