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The Hunger Games | [Suzanne Collins]

The Hunger Games

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - The best-selling Hunger Games trilogy is, without a doubt, a cultural force. She probably didn’t know it at the time, but in writing her series Suzanne Collins set the standard for YA dystopian adventures. Dystopian fiction wasn’t new of course, but something about this trilogy really sparked the imagination of young readers, setting the stage for a plethora of new young adult books to enter the market. If you’re interested at all in this increasingly popular genre, this Essential is the perfect gateway book. —Emily

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (38252 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anne 05-21-12
    Anne 05-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    240
    ratings
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    149
    109
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    "Good story; Poor narrating"

    I don't know what the fuss is about. The plot is original, but it is definitely a young person's book. No sex, but lots and lots of violence. The characters all seemed fairly one dimensional, but that may be because I listened to this one rather than reading it so I was "pressed" into the narrator's interpretation. I thought she rendered Catniss into a whiny drama queen. Her delivery seemed to make everything "too too." When she was actually narrating - describing the scene - she was much less overly dramatic. It's when she is actually IN a particular voice, that she tends to become extreme in her delivery - almost as if she is straining to convey the "drama." It is distracting.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melody Campbell, CA, USA 12-14-09
    Melody Campbell, CA, USA 12-14-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    114
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    8
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    "Good Book - Narrator not so much"

    This is a good story but I wish I would have read it instead of listened to it. The narrator uses such a whiny voice throughout the book that it gets annoying. I've listened to so many great narrators, it can make a huge difference in the entertainment quality of the book.

    93 of 112 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reveurs District 12 10-28-11
    Reveurs District 12 10-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
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    "Katniss Everdeen read by an old lady, epic fail"

    As a huge fan of this series I was excited to pick it up on audio book. I should have listened to the sample. They had no business casting her to read this. I can hear her reading Jane Austen but not this. They really needed a younger, fresher sounding voice to read this book.

    69 of 84 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brendanstallard 05-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    117
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    Story
    "In a world of compromise, some don't."

    The Hunger Games has been a huge surprise to me, (a 62 yr old male.) On hearing the kids on twitter go nutz for it, I got bored, turned off and would have nothing to do with it. I loathe hype. I figured it had to be more of that ordure Potter.

    On reading the plot summary, I thought this'll be some political messaging only just hidden in the story. Y'all know how much I hate that.

    Well, I wuz wrong..completely.

    The Hunger Games is a rattling good story. Gore knocked down a tad, 'cos its fer kids, right? Doesn't hurt the tale, which belts along at a terrific pace. The only crit I could make was the lack of exposition in favour of action, which is non-stop. There are several brilliant scenes, which are wonderfully burnished by Carolyn McCormick's excellent reading.

    I've listened to it twice now, and will do so again. Book has to make a pretty strong impression for that to happen. I've now read the ebook, listened to the audible, and seen the film. The movie is an excellent rendition of the book. If you like this tale, go see.

    Please note, this review refers only to Book One, I will have different things to say about Books two and three.

    Great book, enjoy! You will need hankies at some points.



    brendan (atlanta)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 01-07-12
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 01-07-12 Member Since 2011

    I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "5 Stars to 3 Stars for the Trilogy"

    Hungar Games is an amazing book, Catching Fire is almost as good and Mocking Jay is seriously lacking. It feels like the author and the narrator were just trying to get to the end...any way they could. Still worth making it through all three books.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Charleston, SC, United States 11-10-11
    Molly Charleston, SC, United States 11-10-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    "couldn't stop listening"

    I bought this book for my tween child and decided to preview it for violence and sexual content. It was violent, for sure, but not in an overly gruesome way. The characters were quite chaste and the moral messages were strong.
    I didn't expect it to hold my interest, but I really couldn't put it down. If this book was being marketed to adults, I might not give it such high marks, because I found it a tad predictable. However, for younger people, it's perfect.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 08-12-09
    David Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 08-12-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Annoying narrator"

    A great story ruined by the narrator. She speaks with an annoying affectation, and sounds as if she were reading to children. Perhaps she was trying to imitate the speech of the heroine -- but this doesn't explain why her delivery was so devoid of emotion. In all, very distracting. I'll avoid this narrator in the future.

    66 of 83 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-24-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    343
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    47
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    "Maybe if I was still a teenager..."

    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 :)

    23 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hill Bedford, TX, United States 03-30-12
    Hill Bedford, TX, United States 03-30-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not much here for me."

    My daughter talked me into listening to this book. She thought it was better than Harry Potter. Well to me it sure isn't Harry Potter. This just wasn't my cup of tea at all. Don't think I will see the movie and I know I won't order the second book. This book just did't fit to what I call entertainment or good writting. Took for ever to tell a very simple story. Suzanne Collins repeated herself a lot. She kept going over issues that I thought once said was enough. Just not for me.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bionichands washington, d.c. area 12-27-09
    bionichands washington, d.c. area 12-27-09 Member Since 2009

    procrastinator

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good and entertaining book"

    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.

    35 of 45 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 1835 results PREVIOUS123184NEXT
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  • Rhiannon
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    5/15/12
    Overall
    "Great book, robotic reading."

    This is a fantastic story, full of drama, action and excitement, as well as a very well written main character who you instantly become attached to, despite her prickly personality. The book is clearly read, although the woman's voice was difficult to listen to, to begin with. She is quite robotic and doesn't inject much life into the characters, she sometimes misjudges the tone or idea behind some of the speech. However you soon get so wrapped up in the story that you forget about this and it only becomes a minor irritant every now and again!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • m
    Pwllheli,, United Kingdom
    4/26/12
    Overall
    "Wrong narrator"

    Great story and ordinarily I would be looking forward to listening to books 2 and 3 but I have found the narrators style more and more annoying. She seems to place to much emphasis on phrases like 'he said' 'she said' this might be a fault of the writing but the narrator only makes it worse. Plus the narrator sounds to be in a very different age bracket to the people who feature in the story and this also makes her sound wrong. I

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    London, United Kingdom
    4/12/12
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ruth
    Wivelsfield Green, United Kingdom
    4/6/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic!!"

    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!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Suzanne
    Dublin 24Ireland
    2/2/11
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Joanna
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    4/28/12
    Overall
    "Exciting but...."

    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!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    Mullingar, Ireland
    9/22/11
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Anuj
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    11/9/10
    Overall
    "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

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • James
    5/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story Slightly Posh Voice"

    Really enjoyed the whole story just thought the voice was a little prim and proper for it but it is only a minor stylistic niggle. really enjoyed it and looking forward to the next two!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Risk
    4/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good book"

    book is good but the narration wasnt great but flowed well enough to keep me listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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