John Phipps

No More Mr Nice Guy

Akin

By

Picador 334pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Room, Emma Donoghue’s most famous novel, is mostly set in a cell of eleven square feet. At least half of the novel features only two characters, there is very little that you could really call plot and its narrator is a five-year-old boy who has never seen the outside world.

Those are immense compositional constraints, but within them Donoghue produced an excellent book. More than just a sonata for the left hand, Room has dashes of banality, humour and pathos thrown in amid the horror. Despite its keyhole view of life, the novel feels miraculously well rounded.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter