The Mars Room

The Mars Room

It?s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women?s Correctional Facility, deep in California?s 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 bluffin It?s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women?s Correctional Fac...

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Title:The Mars Room
Author:Rachel Kushner
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:The Mars Room
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:338 pages pages

The Mars Room Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Jan 09, 2018
    This is a strong case of "it's not you, it's me." I have tried to read and like Rachel Kushner before, back when I read The Flamethrowers when it was the it book of the season. In the case of that book, what lingers is the description of the motorcycle crossing the salt flats, but at n...
  • Blair
    May 23, 2018
    The Mars Room is a politically motivated novel, described in its blurb as 'a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America, [and] an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex'. The protagonist, Romy, is in prison. As we see through meandering ...
  • Elyse
    Jul 06, 2018
    Library Overdrive Audiobook....read by Rachel Kushner I didn?t even consider this book when it first popped up. ?Telex From Cuba? was a little too politically dense and long. There was a good story inside - but I remember the time & effort I put in - and wasn?t looking ...
  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    May 01, 2018
    I'm one to admit when I just do not get the hype on a book. This is one that I just did not jump on the train with. I am bit confused by it actually. The majority of the book is about Romy, who has been sentenced to two life sentences for murdering her stalker. She is poor and wo...
  • Joseph
    Mar 25, 2018
    The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner is a fictional examination of not only the prison system but of the circumstances and the people that are fed into the system. Kushner is also the author of The Flamethrowers, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Top Fi...
  • Maxwell
    Aug 12, 2018
    Life is brutal. And the life we lead is directed by choices we make and often sacrifices, which are choices in and of themselves, lead us down paths that make us feel helpless, out of control; ironic when a choice you make leads to that state of helplessness. Rachel Kushner examines th...
  • Ron Charles
    May 03, 2018
    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...
  • Trish
    May 21, 2018
    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. O...
  • Peter Boyle
    Jun 10, 2018
    In the opening pages of The Mars Room, we are introduced to Romy Hall, and things are not going well for her, to put it mildly. In a previous life, she worked at a strip club and was a single mother to her young son, Jackson. Now she is being transported to a Women's Correctional Facil...
  • Canadian Reader
    Jul 10, 2018
    This is a grim narrative written a flat, dead tone. Its central focus is a 29-year-old female inmate who has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus six years in a California prison for the murder of her stalker, Kurt (?the Creep?) Kennedy. Romy Leslie Hall?s unfit,...
  • Tatiana
    May 23, 2018
    Well written on a technical level, but there is not a single thing in this novel that hasn't been covered elsewhere, for instance, on Orange Is The New Black (the show). Adding Theroux quotes didn't elevate it to anything new, IMO. ...
  • Dianne
    Oct 11, 2018
    This is an interesting look at incarceration. It?s set up as the life story of Romy Hall, a stripper at The Mars Room and single mother of a young son, Jackson. Romy?s story starts with her bus ride, in chains and shackles, to the Stanville Women?s Correctional Facility in Califo...
  • Esil
    May 27, 2018
    The Mars Room pushed all the right buttons for me. I liked Kushner?s The Flamethrowers, but this was something else altogether. Here Kushner uses her talent to extraordinarily potent effect. The story is set in the early 2000s, focused primarily on Romy Hall, who is in a women?s pr...
  • Kelli
    Jun 01, 2018
    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. ...
  • Barry Pierce
    Aug 11, 2018
    Orange is the New Bleh. ...
  • Trudie
    Aug 04, 2018
    This is arguably the superstar novel on this years Man Booker longlist, a book I would happily see win but doubt will do so, principally because I don't think the British can handle a third year shut out of their own prize ;) ( Although, as an impartial observer, that outcome would amu...
  • Emily May
    Jan 11, 2018
    2 1/2 stars. It's taken me a long time to admit that I just didn't like The Mars Room very much. Even as I was struggling to keep my eyes on the page, keep reading, and not get distracted by that piece of fluff on the floor, I was doing my best to write a positive review in my head. ...
  • Angela M
    May 12, 2018
    3.5 stars 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 ...
  • Perry
    Feb 11, 2018
    The Mars Room is a provocative, raveworthy exploration of choices or, indeed, the absence of any perceived choice for adolescent and teen female criminals on the lower echelon of the socio-economic scale who grow up sexually abused, addicted to street drugs and/or engaged in a sex-rela...
  • Marchpane
    Aug 03, 2018
    Wow. For some reason I had a preconceived idea that The Mars Room would be a po-faced social commentary loosely shaped into a novel. Expecting a lecture, I got a guttural roar. Not to mention a ?stayed up all night to finish it? compulsive read. Comparisons to Orange is the New ...
  • Debbie
    May 14, 2018
    When a friend asked me whether I liked the book I was reading, I told her, ?It?s refreshing! A novel about women in prison!? I was dead serious. It was only after my friend was losing it, laughing so hard, that I realized how weird my comment was. Laughing now too, I tried to def...
  • Zoeytron
    Oct 11, 2018
    Let me out!  I don't want to read this book any more.  Not quite halfway through, I guiltily add it to my scant DNF shelf.  I neither liked nor disliked the characters, and the way it was put together seemed disjointed to me.  I am aware of the extensive research, time, and effo...
  • Matthew Quann
    Sep 27, 2018
    First off, a hearty congratulations to Kushner for her inclusion on the 2018 Man Booker shortlist! I?ve been sleeping on Kushner for quite some time despite reading praise and receiving recommendations for The Flamethrowers. Luckily, The Mars Room serves as the perfect introducti...
  • Hugh
    Aug 11, 2018
    Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 My ninth book from the longlist is perhaps the most difficult to assess. In normal circumstances the Californian prison system would not be a subject I would choose to read about, but I did find quite a lot to like in this book. The centr...
  • Neil
    Apr 19, 2018
    UPDATE: When I first read this book, several months before it was long listed and then shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, I did not enjoy it. I found it haphazard. Read my review below for my thoughts at that time. Then the discussions opened up on GR once it was on the Booker...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Aug 02, 2018
    Now shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, This probably represened the most hyped and predictable book on a longlist which largely avoided the expected and established literary choices in favour of readability, the inclusion of new genres/media and a theme of a ?world on the...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    Jun 07, 2018
    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...
  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    Jul 04, 2018
    3.5 stars! I received an ARC from a Goodreads Giveaway of THE MARS ROOM by RACHEL KUSHNER. Thank you so much! I thought this was a very good read and I?m glad that I read it! I think it?s definitely worth the read! Even though this book was a little structurally & mentall...
  • Hannah
    Aug 12, 2018
    Rachel Kushner has written a book that is very obviously close to her heart and the result of a whole lot of research. I found her personal stance to be understandable and un-deniable but she did not sacrifice her writing or her plot to make her point. The anchor of this sprawling s...
  • Meike
    Jul 20, 2018
    Now Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 Rachel Kushner writes about mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, and she does it by looking at the individuals who make up that mass, and the singular rules and facilities that constitute the bigger complex. Novels about ...