I really enjoyed listening to the Hunger Games, and cant wait for the sequel to come out. Ethical Dilemas, and a very tight plot make this book enjoyable.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
"Katniss" is a perennial plant native to North America that flourishes in forrest lakes, ponds and wetlands. It has beautiful, delicate flowers; leafs shaped like arrows; and roots that are easily harvested and eaten like potatoes. Katniss is very difficult to cultivate, so it's generally harvested from the wild (Source: Unites States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sagittaria latifolia Willd, at the USDA gov website, plants tab, 2013). "Ever" can mean always, or at any time - and "deen" is Scottish for "done".
Both names are apt metaphors for the hero of this dystopian novel, Katniss Everdeen. Katniss, after the cruel death of her father in a coal mine explosion in "The Seam" of District 12, becomes the sole support of her shattered mother and younger sister, Prim. Katniss is 11. She becomes skilled at hunting food for her family, and is an expert archer.
When Katniss turns 12, she is entered into an annual drawing to compete to the death with other teenagers. At 16, she takes Prim's place in the nationally televised games, along with Peeta Mellark, the boy tribute from the former Appalachia. Her life is on the line, and winning will guarantee that her mother and sister will never want again.
Katniss Everdeen, as metaphor, is forever beautiful, life sustaining, and wild.
Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" (2008) is the story of that competition. The book reminded me a bit of Paul Michael Glaser's 1987 adaptation of Richard Bachman/Stephen King's "The Running Man" (1982). "The Hunger Games" totalitarian government, Panem, is more even more brutal and horrifying, though - at least game participants in "The Running Man" are adults. "The Hunger Games" was very unlike the Bachman/King novel itself, except in the overall theme of a dystopian future and a game - and those are both found in Shirley Jackson's 1948 short story, "The Lottery."
"The Hunger Games" is written in the present tense, which made it a very difficult text read for me. In fact, I gave up on it halfway through, much to my kids' disappointment. They both loved it, and kept telling me I needed to finish. Listening to the book worked very well for me, and I am glad that I started at the beginning and listened to the whole book. I wasn't enamored about the narration itself, though - Carolyn McCormick sometimes slipped into different Katniss voices, and not when changing tones was appropriate for the narrative.
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I am an adult - but keep hearing how good this book is. It probably is. The narrator is just awful. Why can't these be directed better? How can anyone possibly stay interested in a voice & reading like that?
I actually read this book cause I was too impatient to keep listening to it. The suspense was incredible. I thought that it couldn't get more suspenseful, and then there would be another catastrophe that would befall the characters. I just wish that the 2nd one would already be out!!
The Hunger Games was only okay in my opinion. I found it hard to identify with the main character; she is cold and selfish with few positive traits. The author didn't flush out her character very well, I didn't really feel like I knew her at all and she kept doing things that were contradictory to other aspects of her personality. The other characters were developed even less; the author made little attempt to bring them to life or even give them a back story. They were also not consistent with their character. The story itself was an interesting concept but also hard to buy. I think this author could do with a few courses in psychology and sociology to get a better understanding of how humans work. I really don't feel there is a very good resolution to this book, it just kind of ends. I think the author was hoping to make you want to read her next book by doing this, but it failed to do that for me.
Both my sweetheart and I blew through this book in a day and a half. We were both enthralled, which is saying something for a book billed as a young adult novel.
I'm surprised this book and the sequel haven't picked up more steam with the general public. I only came across it when a different author referenced it in her blog.
This is a book that deserves to be widely read.