Friday, January 27, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games was at times a difficult read for me. With all three books behind me now, I feel somewhat convicted. Zooming out to the big picture, this is a kind of a class warfare story told from the POV of the have-nots. Born and raised in the United States of America I could easily see I was a citizen of the Capitol reading this account. The series damns its readers. You want to enjoy the books and some of the most thrilling scenes are in the Games, but fear you'll be too much like the inhabitants of the Capitol for who enjoying the Hunger Games is quite a normal way of life. They don't even recognize the suffering that the Games cause. As a reader of the books you know liking the Hunger Games is wrong, but some of the best parts of the stories are in the Games. You want more, you're excited when the story is in the arena. There were many points through the story that I found this setting to be completely within the realm of possible for the future of this nation. It is just an exaggerated portrayal of the real reality now! These spiritual lessons were why I had some difficulty with the books. Suzanne Collins is an excellent writer.

Katniss Everdeen and Rue by rumonica
I found it interesting and a nice detail that the people of the Districts consider being slightly overweight a sign of prosperity and something desirable where in the Capitol it was exactly the opposite. This point was driven home in the scene where the Capitol citizens where throwing up their food in order to eat more. These were the scenes that made me think we're really not that far away.

There was a huge emphasis on media and entertainment. Having spent some time in that industry I was impressed with how realistic the media production elements were in the story. All three books have this flavor about them. They portray the mundane and tedious technical side with all the work that goes into a live production and at the same time you feel the energy of the audience affected by all the work. There's that thrill- we're live and anything could happen. I wondered what kind of media experience Collins has had.

I am a big fan of the Mad Max films and various post-apocalyptic video games, so I thought I was a fan of the genre. I need to re-examine this. One struggle I had with the book was how depressing it was and I attribute this to the post-apocalyptic setting.
The Mockingjay by mira-mcgrath
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I listened to the trilogy on audio book. The production was great, but the voice talent, Carolyn McCormick, was very stiff. It took some time to get used to her reading where almost all other audio books I've listened to had so much more emotion. This did lend to the bleakness of the setting effectively, perhaps.

I'll be watching the films when they come out.

May the odds ever be in your favor!
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