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10 thoughts on “The Room

  1. Evan Evan says:

    Devastating, and strictly for the most daring reader.Uncompromising, stark, bleak, unremittingly repetitive, gruesome, sickening and despairing The Room is perhaps not as great as Selby snarratively interesting masterwork, Last Exit to Brooklyn, but it is no less accomplished a novel The story, if one can call it that, is a mixture of incomplete biographical memories and revenge fantasies as imagined by a prisoner in a cell who is apparently awaiting trial for a petty violent crime or Devastating, and strictly for the most daring reader.Uncompromising, stark, bleak, unremittingly repetitive, gruesome, sickening and despairing The Room is perhaps not as great as Selby snarratively interesting masterwork, Last Exit to Brooklyn, but it is no less accomplished a novel The story, if one can call it that, is a mixture of incomplete biographical memories and revenge fantasies as imagined by a prisoner in a cell who is apparently awaiting trial for a petty violent crime or maybe he has already been convicted , but we re never sure because the prisoner is one of the most unreliable narrators ever committed to the printed page His life, in the little snippets we get, is unremarkable, marked by poverty and hints of a path leading to a life of crime Back and forth he bats around obsessions in his mind the grayness of his cell which reminds him of a toy model battleship he built as a kid , the cracks in the walls, the crappy prison food, the nausea in his gut, a zit on his face that drives him eveninsane because it refuses to come to a head But his most elaborate fantasies revolve around the officers who arrested him As the book proceeds his obsessive desire for revenge against them even though we never really know their side of the story takes on the proportions of a self righteous, self aggrandizing crusade to abolish abuse in the entire justice system He imagines his case being taken on by the best lawyers and newspapers and going all the way to Senate hearings all unfolded in minute detail Of course, this all puffs himself up into a hero in his self delusion Adding layer upon layer in his fantasies, he demonizes the cops as vicious rapists, and then imagines the most disgusting forms of revenge against them treating them like dogs in training and submitting them to the most explicitly brutal cruelties one can imagine.There are parts of this book including the rape of a female motorist that will make you queasy, I promise you Along the way, Selby exhibits total mastery of stream of consciousness thought patterns The ways Selby describes masturbation, or the ritual of popping a zit, or the inability of coughing up a knot of phlegm in the back of the throat or removing an ingrown hair are as astonishingly real and true as they are grotesque Needless to say, this is not the feel good book of the century, although there is one passage describing a memory of a hand job session between the man and his girlfriend in a movie theater that is an incredible turn on It s one of the few explicitly sexual passages and there are many in the book that is not sick and violent Written in 1971, it is one of the most angry, misanthropic examinations of one man s totally hopeless view of the universe as you will encounter There s always something fucking you up, is sort of the guy s mantra Rap has nothing on this book as a cop hater s manifesto either Having said that, it s view is anti authoritarian, but in its place it offers no solutions, just the complete angry resignation of a man confined to a 6 x 9 cell If you can take the book s challenging repetitive elements and the utterly barbaric fantasies, then you will be rewarded with a reading experience not to be forgotten Again, not for everyone, to say the least, and hard to take even for me, but undeniably a formidable work of literary art KevinR Ky, slightly amended and corrected, 2016


  2. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    The Room is the opposite of Last Exit to Brooklyn and there is a sad explanation for this Last Exit was his first and The Room was his second Between the two lay seven years of junk He spent all the dough from Last Exit, which was considerable, on being a junkie in Los Angeles, where he had fled to get away from the junkies in New York The Room is a book written by heroin.Last Exit gives you a tour of hell, a panorama of suffering, drag queens, hoods, lathe operators, union bosses, working c The Room is the opposite of Last Exit to Brooklyn and there is a sad explanation for this Last Exit was his first and The Room was his second Between the two lay seven years of junk He spent all the dough from Last Exit, which was considerable, on being a junkie in Los Angeles, where he had fled to get away from the junkies in New York The Room is a book written by heroin.Last Exit gives you a tour of hell, a panorama of suffering, drag queens, hoods, lathe operators, union bosses, working class wives, old people, bartenders The Room gives you one man s mind You re in it and you never get out of it for the whole novel The guy is sick, the guy is insane 288 pages of an insane guy muttering revenge fantasies about the police and about women It s a cul de sac, it s a massive artistic mistake, it s a terminal book ending in the reader s death by asphyxiation due to lack of any oxygen, no windows, no perspective, no air, you die.Who else followed a five star novel with a one star novel Selby was unique


