The Hunger Games: A Great Tale But is Sadly Lacking Detail In Its World
The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games. It is the book that has dethroned Twilight (Thank God), and has taken it’s cult following and popularity. And much like Twilight, my friends, family and co workers were obsessed with it. And I was the one who gave in to Twilight to find out it was a terrible book and ultimate insult to women all together. (If you don’t believe me, I have a older post where I point it all out and go in elaborate detailed on a rant.) So with my eternal burning hatred toward Twilight, I refused to read the Hunger Games. Never looked into it. Never knew what it is was about. I just didn’t care. I figured it was something as god awful as Twilight. Then the movie came out and because it was in my face so much, I found out it was a science fiction. And curiosity grew and I remained cautious very cautious with few expectations. Then I saw the movie and I was stunned. It was a total 180 degrees of the Twilight phenomenon. It was so smart and incredibly dark. It carried so many messages about society, human behavior, brutality and fear. It was amazing, and ended up being my favorite movie of 2012. So I had to read it.
I got the trilogy for a Christmas gift so I began reading. The Hunger Game is written by Suzanne Collins. Its set in futuristic world that is the aftermath of the civil war in the United States. The States became Panem. It consists of Capital city (Where all the rich people live) and twelve district surround this city. Each district is controlled by Capital and is more often than not, poor and starving to death. As a reminder of their failed rebellions against the Capital, the Capital established the Hunger Games. One boy and one girl are drawn to compete in a tournament to the death. Each year another name is added to the drawing for the individual but if someone asked capital for assistance such as food , there will be more copies of that name entered. To keep her younger sister from dying in the Hunger Games when her name is drawn, Katniss volunteers. The boy drawn is Peeta Mellark. He was a boy who has saved her from starving in the past. They are taken away from their district to their nearly certain death.
So the good? The concept alone is amazing. Instead of being super complicated and focusing on the scifi elements. It is very simple and it focuses on the drama of it all. The main story concept is actually stolen from roman history which I though was very brilliant. Simplicity was the strongest point here. And oddly enough, the whole story is written in present tense. Too keep a story engaging at this length with present tense is a very great feat. I must applaud this writer for being so successful at it. Present tense writing is something hard to do, so I was quite surprised. I’ve seen it done so badly so many times, it was a relief to see she could pull it off.
So the bad? Well despite my praise. I was very very surprised to find that there was a great lack of detail. I don’t know what district twelve really looks like. The ship that picked them up from the games? I don’t know what that looks like. And oddly enough, the strongest point, the characters had little detail and interactions. It was shocking. These books are best selling novel and had movies adapted after them and the style of writing is not that good. When I submit my writing before other writers, writing groups, publishers and professor even, I explain as much as I can and they still say more detail. So I am surprised (and somewhat jealous) that something is so lacking was published and popular on top of that. So like I said, the story line is the strongest point. Not detail and most certainly not flow. Because it is all in present tense, the author limited herself from building up a scene and transitions from one scene to another caused some sudden jumps between events. Lastly, Katniss is a odd character. She’s toughened by the life she lives. But she feels very cold. Even her thoughts don’t seem to reveal any real emotions, which is sad. I know the author was not want to be giving the impression Katniss of having a heart two sizes too small, but that is the impression she wanted to give. And though I congratulate the author for writing a whole thing in present tense, I feel in doing so led to all these problems listed because she could not use a lot of the English language expand the story.
Overall, I must say that the book did not live up to expectations after the movies. The movie in fact was better. But if you like Scifi, despite its problems, it is of the better current books out there.
Overall Rating: A Great Tale But is Sadly Lacking Detail In Its World