Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review | The Hunger Games

Anytime Stephen King tells me to read something I read it. Most of you know about The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The first book in the series was published in 2008 and the sequels, Catching Fire and MockingJay, followed swiftly. It's a Number one New York bestseller, has been translated into 26 languages (why is it always 26?) and is the base for the third largest grossing movie of all time or some such thing.Again, Stephen King told me to read it. It's BIG. So a giving it a great review here is akin to telling you it's going to rain in the monsoons or you should really read Harry Potter. Pointless. But here's the thing. The Hunger Games never got very big in India unlike Harry Potter or Twilight and I kept putting it off because it came under the realm of science fiction, usually off my radar. So the point of this review is to tell you to please read it before you watch the movie.

The story is simple, horrifying but simple. Children are picked from 12 districts to fight each other to the death in an arena that is filmed 24/7 to provide entertainment for an extremely rich and decadent audience.   So our beautiful poignantly funny protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, steps up when her sisters name is called and we follow her as she figures out how to survive and kill a twelve year old girl named Rue and a boy who literally turned her life around when she was at her most vulnerable.

Suzanne Collins' prose is riveting from the very beginning and the suspense never cedes. It is at heart a young adult novel and the romance is a little awkward, but a book hasn't made me shed a tear since Dumbledore died and just for this I thank Ms Collins. She says she was inspired by watching reality tv and also the greek myth of Theseus as he battled the six entrances of the underworld.  You have romance, action and an underlying theme that addresses the possible consequences of having the gulf between have and have nots become so wide where one side views the other as fodder for entertainment. Anyone thinking Slumdog Millionaire or the many books on the Mumbai slums that entertain us? The futuristic world of Panem is quite reflective of how we live today- our overwhelming need for voyeurism and celebrity and the huge disparity between people who tile their bathrooms in gold to starving children. But let reality not depress us. This is  fantastic entertainment that should NOT be missed. Perhaps I am the last one to arrive at Ms Collins party, but am so glad I finally came. 


For bookworms like ourselves, trilogies are the ultimate indulgence and there is nothing better than having all of them waiting for you on a bookshelf to devour in one sitting. The sequels  Catching Fire and Mockingjay - I have to say that Catching Fire threw me off a little and I did skip a few pages. The writing seemed a little lazy but she was back in the game in the final book- Mockingjay.

And here is the movie trailer. DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE BEFORE READING THE BOOK!


  1. Hmm more than the haves and the have nots angle it made me think of the obsession with reality television... where you know, anything and everything can be entertainment.

  2. Ru! Btw you have a namesake in the book. Yes, and I think that obsession is becoming scary almost. Btw...your Nora Roberts post is still on it's way. Am actually looking for one to dig my teeth into for inspiration. Any suggestions?



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