  3. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Selby s second novel is his attempt at a knockabout comedy drunk vicars chatting up girls on the village green, various cream heavy pastries being lobbed into the faces of pompous landowners, amusing misunderstandings between bachelors and the parents of honourable virgins The Room s republication as a Penguin Classic will kick start that much needed Benny Hill revival the world has been begging for On second thoughts, I might have the wrong book This one explores the tormented psyche of an u Selby s second novel is his attempt at a knockabout comedy drunk vicars chatting up girls on the village green, various cream heavy pastries being lobbed into the faces of pompous landowners, amusing misunderstandings between bachelors and the parents of honourable virgins The Room s republication as a Penguin Classic will kick start that much needed Benny Hill revival the world has been begging for On second thoughts, I might have the wrong book This one explores the tormented psyche of an unnamed convict as he seethes in his cell, planning his revenge against his arresting officers in elaborate civic action and courtroom scenes, and indulging in horrible canine torture sequences in bile stirring graphic detail, in case anyone might mistake this man as the victim of a brutalizing regime of injustice Selby s most inventive book structurally and typographically, and a contender for his most shocking and hopeless tough competition , The Room is a pitiful howl from a personal abyss Selby s most people won t care to hear More scattershot than the word perfect masterpiece Last Exit to Brooklyn Selby was writing without Sorrentino s editorial guidance at this point , this is still a wrenching and necessary novel from an unflinching visceral realist long before Bola o made that sound sexy


  4. Ryland Dinneen Ryland Dinneen says:

    I really wasn t sure what I was getting into when I bought this book I knew it was dubbed as one of the most disturbing novels ever written and I did believe it, yet didn t think it would affect me much I passed through American Psycho with flying colours and never uttered a gasp to A Clockwork Orange, and did not think this would be any different To be honest, I couldn t have beenwrong.The Room is basically the story of a man in prison for reasons we are not too sure of and his fanta I really wasn t sure what I was getting into when I bought this book I knew it was dubbed as one of the most disturbing novels ever written and I did believe it, yet didn t think it would affect me much I passed through American Psycho with flying colours and never uttered a gasp to A Clockwork Orange, and did not think this would be any different To be honest, I couldn t have beenwrong.The Room is basically the story of a man in prison for reasons we are not too sure of and his fantasies of revenge against the police officers that put him there These fantasies start off tame as in banging their heads together and running away and soon grow into torture and full on mayhem treating them as dogs and subjecting them to the worst pain imaginable, yet not allowing them to die I personally found myself gasping at most of this book and feeling sick to my stomach, and believe me when I say that this does not happen often for me.How do you compose a near 300 page book out of just a man in his cell I asked that question numerous times before actually starting, and once started that question diminished The thing is, the book does only take place there The man we never find out his name has a seriously imaginative brain and this teleports us to incredibly different settings, numerous stories and narratives folding into one Besides all of this, The Room can be seen as extremely philosophical, and Hubert Selby Jr isn t too shy to express his views on authority, as the reader can clearly see that his own opinions were blended into the text His writing style despite what many say is actually brilliant and highly original Unlike most writers he doesn t try and make every character seem like an English major they speak realistically, and Selby Jr uses a large amount of present day slang to do this Yes, he makes many grammatical errors but that is what makes his novels so unique to him It worked in Requiem for a Dream and it works in this.Overall, I think The Room is a brilliant work of literature that I would not recommend to everyone It is incredibly disturbing and hard to forget about I feel as if I am still inside the pages, curling up into a fetal position and wanting to puke from disgust I know that sounds bad, but trust me when I say that this book is unforgettable and one of the most difficult things you might ever read


  5. The Literary Chick The Literary Chick says:

    I am giving this 5 stars not because I liked it, but because it succeeded in what it was trying to accomplish A beyond disturbingly horrible nightmare of a read but brilliantly executed The completely anti climactic ending left me stunned when I realized what it meant to the story Another underground man a la Dostoevsky Hubert Selby, Jr was quoted as saying that he could not read it for decades after writing it Well, nor will I be able to That said and done, I would not recommend this b I am giving this 5 stars not because I liked it, but because it succeeded in what it was trying to accomplish A beyond disturbingly horrible nightmare of a read but brilliantly executed The completely anti climactic ending left me stunned when I realized what it meant to the story Another underground man a la Dostoevsky Hubert Selby, Jr was quoted as saying that he could not read it for decades after writing it Well, nor will I be able to That said and done, I would not recommend this book to anyone


  6. Rebecca McNutt Rebecca McNutt says:

    The Room is deeply disturbing, but in the kind of way that makes you think about all the little things most people take for granted For the main character, his own sanity is compromised by claustrophobia and isolation.


  7. Fede Fede says:

    Heroin and talent.When the two meet, the result is necessarily devastating Such is the case of The Room A book written by junk.And by a genius I was only on page 22 when Guille sensed this book was already affecting me and wisely told me to beware Ten as raz n, Guille You knew what would follow, didn t you How can a novel be developed when the one and only character is locked up in solitary confinement in a 9 6 cell, with absolutely nothing to do but sit on his bunk, stare at himself Heroin and talent.When the two meet, the result is necessarily devastating Such is the case of The Room A book written by junk.And by a genius I was only on page 22 when Guille sensed this book was already affecting me and wisely told me to beware Ten as raz n, Guille You knew what would follow, didn t you How can a novel be developed when the one and only character is locked up in solitary confinement in a 9 6 cell, with absolutely nothing to do but sit on his bunk, stare at himself in the mirror, sleep, squeeze a pimple and pacing around the room day after day after day Reality as such becomes complete nonsense, a chain of few obsessive acts and gestures time ceases to exist lights are never turned off inside the cell, making it impossible to discern between day and night How is anything supposed to happen in such conditions Well, a lot happens indeed Only thing is, it happens in his mind The plot of the novel is all within the protagonist In The Room , H Selby s second book, a nameless convict takes us on a journey through his claustrophobic, deranged psyche a bottomless pit of hate and frustration and desire that soon turns into a parallel world in which any fantasy of revenge can be satisfied Fantasies that get increasingly violent, morbid, insane as we slowly start putting the pieces together through the relentless stream of consciousness of the most unreliable narrator According to the fragmented story we learn from his desperate soliloquy, the protagonist was arrested for no apparent reason by two sadistic officers who also knocked him unconscious and then locked into the TB ward, in solitary confinement, in order to further humiliate him.Is this story true Maybe Or maybe not The thing is that our man feels not only innocent but victimised Brutalised Abused And he is up to take the most horrible revenge possible against the abusers Is there a place in which revenge has no boundaries of any sort A place in which the worst atrocities can take place beyond any conceivable limit A place to which a prisoner can escape and turn his enemies life into a hellish nightmare of torture and obscenity Yes That place is fantasy The dimension in which Selby plunges his readers A pool of horror from which there seems to be no way out we can only let ourselves drown He became aware of a creeping drowsiness and was almost tempted to open his eyes, but didn t for fear of losing the image He couldn t and wouldn t lose this He had fought too hard for it and now it had becomethan just an image,than something conjured up in his mind,real than the bunk upon which he was lying and the cell in which he was locked It s a frightening crescendo at first, he dreams of having the two policeman officially reprimanded after his release But that can t be enough he wants them to suffer He wants them to know what it feels like when time seems to be endless, when life seems to be worst than death, when one starts to look forward to being dead Such is the extent of his hate anger is indeed his only relief from alienation O, how he wanted them to live He wanted them to live a long, long time And suffer Suffer so bad that each second of each day will be an eternity, so they can experience the living hell of disgrace and dispise, so they can all be crushed by endless time They will suffer years of torment for every second of pain inflicted to him And he goes very, very far with his dream of revenge to the point of turning the officers into dogs The chapters of the dog training are the most famous of the book and, according to most reviewers, a good reason to leave this book unfinished and throw it in the trash bin Extreme violence, depravity, torture in short, utterly gratuitous sadism against animals The point is it s not dogs it s the two officers Selby makes it clear from the very beginning The protagonist dreams of forcing his victims to commit any sort of disgusting act including sodomy, devouring a rat and eating dog food and rotten meat in front of their families, thus turning them into dogs or, at least, something that is not human any By the way, this was actually done in the Nazi concentration camp of Sachsenhausen I read about it in The Buchenwald Report , which is not fiction but, as the title says, a military report quite reliable as a source of information The inmates were kept in kennels and forced to behave like dogs, barking and crawling on all fours So, this is our man s revenge.What a revolting pervert, uh The problem is that Selby s characters are not that easy to label.In fact he also tells us about a rape perpetrated by the two officers twenty odd pages that make American Psycho look like Little Women , a crime he learnt about by chance one of many the two officers have already committed while on duty Is that story true Once again, maybe Or maybe not But because of that maybe we start seeing the protagonist s sadistic fantasies with a different eye Either the story is true or not, we can t help thinking that the boorish, violent, grotesque system beneath the surface of the American Dream is certainly not better than the only character of this novel And Selby wins again One must admit it Selby is a master in the use of the most gut wrenching and heart breaking, and poetic stream of consciousness his first book, Last Exit to Brooklyn , owes much of its terrible beauty to such ability As always, his character s thoughts are interspersed with childhood memories and erotic fantasies, apparently at random or as free associations for the careful reader to unravel Given the peculiar structure of this book, with a setting that is almost entirely in the character s mind, I can t help but think of Proust s Recherche a hellish version of it of course, muchplausible, muchreal It s a dimension in which the mind prevails and takes control over everything To find that small pocket of weightlessness where no pressure is felt, where there is no tugging in opposite directions, no straining for a painless balance, where all of him was suspended and cushioned between the 2 crushing and yanking pressures where no pressure existed Where no light existed Where no time existed Where no need or desire existed Where there existed no blackness There, where there existed nothing, not even a void So, five stars.I know, I know But when it comes to love and literature I m unable to be objective It s not that I don t see the flaws I see them very clearly indeed I just don t give a fuck about them Guille was right Beware of this book It dangerously affects you


