Aug 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

I've had Catching Fire sitting on my TBR shelf for ages, but never felt motivated yet to find the first book at the library and start the trilogy. But then my sister gave me a copy of the Hunger Games, so I've been reading it over the past few weeks. Slow going only because other events in my life have limited reading time of late; the story actually moves very quickly and its one of those books that are hard to put down; you want to just read straight to the end.

So- in case you don't know the brief version, The Hunger Games is a dystopian story set in a future country called Panem where the United States used to be. There's twelve districts all in subservience to the Capital and periodically in order to assert their authority the Capital requires each district to offer up two teenagers to participate in the Games. The kids are prepped and then thrown together into a wilderness arena where they basically fight to the death- it's a game of elimination. The last one alive wins glory, fame, wealth for life, you name it. Oh, and it's all televised and everyone's required to watch. So not only does Katniss (our female protagonist) have to pit her wits against her peers in the Games, she also has to keep in mind how the audience responds to what she does (or doesn't do) as gaining favor with viewers can earn her support. It's really a gruesome thing, this life-or-death reality tv battle. There's plenty of harrowing scenes. But somehow those didn't stick with me. The writing is sparse yet descriptive; I found it easy to gloss over the gory details and instead enjoyed the adventure, the survivalist aspect of it all, the intrigue between the characters. Pretty gripping stuff. I don't think I'd like to see it on the screen, though. I think that would be too much for me.

rating: 3/5 ........ 374 pages, 2008

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5 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I read Battle Royale before I read The Hunger Games so I found it pretty predictable. I didn't love it the way most people have.

Jeane said...

I did enjoy it, but wasn't quite wowed. I'm guessing Battle Royale came out earlier? similar kind of story? never heard of it.

Jeane said...

Wow. I just looked up Battle Royale. If anything, it sounds even more brutal than Hunger Games. And yeah, pretty similar premise. Looks a bit more complex; I might look for that one!

Bybee said...

The movie gets around the violence by telling the story at a rushed pace and blurring the gory bits.

Susan said...

I just finished The Hunger Games too, on Tuesday. I read it in one evening, so taken over by the pace that I didn't hear my husband doing the dishes in the same room! lol Afterward, I was disappointed in the ending a bit, and annoyed that she knows so little about herself and is unwilling to be honest about what she feels for Peeta. It was good, fast paced.....and I confess I cried at a death or two. But at the same time, the Big Brother feeling of it, the unreality of it, really got to me, so I couldn't say it was a great book, not at all. I will read on as I want to know if she works out how she feels, and if they manage to change this horrible world they are in, because it really is horrible.