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.

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