  8. Beregond 3019 Beregond 3019 says:

    Truly haunting, disturbing, possibly Selby s most affecting work of fiction This is my third Selby journey every time I pick him up again, I find myself drawn down into the murky black pit of horrific reality he creates Anyone with an aversion to negative or abrasive writing, anyone that lets despairing, violent, powerful art infect them and dislikes the feeling, should stay the hell away from this and all Selby, but especially this The imagery is so raw, so unrelenting, and it s that much Truly haunting, disturbing, possibly Selby s most affecting work of fiction This is my third Selby journey every time I pick him up again, I find myself drawn down into the murky black pit of horrific reality he creates Anyone with an aversion to negative or abrasive writing, anyone that lets despairing, violent, powerful art infect them and dislikes the feeling, should stay the hell away from this and all Selby, but especially this The imagery is so raw, so unrelenting, and it s that muchpowerful because of how real it feels Selby doesn t make us cringe with attractive tapestries, like, say, Stephen King He dulls the edges down to the simplest and most animalistic of diction, and keeps it there, repeatedly pounding emotion after emotion and image after terrible image in and through the reader It s impossible not to be changed by reading Selby The Room feels like an attack on your psyche, a rabid dog gnawing at your soul At times you wonder, where is the value in reading this One steps back from time to time, for various reasons To scoff at the arrogance behind creating and or propogating something this scorching To wonder how something so raw and dispicable is even allowed to escape from a person and become published But mostly, I think, to take a deep breath of fresh air You stop to remind yourself that your life isn t that bad, that the nightmare is a detachment from reality, not a painful embrace of it I stop, I think, to marvel at the effect the writing is having on me, to wonder how I could sink so deep inside something so awful And then I admire the influence Selby wields His typewriter is razor sharp I will never cease my respect for something that can stay with me for this long.Selby famously said he couldn t bring himself to read this one for years after writing it I can understand if a book like The Room had come out of my mind, I d probably rather forget about that altogether But no one can deny how powerful and influential this novel is I do prefer Last Exit To Brooklyn this is because it packed a similar although slightly softer punch, and also managed to intertwine potent historical significance, to demand attention for those about whom it speaks in the way that writers like Dickens have But The Room will never be forgotten It is like a traumatic experience, like a scary chapter in your life you d rather forget, but that you hold onto, because you know it gives you strength I am ashamed to have loved it, and proud, all at once


