Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
©2008 Suzanne Collins; (P)2008 Scholastic Inc.
"[The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense... I couldn't stop reading." (Stephen King, Entertainment Tonight)
"I was so obsessed with this book that I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading... The Hunger Games is amazing." (Stephanie Meyer)
"Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." John Green, (New York Times Book Review)
First I'd like to say that I have now read all 3 Hunger Games novels and loved them all. I had to read them on my kindle because I simply couldn't stand this narrator. Her voice absolutely grated on my nerves. I was only able to make it through 1 chapter before her babyish rendition of Katniss turned me off completely.
I Love a great supernatural tale, a Love story, PNR, a Cool Mystery and Most Sci-Fi....if there are vampires, weres or witches in it, that's a plus! Basically I am a 40+ y/o young at heart woman rediscovering the wonderful world of books and am now addicted! Lol I LOVE AUDIBLE!!!!!
I wouldnt know, but it always is!!!!
When they were both going to eat the berries...My heart was breaking for them,,,they practically drove these kids insane....so cruel!!
There were many....I really loved the whole book!
I did want to....and if life was fair, I would have!!! lol
I love this book, and am starting #2 now...but I wish they would have had a younger sounding narrator...even though Carolyn McCormick did a good job, performance would be 5 stars with a younger reader... I do recommend this series though...on to book 2, as soon as my tablet charges....lol
This is a work aimed at a teen audience written with limited vocabulary and short sentences. At first the rhythm reminded me of Hemingway, but it is not particularly sophisticated. The story is a Handmaid’s Tale style world wherein villages of the empire send tribute/sacrifices as reparation for an uprising that happened almost 80 years ago. The “Tributes” have to fight to the death on television. The game takes place in the woods while viewers send support and bet on the contestants. Very quick read. There are 2 sequels. They may be easy enough to read that it would be worth covering the series, but really, this is enough to know what it’s about and I’d like to go back to full sentences with grown up vocabulary.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Like a number of previous reviewers, I picked-up this book because of the hype and because my 13 year old son was going to the movie. I also read the review in "Empire" and the ones that are available on this website. Why not, I thought? I guess I expected too much.
The plot is a bit thin, but (to be fair) it might be setting the stage for books 2 and 3. I don't know that I liked book 1 enough to listen to the next two, so if that is the strategy, then I regret that it has probably failed on me. Not that the book is bad, but it is plainly written for a teen audience. I think it lacks depth. Perhaps this is because we only get one character's viewpoint, Katniss Everdeen, and that viewpoint is fairly naive (limited to her 16 years in one District).
For all that, I can admit it was fairly fast paced and I found Haymitch to be an engaging character. I expect he might get more exposure in books 2 and 3, but I'm just guessing. Also, contrary to some of the reviews I read on this website, I thought the narrator was reasonable. It was a reading rather than a performance, but as far as readings go, I thought Ms McCormick did a more than serviceable job. Her 3 stars were earned. If I could have, 2.5 stars would be my honest assessment for the story and overall - that is, just OK.
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
I listened to this with my husband as we drove around on a very long cartrip. Though we know it is a book for teens, it held our interest. On breaks we'd discuss some of the themes of the book. I like a good dystopia and the author makes a great one out of Paneem. The narrator also does a very good job of capturing the different characters.
I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series.
I am completely impressed by the enjoyability of this book. I purchase several audiobooks a month to create a more tolerable commute to work; it wasn't enough for me, however, to reserve "The Hunger Games" just for my drive. I sat in my living room and listened it out until it was over. This is a crazy-good book that I'd recommend to everyone!
if you go into this thinking its going to be epic tale u will be disappointed, its an "ok" story but nothing special,
I enjoyed the Hunger Games, but gave this book three stars instead of four, because its not without its flaws. Its a little simplistic at times, and I thought more of the book could have been dedicated to making the conflict in the arena more compelling. That part of the story was strangely lacking in my opinion.
Some people complained about the narrator's voice. I personally thought she was perfect. Her affectations didn't bother me at all, and I thought fit the main character very well.
Some reviewers have complained about the violence. All I can say to that is this violence is strictly PG-13. If you can't stomach the violence in this rather tame novel, then you should stick with the Disney channel. Its really not bad.
Lastly, just wanted to add that I am 35 and enjoyed the book. Its not the most sophisticated thing I've ever read, but so what? Will probably check out the sequel when I get a chance.
Don't get me wrong - I like plenty of books aimed at people younger than myself - Ender's Game, the Wheel of Time series, the Bartimaeus books, the Discworld books, etc. - but this one has the same teen-love-story feel that I couldn't connect with in the Twilight series either (I only made it through book one in that series also).
I know some of you will hit the "unhelpful" button just because I don't love Katniss (or Isabella) or the many strapping young gentlemen they're involved with. But please, I'm not saying this is crap - I'm just saying that it's not for me - and probably won't be for other men in their mid 30s who like things like...the Song of Ice and Fire series, for instance - that's all :)
Hunger games is a book about survival much like the survivor series on tv, but you don't get voted off, you get killed off. There are coalitions and deals made between contestants but in the end only one survivor allowed. There is a love story involved, sort of anyway but it did not ring true to me. I really did not like the ending and the degree of cruelty in the game did not make it fun for me. I think younger readers will like it more than me. I am seventy though and somewhat jaded.
"Ok for kids, but wow, the narration is appalling."
Firstly let me comment on the story and then I will move on to the real crux of my review, the narration.
I was persuaded by various friend that "no, Hunger Games isn't a children's book it is really good" and "It makes some really good points about politics and stuff". So let me clear this up. Hunger Games absolutely is a children's book and that is no bad thing. I found much of it, especially the politics and characterization, clunky and obvious but that is my own fault as a 40 year old man for listening to young adult fiction. I can easily see how the story and it's heroine would appeal to a younger audience with less jaded and sophisticated tastes.
So I don't want to focus on the simplistic and implausible World Collins has created nor the one dimensional nature of all the character who are simply there to fit one narrative purpose rather than plausible figures to understood and engaged with. The book is fine for what it is but doesn't have the appeal to a grown up audience of say, Philip Pullman.
What is not fine is the narration. As a fan of Star Trek, TNG, I was amused to note that Caroline McCormick was the actress who played the minor role of Minuet in the TV series. The role was basically a hologram with whom one of the characters fall in love. I had assumed at the time that the flimsy nature of the character was intentional as reflecting that she was the creation of a holodeck not a real person with real feelings. Having listened to Carolyn McCormick's narration of these books I am forced to assume that Minuet was the absolute limit of her acting abilities and she is simply incapable of imparting the emotional depth of a sun dried puddle to her performances.
Her reading of this book is truly extraordinary in it's awfulness. Very nearly enough to make me give up on the book altogether. Her attempts to portray different characters are risible and she barely seems to understand the text she is reading - and this is not a complex text after all. It was of no surprise to me to learn, on consulting IMDB, that Minuet still marks a career high water mark for McCormick even thirty years on.
So, in summary, Hunger Games is a perfectly passable kids book but not one that any self-respecting adult should be recommending to their peers. That, however, should be moot since the narration makes the whole experience traumatic for the listener.
When you listen to a book that you don't want to end because it's so good, you know that it's well written, narrated, engaging, has a sound plot and a is an all round good read. I loved the book from start to end. The characters are realistic and the plot addictive! This is a must read. JK Rowling watch out, this is serious competition. Can't wait to listen to book two and three!
"A refreshing female protagonist"
Superficially similar in setup to the famous Battle Royal books/film, The Hunger Games follows Katniss Evergreen who is participating in the annual blood bath, a winner takes all death match. In addition to being an enjoyable, well paced book, there were two things that I particularly enjoyed about this book.
