Friday, May 27, 2011

The Hunger Games

The Book: The Hunger Games

The Writer: Suzanne Collins

The Dealio: In the dystopian society of Panem- what used to be the US of A- the food gettage is so tight, and those in power, so motivated by revenge, punishment and lesson-teaching-that the entire nation is forced to participate in The Hunger Games. During the Reaping, two members, one male, one female, aged between 12 and 18, from each district are randomly chosen to compete, to the death, for the rewards of being the sole survivor...literally. With this comes untold riches and a life of comfort...if you win. Otherwise, future to look forward to? Not so much. Katniss, our hero, is a woman from the poorest of the districts. Sharp, feisty and adept with tracking, hunting and bow-and-arrow, she steps in to take her younger sister's place in the Games, and begins a strange and unique relationship with Peeta, the baker's boy, the other participant from her district. Are they a true team, caring for each other, and plotting to find another way to beat the system? Or, is something more underhanded at play (um...yep).

The Grading Session: 4.01 pengie3s out of 5. Granted that this is a YA book, and the first of a trilogy, I still felt the story sucked up far too much time getting rolling-(the creepy immediacy of the hunting-to-keep-from-starving setting in the beginning of Child 44 did it so much better, snagging my attention from the first paragraph). The adults were, almost without exception, either bullies or impotent moths, battering away at the failing light that was once a great nation. The scenes of the actual Games were bloody, extremely violent (there is a scene of unspeakable brutality towards the end involving 'dogs', of a sort, that made me quite nauseated). Yet, there was great tooth and grit to Katniss, as she feels her way along unfamiliar territory- including emotional involvement as well as the pain of loss. Couldn't help but root for the team from District 12.

Lessons Learned: This one: when I read a book because I hear it is being made into a movie...I usually wind up disappointed. I am curious about the word-of-mouth, but seldom feel the talk around the campfire lives up to the hype (Yeah, Twilight, I'm lookin' at you!). This one was no exception. But Harry Potter and the Sorcerers' Stone was! So, on the off-hand chance that another such could be in the cards for me, I have no plans to change my current M.O.
Here, I feel I really must comment on how successfully the process seems to work in the opposite order: Water For Elephants, The Help, The Glass Castle and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks : these stories absolutely have engaged me. And I have been on tenterhooks waiting for the films to show up on a screen near me. More fodder for the blog. So, stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment