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The Hunger Games Audiobook

The Hunger Games

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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 01-08-10
    Holly Helscher Cincinnati 01-08-10 Member Since 2012

    Holly

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the Best in Fiction"

    It is not unusual these days to find a book written for the young adult that has appeal to an older audience. Some of the best fiction these days is in the young adult genre. The Hunger Games falls into this category. Katniss and Peeta are District 12 children, aged 16, who are selected to participate in Panem's annual hunger games. 22 other tributes/contestants are also drawn - 12 boys and 12 girls between the ages of 12 and 18. The objective for the tributes is to be the last one standing. The objective of Panem is to remind all districts that they may not rebel against the Capitol. The book is about the games themselves. If the reader is looking for a fast paced, action driven, gory, bloody plot, this is not the book. The violence of the games is not masked by Collins, but she treats it in a PG13 way, alluding at certain events that cause the deaths of the tributes. After all, it is written for the PG13 audience, not for the mature adult. But certainly a young adult sees and hears far worse on the evening news. The action of the book is far more about strategy, problem solving, critical thinking, relationship building, and the wisdom, or not, of rebelling and why. These are the common themes that young adults face in the teenage years. But they are couched in a plot that contemporaries can relate to. This cleverly created book is well written with good character development. It is respectably read by McCormick and easy to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone and have purchased it and the sequel (the final book in the trilogy will be available in print 8/2010) for two young adults I know. I have also recommended it to my adult friends, who were quite puzzled by my droopy eyes all week as I stayed up until 2:30 or later in the mornings reading the book. Although they know I am a voracious reader, they recognized this as a highly unusual book that fully engaged my attention.

    176 of 206 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theodore Kingston, Jamaica 03-27-12
    Theodore Kingston, Jamaica 03-27-12 Member Since 2016

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3678
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    "The Book Deserves The Hype"

    I listened all 11 hours and 14 minutes of this book in one sitting! Seriously.... Onnneee SIITTTIIINNGGGG!!!!!! I have never done that to an audiobook before. Heck I have had audiobooks that are 3 - 5 hours long that took me a week! This book took me one day and I bet if I had the actual paperback I would have finished this book in about half the time. Why? It was downright addictive!

    My only drawback, as almost everyone else has stated, is the narration. It wasn't horrible by any chance, it was done very well actually. It is obvious that Carolyn McCormick who voiced Katniss does know how to deliver a great performance. With that being said though, a better choice could have been made to voice her. Someone younger or at least sounded younger could probably have done a better job. Carolyn McCormick did though did a very good job irrespectively.

    The story, the story is where this book shine! Any book that can bring me back to a 15/16 year old me spending all day/evening/night engrossed in one book deserves my utmost praise. In fact when I was watching the sun rise as I finished the closing minutes of the book (I stayed up all night listening to the book) I couldn't help but chuckle wondering what my mother would say if she knew I was still sacrificing sleep for the sake of a good book, lol. It was action packed with a fair amount of surprises. Had some gut-wrenching moments and you just plain get to start loving and bonding with each character. The ending of the book leaves you downright begging for more though and I literally am just gearing myself up for another assault on Book 2 in this series. I can see another all nighter looming ever so closer in my future...

    115 of 135 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LarryD 04-04-10
    LarryD 04-04-10

    PC Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely!"

    OK, you are like me... you are reading this to see if you should use a credit! Yes, yes, yes! I was leery at first because I'm 53 and it was young adult... and a gruesome premise!!!! Hmmmmmmm! But it's so worth it! I read the criticisms of the narrator but don't feel she was bad at all! Our county is doing a promotion to get everyone in the county to read the same book. You get to vote for the book online! Of course, the classics were on there like "Great Gatsby", but they did have two new ones like "The Book Thief" (definitely get this one, too) and "The Hunger Games". I was torn between the two, but voted for "The Hunger Games" because I think it will grab young readers! GO USE YOUR CREDIT!!! :)

    109 of 136 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 08-12-09
    David Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 08-12-09
    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.

    82 of 103 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross Austin, TX, United States 10-26-11
    Ross Austin, TX, United States 10-26-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Carolyn McCormick's voice just doesn't work"

    I loved the story, but Carolyn McCormick's voice nearly ruined it for me. When she tried to do a little girl's voice, it sounded cartoonish and it grated my nerves. It was awful. When she tried to make the characters' voices sound surprised, she over played it and startled me each time. It sounds like she should be doing children's books.

    If she is the voice for the rest of these books, I'll buy the paperbacks instead.

    144 of 182 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reveurs District 12 10-28-11
    Reveurs District 12 10-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    90 of 114 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melody Campbell, CA, USA 12-14-09
    Melody Campbell, CA, USA 12-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    106 of 135 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest Modarelli 01-16-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed that it had to end. More please."

    I have listened to hundreds of Audio books, in a variety of category's, so much so that I am never able to stay within my 2 credits a month. I have never written a review for a book before, but I never decide to listen to a book without heavily considering what the reviews have said about it. I find that the reviews by other listeners are almost always spot on and are very reliable. That is why I felt compelled to review this book.


    The hunger games violates all of the rules I have set as criteria for selecting a book. I rarely listen to a series of books and I am not usually a big sci-fi fan. Additionally I am weary of books geared towards young girls, as I don't want to waste a credit on something like Twilight. When I saw that this book had been given almost five stars by over 2000 people I knew it deserved a closer look. When I read the synopses I was skeptical especially since I had just finished Decision Points by George Bush, and was looking for something similar. When I noticed that every single review on the first page was enthusiastically positive I could not resist.
    The reviews set the bar high, and the book itself not only met but exceed my expectations. This book and the entire trilogy had me completely absorbed. At certain points in the book I found myself yelling at the characters, at other times I was stopped dead in my tracks and dropped my jaw in shock, and finally I even cried. As I neared the end of the last book I had regretted ever listening to them at all. I loved these books so much that I am now disappointed that the journey is over. I now have to begin the search to try and find an audio-book capable of filling the void left in my life by life by Katniss Everdeen and Suzanne Collins
    If you love books, and love to get wrapped up in an amazing story that will have you looking forward to every opportunity to listen, Then you need this book.

    70 of 90 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy vallejo, CA, USA 10-18-08
    Nancy vallejo, CA, USA 10-18-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You'll hunger for this book"

    For being targeted at a YA audience, this book is surprisingly brutal, but in a good way. There is violence, murder, betrayal, and everything else inherent in a gladiatorial fight to the death. That said, "The Hunger Games" was absolutely riveting. Collins does not pull any punches in saving beloved characters from horror and pain, and she also occasionally pulls the rug out from under your feet. In true series preparation the ending ends on a cliffhanger, making me drool for book number two...

    I recomend it to anyone. I could not help pondering over this story long after I had finished it. I was surprised at the thought that entered my mind how far would I go to stay alive?Or, how far would I go to keep someone I loved alive?

    Absolutely brilliant!!!

    69 of 89 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Mansfield 01-02-10 Member Since 2009

    Alabama Heretic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic Listening for ALL ages!!!"

    This may be listed as a book for adolescents, but as a 33-year-old woman who isn't generally fond of Sci Fi, I can assure you that this novel is a terrific listen for ANYONE. I would award it more stars if I could. I am an avid fan of audiobooks and have had difficulty pausing many of my listens from audible, but I absolutely had to listen to this one nonstop - no choice. I literally paused my life for this book.
    From the opening scenes in the dystopic former U.S. where 16-year-old Katniss has to grapple for her family's survival on a daily basis to the heart-stopping scenes in the arena in the Hunger Games, the action never lets up. The strategy and conflict involved in the brutal gladiator-style combat are stark relief to the story of Katniss herself and her unlikely ally - and love interest - Peeta. The narration, while at first a little off-putting because it doesn't sound like a 16-year-old girl, turns out to be spot-on and a perfect complement to the story.
    In short, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I'll probably listen to it again before too long. I usually listen to crime novels and historicals, but this book easily outpaced the most nail-biting crime novel I've ever read. Use your credit - get it, get it now.

    85 of 110 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Kyla
    12/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "AMAZING"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1 to be better than the print version?

    YES because The narrater Makes you feel like she IS Katniss and has So much emotion in the the way she talks. She portraits Katniss very well and does the voices of the other character brilliantly And no two voices sound the same Well done caralyn


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1?

    WARNING WARNING SPOILERS SPOILERS
    When Rue dies i almost Feel like The narrator is chocking up witch makes it more Realistic Than Cold paper


    Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Ive listened to Mockingjay and catching fire and feel like she keeps up the role of Katniss incredibly well


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    READ THE BOOKS
    They are way better


    Any additional comments?

    Nothing but the fact that i was diss appointed by the film and found The book Much better in the detail and description

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • miss c james
    9/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing teen read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1 to be better than the print version?

    Better? It depends. I love audible so much for on the go and especially for on the go on when you can't always pull out a big bulky book to get in your way. I think it could really get more people loving books again as well but I really like reading along with it. For those who are less creative or slow at reading (like myself) this is perfect.


    What other book might you compare The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1 to, and why?

    The Hunger Games is so unique in it's way and relates very closely with the world today and I would have to say the Divergent series is on that same track as well with them being an awesome teen, romance and plenty of action books.


    What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

    I feel like she played the roll perfectly though maybe a bit old but her voice was perfect for it because she could play the roll of a male voice and a strong one with that.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It defiantly made me laugh and turned a side of me to look out at the world more. Catniss seems like an everyday girl today us but if you look at it factional she's a poor almost orphan struggling to up hold her family. Fantasising or detesting about the wealthy, constantly under threat. I soon came to realise that this is our life today. We are the threat, we are the wealth and though we aren't as drastic as The Hunger Games we still don't think about the less fortunate enough. I would say that teens could really respect more of what they have or be moved and to to make a difference. I felt as if Catniss was my reflection; ordinary, normal, caring; and yet we seem a world apart.


    Any additional comments?

    Read it. Seriously, read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    8/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging"
    Any additional comments?

    Don't know why people complain about the narrator - I loved Carolyn McCormick's narration, she's amazing and I thought she sounded a bit like Jennifer Lawrence.

    I am not into young adult but this series made me reconsider, I was so reluctant to get into Hunger Games but absolutely loved the books. My only regret is, there are only three Hunger Games books and I have a massive withdrawal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    7/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book for children? Don't be fooled!"
    What did you like most about The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1?

    The suspense


    Any additional comments?

    I found this great story to be captivating and exciting throughout. I would highly recommend to any adult out there looking to get their teeth into something that will keep them entertained and have them on the edge of their seat in each chapter. Looking forward to being captivated by book two on my holiday!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Viv
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Addictive"

    This is a children's story, but even as a someone at the other end of the spectrum I found this captivating. Strong story lines and characters, easy listening and compulsive. This is not a challenging listen, but highly enjoyable and much recommended as background listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • nodis
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very entertaining and gripping but predictable"
    What made the experience of listening to The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1 the most enjoyable?

    The narrative style is very entertaining and easy to understand. Also I like a female, non stereotypical protagnist, although I don't know how I feel about the way she uses her sexuality.


    If you’ve listened to books by Suzanne Collins before, how does this one compare?

    This was my first Suzanne Collins experience.


    What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

    Carolyn McCormick has a very clear voice with a great tone. One can listen to it for hours and not get annoyed. Her reading is empathetic and fluent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rosemary
    6/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpectedly gripping and a real pleasure"
    What did you like most about The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1?

    Not being the target audience (much, much older!), I didn't have expectations but had been told it was interesting so wanted to give it a try. From the first few minutes I was lost in this compelling and convincing world and it was easy to believe in a place where everyone was hooked into watching the awful, deadly games.


    What other book might you compare The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1 to, and why?

    It has a touch of 1984 about it, mixed in with any number of current TV game shows that revel in the discomfort of the participants.


