The Room

The Room Secluded in his remand cell a small time criminal surrenders himself to sadistic fantasies of hatred and revenge Selby s second novel is a claustrophobic descent into the tormented soul of a man trap

  • Title: The Room
  • Author: Hubert Selby Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780714530383
  • Page: 365
  • Format: Paperback
  • Secluded in his remand cell, a small time criminal surrenders himself to sadistic fantasies of hatred and revenge Selby s second novel is a claustrophobic descent into the tormented soul of a man trapped in a loveless society.

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      Hubert Selby Jr.

    About "Hubert Selby Jr."

    1. Hubert Selby Jr.

      Hubert Selby, Jr was born in Brooklyn and went to sea as a merchant marine while still in his teens Laid low by lung disease, he was, after a decade of hospitalizations, written off as a goner and sent home to die Deciding instead to live, but having no way to make a living, he came to a realization that would change the course of literature I knew the alphabet Maybe I could be a writer Drawing from the soul of his Brooklyn neighborhood, he began writing something called The Queen Is Dead, which evolved, after six years, into his first novel, Last Exit to Brooklyn 1964 , a book that Allen Ginsberg predicted would explode like a rusty hellish bombshell over America and still be eagerly read in a hundred years Selby s second novel, The Room 1971 , considered by some to be his masterpiece, received, as Selby said, the greatest reviews I ve ever read in my life, then rapidly vanished leaving barely a trace of its existence Over the years, however, especially in Europe, The Room has come to be recognized as what Selby himself perceives it to be the most disturbing book ever written, a book that he himself was unable to read again for twenty years after writing it A man obsessed is a man possessed by a demon Thus the defining epigraph of The Demon 1976 , a novel that, like The Room, has been better understood and widely embraced abroad than at home.If The Room is Selby s own favorite among his books, Requiem for a Dream 1978 contains his favorite opening line Harry locked his mother in the closet It is perhaps the truest and most horrific tale of heroin addiction ever written Song of the Silent Snow 1986 brought together fifteen stories whose writing spanned than twenty years.Selby continued to write short fiction, screenplays and teleplays at his apartment in West Hollywood His work appeared in many journals, including Yugen, Black Mountain Review, Evergreen Review, Provincetown Review, Kulchur, New Directions Annual, Swank and Open City For the last 20 years of his life, Selby taught creative writing as an adjunct professor in the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California Selby often wryly noted that The New York Times would not review his books when they were published, but he predicted that they d print his obituary.The movie Last Exit to Brooklyn, Directed by Uli Edel, was made in 1989 and his 1978 novel Requiem for a Dream was made into a film that was released in 2000 Selby himself had a small role as a prison guard In the 1980s, Selby made the acquaintance of rock singer Henry Rollins, who had long admired Selby s works and publicly championed them Rollins not only helped broaden Selby s readership, but also arranged recording sessions and reading tours for Selby Rollins issued original recordings through his own 2.13.61 publications, and distributed Selby s other works.During the last years of his life, Selby suffered from depression and fits of rage, but was always a caring father and grandfather The last month of his life Selby spent in and out of the hospital He died in Highland Park, Los Angeles, California of chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease Selby was survived by his wife of 35 years, Suzanne four children and 11 grandchildren.

    459 thoughts on “The Room”

    1. 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 s narratively 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 [...]


    2. 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 [...]


    3. 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 unna [...]


    4. 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 been wrong.The Room is basically the story of a man in prison for reasons we are not too sure of and his fantasies of r [...]


    5. 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 an [...]


    6. 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. 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 Patr [...]


    8. I have previously read four of Selby Jr s novels, the last in 2009, but was spurred to return to his writing when I saw one of my GR friends reading Last Exit to Brooklyn I started with this one simply because it was the first to arrive through my letterbox after ordering Published in 1972, it was seen by the author as the most extreme of his novels, and one that he wasn t able to read again for 20 years after completion I have to say, I can understand why.The novel gets into the head of an unna [...]


    9. For me this book was a DNF however I m still choosing after much thought to give it 3 stars as I realised the DNF was on me NOT the book or authors writing style This was clearly written by a genius with the ability to write from the point of view of a total nutter or a bi poplar sufferer and for that I gave it the 3 stars it was ME who couldn t make head nor tail of the words on the page therefore I couldn t finish and do it justice.If you like them strange this books for you 3


    10. i read this a long time ago, but i remember it being so disturbing that i wondered if it was even legal to have this freely available in a pubic library i was also fully convinced that there was no possible way hubert selby jr wasnt a serial killer.



    11. This ought to be, indeed, the most disturbing novel one can read And also the most rewarding in terms of depth in the investigation of the most neglected and denied human proclivities.It is a book about the either liberating or devastating power of dreams, about their equally destructive and elating potential.When I got to the cops dogs training part, I first wondered what cops had done to Selby to cause this utterly evil and crude, sadistic depiction of the obliteration of two souls I had to ge [...]