  9. Sarah Sarah says:

    This is one of the only books I have ever read that made me outright nauseous Selby s violent and brutal and graphic descriptions of revenge were so real and vivid that I had to keep putting this book down to clear my head But the fact that an author is capable of making me feel such a strong and real queasiness makes me completely in awe of him He holds nothing back in this book Selby makes Bret Easton Ellis s writing seem PG 13 If I was forced to choose between being locked in a room with This is one of the only books I have ever read that made me outright nauseous Selby s violent and brutal and graphic descriptions of revenge were so real and vivid that I had to keep putting this book down to clear my head But the fact that an author is capable of making me feel such a strong and real queasiness makes me completely in awe of him He holds nothing back in this book Selby makes Bret Easton Ellis s writing seem PG 13 If I was forced to choose between being locked in a room with Patrick Bateman or the protagonist of The Room , I d take Bateman any day There is absolutely no element of satire in The Room While the narrative switches from the reality of the protagonist who remains nameless throughout to his fantasy world of beating the system as a hero to his graphic and horrific revenge fantasies, he remains completely serious amd dead pan throughout There is no sense of humor in the character, and while the novel does provide social commentary and critique on the justice system in America and police brutality, there is nothing humorous or tongue in cheek about it It s difficult to say that I enjoyed this book I wouldn t even allow my mom, who is also a big Hubert Selby Jr fan, to borrow it I didn t want her to share the repulsion and nausea that I felt while reading it I am in awe that a writer can make me feel such physical emotions from his words I can t say I recommend this book, but I do believe that it one I will keep in my library forever


  10. Ryan Leone Ryan Leone says:

    I wouldn t give this book five stars if it wasn t for the residual effects of Cubby s writing I ve read Requiem and Brooklyn, and didn t actually enjoy reading them but I was very affected He has this way of making stories hurt your feelings.I ve done a prison term and have experienced solitary confinement This book is about neither It s a metaphorical account of human psychology It explores the banality of violence and the repetition of fantasy It s very abstract, cruel, morose, and d I wouldn t give this book five stars if it wasn t for the residual effects of Cubby s writing I ve read Requiem and Brooklyn, and didn t actually enjoy reading them but I was very affected He has this way of making stories hurt your feelings.I ve done a prison term and have experienced solitary confinement This book is about neither It s a metaphorical account of human psychology It explores the banality of violence and the repetition of fantasy It s very abstract, cruel, morose, and depressing I don t think many people understood the court transcripts and hellacious fantasy juxtoposistion, but it is very effective if you get through it I felt something after reading this and not disgust, rather an unexpected sympathy for a suffering mind Once again Selby does the greatest literary magic trick of all and demands empathy for the strangers that we would hurry past on the street


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The Room ➬ [Ebook] ➧ The Room By Hubert Selby Jr. ➸ – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Locked away in his remand cell, a small time criminal surrenders himself to sadistic fantasies of hatred and despair This follow up to Selby s best selling cult classic, Last Exit to Brooklyn, offers Locked away in his remand cell, a small time criminal surrenders himself to sadistic fantasies of hatred and despair This follow up to Selby s best selling cult classic, Last Exit to Brooklyn, offers a bleakly claustrophobic descent into the mind of a man trapped inside a pitiless world, cut off from all love and compassion Violent, sickening and disturbed, The Room is an unforgettable and deeply shocking novel by one of America s most visionary writers BOOK JACKET.