Thursday, November 10, 2011

Books - The Hunger Games

I've been hearing about this Hunger Games book trilogy by Suzanne Collins for a while now, the recommendation generally boiling down to: "Exciting! Page-turning!  Can't put it down!"

I've been in exactly the mood for exciting, page-turning, can't-put-it-down.  So I read 'em.

Cover of The Hunger Games, borrowed from Wikipedia

Good.  VERY e, p-t, c-p-i-d... also engrossing, surprisingly violent and, indeed, cruel.  Surprising for what seems to be meant as young adult novels.  (Adults have been reading it.)  The setup is a future where the ruins of the United States have become Panem, a civilization with a tyrannical central region/government and a series of enslaved provinces.  They have this annual game - more or less "Survivor" crossed with gladiatorial combat - played by sacrificial teenagers.  The books' main character is a young girl.  That female protagonist and the need for this game to look pretty (or horrific) for the cameras takes the story from beauty pageant one minute to carnage the next: instantaneously from Barbie to G.I. Spartacus.

I'm still digesting the implications.  But as a page-turning distraction I have to rate these books high: the first book, The Hunger Games, is the most gripping, the succeeding books, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay get, as trilogies tend to, less compelling but since it's cliff-hangers all the way, you'll gobble them all.  Fast!

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