    What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

    Beautifully narrated, she sounded just like a withdrawn teenager who has always felt on the outside so appears slightly haughty and aloof but is basically decent. Lovely to listen to and a book I will look forward to listening to again... once I have worked through the sequels.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, absolutely, I did want to keep listening to the story... but as I listen when I go to bed, it meant I was tired for days as I couldn't possibly drift off, I needed to know what was going to happen!!


    Any additional comments?

    Such a treat to try a book you might not normally select - only to find it immensely enjoyable and one to remember.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • V
    Offham, West Malling, United Kingdom
    4/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent listen!"
    Any additional comments?

    As a rule I don't go for sci fi or futuristic novels, but based on other readers reviews, decided to give it a try and I wasn't disappointed. I spend a lot of time in the car and found myself sitting outside my house waiting for the end of a chapter as I didn't want to break off. The one thing that slightly spoiled it for me was that the narrator can not sing and at a particularly poignant part, her rendition of a lullaby was totally off key, but that's me, as a musician, being really picky, as otherwise I felt the narrator was excellent with good pace and voices. On the strength of this, I have downloaded the other two parts of the trilogy and hope they are as gripping. Altogether I would definitely rate it as one of the best I have listened to, up there with The Book Thief, The Witness and The Woodcutter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lippy~Art
    Yorkshire, England
    4/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, awful reader!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    For the story alone, yes, because it's brilliant! For the narrator, definitely not! No emotion in the voice at all, droney, gets irritating & boring to listen to; if there were another version of this audiobook with a different reader I would purchase it instantly so I didn't have to hear her voice any more!.... For those put off by my review -- the book is so good it's worth suffering her voice though! ;-)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Roo -- 'cause she's awesome! :-)


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Carolyn McCormick?

    Perhaps the author? Anyone EXCEPT this one, it needs more emotion, instead of just flat a boring!...... I wouldn't say no to any audiobook read by Morgan Freeman either, though I he probably wouldn't play a very convincing girl for this particular book! haha


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All of it was great!


    Any additional comments?

    Please re-release this audiobook with a different reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eve Jane Lucille
    Liverpool
    4/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging insight in a new world."
    Would you listen to The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1 again? Why?

    I have only just finished this and am reading the next books, I can absolutely see myself revisiting these in the future, after say a few years, because I am sure to miss the well-drawn characters and want to be in their company again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunger Games: Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1?

    A part totally omitted from the films – mutt mutations near the end of the games which shake Katniss to her core – this was the first taste of solemnity in the story. One must read the books to appreciate this and other aspects of the world created in the series.


    Which character – as performed by Carolyn McCormick – was your favourite?

    I fell in love with Katniss as a flawed character and with Peeta as his own separate entity – in the films he comes across as unlikable and as having some kind of sinister agenda, whereas in the books he is the exact opposite. It seems a simple thing, but the different voices employed by the actress added to their characteristics, and she channelled each character well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It certainly was! I listened to the whole thing in a matter of days, eager to move onto the next one and to finally be at the point I am now – reading Mokingjay before seeing the film – a treat!

    I had it on overnight and had to rewind in the morning – that made for some interesting dreams!


    Any additional comments?

    I happened to see the first movie and found it mediocre. As a fan of the Japanese novel turned movie with a similar theme, Battle Royale, I instinctively joined the “this is just a Battle Royale rip off” brigade. I could see little originality in the film’s story.

    After watching the second film and finding the plot somewhat hard to follow I came to wonder whether the books held some extra charm the film was missing. The films are fast paced therefore I deduced that indeed there were myriads of intricacies in the books that had to be left out to preserve space for action. They obviously leave a lot of the backstory and personal viewpoints of Katniss out, and it is these that turn a “Battle Royale rip off” into something so much more.

    The world created in these books is entertaining to read about but can also verge on depressing at points.

    The books portray the intricate world of “the Capitol”, “Panem”, “Mokingjays”, and “Trackerjackers”, and I became engrossed in this world which is so different to our own, yet so prophetically similar.

    I’ve read the first two books which the films keep to rigidly, whilst omitting what turns the story magical.

    I’ve just begun the third book and have actually gone through almost all of the trilogy in a matter of weeks. It truly is one of those stories you miss when it’s over. I highly recommend this book and this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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