I certainly agree that the first half of the book is more interesting than the second. In fact, I found the planning and execution of the escape quite exciting. Melodramatic, sure, but I found those pages compelling. Most of the rest, not so much.
Many aspect of the narration I found twee. The article-less proper noun approach to virtually every single thing in their environment struck me as unlikely. True, small children do personify, but to suggest that Jack personifies everything in the room--I don't think so. In fact. he might personify less since he truly believes that the room is the whole universe. If he were brought from the outside he might personify because he would feel the constraints. Jack doesn't feel the constraints because he doesn't really appreciate that he is constrained. Persons born blind don't miss being able to see. I doubt that fish know that they're wet.
The other event that grabbed my attention was Ma's overdose. This may sound awful, but I think the novel might have been strengthened if she had died. Observing Jack adjust to a world in which he is suddenly utterly isolated
would have been a real opportunity to attempt more profound insights into the human condition. Of course, the book might have been less commercially successful without a happy ending.
The whole book suffers from a nauseatingly cutesy tone. It is a cozy story of kidnapping, confinement, and ongoing rape.
I haven't read any of the other books that Steven mentioned with child narrators, but The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn proves that pulling off a juvenile POV can be successfully accomplished.
P.S. -- Regarding extended breastfeeding. Perhaps I am hopelessly culturally parochial, but I think that breastfeeding a child past the age of two is creepy. In an otherwise normal environment, the child might have some chance of attaining personal individuation due to the other influences in his/her environment. In the Room, I think it would likely be psychologically catastrophic.
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