1) The media/viewer interaction aspect. It works well in the post Big Brother world.
2) The book seemed to be lurching into some common tropes used for female protagonists, (the beautiful girl who doesn't know she's beautiful, etc), which I was willing to roll my eyes at and move on, but subverted it in a very nice way.
Considering the subject matter, not overly gory for the squeemish, well read and has twice so far tugged firmly at my heart strings.
The book is gripping, a page turner, almost constant interest and suspense. Although it was enjoyable, I couldn't really see its point. The gamemakers and capitol are so cruel, they put on this bloodbath for the amusement of its citizens - but, for me, this book turns the reader into one of those cruel voyeurs. There is the excitement of the hunt, but very little rebellion against the system. I hope this comes in the subsequent books. The only real tantalising plotline is the "is she in love with him" one, but the female lead is almost comically unaware of her own true feelings, making it not totally believable. The narration is good, but exposes clunkily written dialogue with the repetitive "he said", "she said" jumping out after a while. I didn't hate it though - I listened to it for my bedtime story and it didn't make me sleep!
"Great book, disappointing audiobook."
Let me begin by saying that Suzanne Collins' novel is incredible! I really enjoyed reading the whole trilogy; however, my disappointment came when I purchased this audiobook for friends to listen to on a long car journey. The reader has a clear and strong voice and I'm sure is very suited to other texts, but not appropriate for The Hunger Games. She reads the text very slowly almost as if she is reading a recipe. It's incongruous with the pacy, first person, present tense narrative of the Hunger Games. There was just no drama or tension being developed in the way it was read. I do not want to sound overly critical of the reader, but as I said: disappointing.
"Big Brother - on Acid. Love it!"
A first hand narration by a young girl called Katniss, who lives in a dystopian world where teens between the ages of 12-18 are all possible candidates for what are called the Hunger Games, a contest to the death. When her younger sister's name is chosen, Katniss takes her place.
A very original and a truly gripping tale. Very touching indeed. Highly recommended!
P.S. This is the first of the trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mocking Jay
"A great audiobook"
I wasn't sure what to expect but I've found this audiobook to be very well written by the author, read beautifully and also quite addictive! I would recommend it to anyone.
"Family Read at its best"
A great story for all the family to read and discuss, great for pre and youg teens, this book was the topic of conversation over many dinners. A well written story which will make you value what you allready have. The other 2 books in the series are equally as good.
"The book that is on fire!"
I like how the story is told from a first person viewpoint of Katniss. I loved the little anecdotes about her time spent hunting with Gayle in the woods outside her district and her struggle in trying to support her family following her father's death. Katniss' viewpoint and these intermittent recollections give a richer understanding of Katniss the person. This is something that I feel is somewhat lost on the film version, which I had actually watched before reading this.
I enjoyed the connection with nature that Katniss has. Katniss is a hunter, she understands different plants and can call out to the Mockingjays in the sky who echo her songs. I enjoyed hearing about how she adapted to living wild in the games with her own awareness as a hunter. I found her resourcefulness very interesting.
This is the first time I have listened to a narration by McCormick and I enjoyed it very much, well performed and clear throughout.
I found Katniss' relationship with fellow tribute Rue particularly moving. Rue is a 12 year old girl from another district who Katniss befriends in the games and tries to protect. I will not say what happens between them so as not to spoil it!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunger Games and I am eagerly anticipating listening to the second one! Something I did find a bit irritating was the apparently pretend relationship Katniss has with Peeta Mellark. If you were really in a cave starving and injured with fellow tributes baying for your blood would you really fake a kiss for the capitol which had sent you here in the first place? I found that detail hard to believe but I can see the significance of it in the wider story line.Overall I found it a very interesting listen and one that I couldn't stop listening to at times. Recommended!
One of my favourite reads of all time. Put hunger games on your reading/listening list!
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