17 May 2012

Books: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)

I'm jumping on the Hunger Games bandwagon. Part of the reason, I guess, is that I'm told the books are so much better than the movie -and to be honest, is that not always the truth? Another part is that while I generally do not read too much in the way of young adult fiction, I will admit some of its worth it. 

The novel reminded me a lot of the dystopian fiction written during the post-nuclear age by classic writers as Asimov and Clarke. And as I read, I often pondered in their better writing prose, how this novel could have been extraordinary. On the other hand, while the themes may have survived the times, the violence portrayed here would have never made it in that time period.

Still, Collins is a pretty good writer, the book flows very well, at times, even addictive. It's pedantic as well, with predictable outcomes and stilted dialogue. Katniss does come off as fully realized character, yet it seems she had some past adventure that comes in handy once the game begins, which at times makes the internal logic of the book unravel.

Realizing this is the first book in a trilogy, Collins does leave a lot of stuff unresolved. I'm hoping for more explanation of how Panem works, what brought the world to this time, as I felt not enough time was given to this part of the story. 

Maybe that was the point, set up this Universe in the first book and then see it come apart as the second and third book continue story. 

The movie version remains unseen. Perhaps I'll view it, but most likely I will either ignore it, or eventually see it on DVD.


Sean said...

While I couldn't turn the kindle off, I thought the book read like a movie script - no adaptation needed. My biggest problem with the movie is how they changed how Katniss came into possession of the Mocking Jay pin, why she wore it and thus its significance.

tornwordo said...

This is one time I thought the movie was better than the book. I was so tired with Katniss' constant, "I don't know how I feel," ruminations. Plus I hate stories written in the present tense. The historical stuff comes in dribbles throughout the series.