Its 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Womens Correctional Facility, deep in Californias Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision....
|Title||:||The Mars Room|
|Number of Pages||:||338 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Mars Room|
The Mars Room Reviews
Audiobook - 9:42 hours - Reader: Rachel Kushner
Read 6:34 hours (67.0%) DNF - 1.0 star
Late last year I read some reviews of this novel which were highly positive and these reviews, combined with the well-researched subject matter, lead me to think this would be a great read. I acquired the audiobook and it has been sitting there waiting for me to choose a time when my headspace was in need of something gutsy, raw, and a bit different.
What I listened to was gutsy, raw, different and quite a bit m ...more
More than a week before the release of Rachel Kushner’s new novel, “The Mars Room,” the New York Times published an excerpt in a special 12-page section. Hauntingly illustrated and spiced with artsy pull-quotes, it was an extraordinary presentation designed to proclaim the advent of an extraordinary book. Indeed, a Times book critic followed up with a review calling “The Mars Room” “a major novel.”
Which may be the problem with this bleak tale about people trapped in the American prison system. “ ...more
I read an in-depth article in New Yorker Magazine that made it apparent why Rachel Kushner can so vividly bring her characters in this book to life. (The link to the article is below.) She followed an inmate at a California prison because she wanted to have people in her life “that the State of California rendered invisible to others.” She brings these real people to us through a cast of characters in her fictional account of life in prison. This book definitely depicts experiences tha ...more
via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
'Certain women in prison make rules for everyone else, and the woman insisting on quiet was one of those. If you follow their rules, they make more rules. You have to fight people or you end up with nothing.'
Everything has already been taken from Romy Hall, but at what point did her life, her little boy Jackson begin to drift away? With two consecutive life sentences to be served at the Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility in California’s Cen ...more
Prison was a place where you had to be strong to get through each day. If you thought about some awful act you'd committed, every day, in graphic detail, enough to prove to a parole board that you had insight, the proverbial insight they wanted, needed, to let you go home, you might lose your mind. To stay sane, that was the thing. To stay sane you formed a version of yourself you could believe in.
What strikes me about this book is the intelligence - cultural, theoretical, emotional - ...more
I really liked this book for the most part; The Mars Room paints a vivid and haunting portrayal of life in a women's prison and what may have led to it, capturing perfectly the sense of isolation and injustice. That said, it seemed like the characters were almost unreal in a sense, and I didn't like how the book seemed to be blaming the the legal system for everyone's woes. It does make some good points about jury trials and family issues and stuff, but at times it just seemed that no character ...more
Rachel Kushner’s novels defy categorization. Her work reads easily but has a complexity that resists summation. She breaks rules and changes minds. This novel is both heavy and light at the same time, like a women’s prison in the Central Valley of California is tragic and absurd. Only for the untethered is it the joke it sometimes appears.
Kushner is for adults. She talks about sex and violence in a way that only adults will understand. Deviance is something else. Criminality is different again. ...more
I found this book structurally challenging, emotionally distant, and intentionally didactic. I’ve hit a rough patch with popular books recently, so I tried to ignore how disjointed this felt (and how disinterested I was) but in the end, it’s a 2.5 for me.