    12. 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 powe [...]


    13. Hubert Selby is one of my favorite writers, but I couldn t help but feel somewhat ambivalent about this one While it still has all of the elements of a good Selby book, by about halfway through the book I couldn t help but feel that it was getting a bit repetitive.The story is one of a man who may or may not be wrongly imprisoned, and his sadistic and brutal thoughts of revenge on the people who put him in this place Needless to say, a story like this can t help but become repetitive after a whi [...]


    14. Me alegro de haber le do esto hasta el final Todo un logro si no tienes el est mago para im genes violentas y s per gr ficas de tortura y violaci n Pero es otra perspectiva, otro estilo, otra escritura que es bueno conocer La psicolog a del personaje es incre ble Ahora puedo imaginar qu es estar en la mente de un desquiciado, de un ser marginal, soci pata de principio a fin Nada de los horrores o asquerosidades de este texto le justifican aunque lo intenta pobre y reiterativamente , a n as , le [...]


    15. I now know why I took a decade long hiatus from Selby The style gets old so fast The fact that this took seven years to write after Last Exit to Brooklyn is pathetic In a sense, it s a documentation of what happens when success comes to the seeker So that s that I ll love Last Exit to Brooklyn for the rest of my life the other stuff is really just ghosted in the long run Lucky man to have made a living off of this kind of shit Good book for wealthy teenagers wearing black nail polish The end.


    16. Provocative and rich in mental anguish, Selby s second book can be forgiven for essentially being one long rant on the state of law enforcement and the system that allows the inherent cruelty, bigotry, and sadism to flourish without punishment More to come .



    17. The Room is one that should come with a big warning explicit content It is only for the very, VERY brave Do not go into this expecting a great deal of semantic gymnastics or beautiful wordplay Expect regular sexual and gratuitious violence to the nth degree Selby s intentions are to go down, down, down into the deepest, darkest corners of a criminal s psyche to find what lurks in the cesspool of stunted, starved childhood memories As he does this, prepare to be challenged mentally and morally, b [...]


    18. The Room takes place in a single battleship grey cell, in which the nameless narrator is confined Through his rambling monologue he proclaims innocence, yet the twistedness of the fantasies in which he indulges, in all their gruesome details, begin to sow the seeds of doubt Can we trust a man whose violent dado sexual fantasies cause us to recoil in horror So violent and horrific are the visions in fact, that I was greatly tempted to give this book 1 star A search on the net found reviews holdin [...]


    19. A small time criminal is kept locked in a cell, we do not get to know his name, nor the exact reason why he is in jail, but we know that he is going to be there for a very long time, and we get to share all that comes to his mind At the beginning we can feel him suffer the isolation, longing for the sporadic moments of human interaction, but after a time, he retreats and inside his own mind, in a world made of bitter memories and violent fantasies of retribution towards the people he considers [...]


    20. No one can break a heart in two like Selby After finishing this book I was reminded of the time I showed the film Requiem for a Dream to my younger sister for the first time and how she ran out of the room with tears streaming down her face at the end He tends to have that affect on people I ve yet to read The Willow Tree or The Demon, but out of Requiem, Last Exit and The Room I feel like this one is his most intensely personal statement Here is a man desperately trying and indeed succeeding to [...]


    21. Not that impressed I know he is highly acclaimed and feel perhaps I should read something else of his to see if it s just me A lot of people marked this as horrific or shockingly disturbing, and I suppose it probably was at time of release I won t recommend it to anyone with a weak stomach involves some descriptive torture some physical, some sexual, mostly psychological but it was fairly tame compared to a lot of stuff that s out there The surrounding narrative was presented in an interesting f [...]


    22. 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 [...]


    23. I was reading this haunting book on my way to London in 2014 I was on a bus and I was looking out the window while reading the book and so the New York suburbs in the book became London suburbs, but the story didn t change and it was indeed a disgusting, perverted story about a condemned man and his paranoiac ravings in prison, his past, his present, his future, full with nauseating scenes, sexy scenes, all one splotch of hate in this book I feel guilty to say I enjoyed it but I did, and I also [...]


    24. This book was a masterpiece A sick, twisted, puke inducing, gut wrenching masterpiece At the same time I want to never see this book again although I know I will in my nightmares and I want to start it again right away.


    25. Uno de los libros m s violentos que he le do en los ltimos tiempos, no apto para est magos sensibles y lo digo muy en serio , sobre la impunidad, el destructivo deseo de venganza y la doble moral de las fuerzas del orden.


    26. For the connoisseur it doesn t get any darker than this An intense and unpleasant visit to a disturbed and disturbing mind.



    27. A man in a cell Not for everyone Not for most Wrenching Disturbing disgusting A haunting story that stays with you Different than Selby s others but similar I found this book unforgettable.


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