The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy) Paperback – 1 Oct 2015
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Katniss Everdeen is a survivor. She has to be; she's representing her District, number 12, in the 74th Hunger Games in the Capitol, the heart of Panem, a new land that rose from the ruins of a post-apocalyptic North America. To punish citizens for an early rebellion, the rulers require each district to provide one girl and one boy, 24 in all, to fight like gladiators in a futuristic arena. The event is broadcast like reality TV, and the winner returns with wealth for his or her district. With clear inspiration from Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and the Greek tale of Theseus, Collins has created a brilliantly imagined dystopia, where the Capitol is rich and the rest of the country is kept in abject poverty, where the poor battle to the death for the amusement of the rich. Impressive world-building, breathtaking action and clear philosophical concerns make this volume, the beginning of a planned trilogy, as good as The Giver and more exciting. However, poor copyediting in the first printing will distract careful readers - a crying shame. (Science fiction. 11 & up) (Kirkus Reviews) --New --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I wasn't so keen on the use of the present tense - I'm so used to reading novels in past tense that this regularly grated. I was also a bit surprised at a few errors, considering the book will have been edited so many times and made so much money - publishers cutting back on polishing books? For example "I know one has found me and the others will be honing in". Should be "homing in" (though it is a common error). There's also some badly-planned sections that come across as unconvincing placeholders. For example, Katniss decides she wants to hunt alone because Peeta is noisy, then come back for him, but doesn't think he'll agree. She hasn't said anything about it aloud but immediately he states that's what she should do, for those reasons. It's the kind of thing an author writes because they have an omniscient view, but later editing should remove the too-obvious god hand.
I should also go and fuss the big grey thing stood in the corner. When I started reading The Hunger Games I knew little about it, having avoided mentions and spoilers and films. I just had a vague thought that it was popular and was dystopian sci-fi, maybe like 1984 – I switched off whenever Hunger Games was mentioned online to avoid knowing more. As such I was surprised as I read it that it seemed so familiar – and immediately connected it with Battle Royale. I kept thinking “Wow, that’s similar, surely it can’t be an accident?” Suzanne Collins says she never read Battle Royale or knew of it as she was writing Hunger Games. I can accept that, though it still seems strange to me. I knew about Battle Royale years before Suzanne Collins wrote Hunger Games. Battle Royale was widely talked about and praised - I bought it from a Waterstones display. It wasn't something obscure. Then they made a film of it and it became even more well-known due to the controversial violence. Still, this has been discussed elsewhere, I just wanted to mention it as someone who knew nothing of the controversy or what Hunger Games was about, but the resemblances immediately struck me – children forced to kill each other as a punitive lesson by a controlling, hi-tech Government; an arena with randomised weapons, areas altered to force victims together; a hero finding a way to outwit the controllers; technology to track and observe the children and so on.
As an editor I always critique things, but don't focus on that as my full view - my overall perception of the book is very positive, and I look forward to reading the sequels.
I have read the hell out of these books in the past week - all three of them. It's a tremendously satisfying series of books and every single one of them was hugely enjoyable. However, the last book suffers (a little) from several issues. The first is that it just doesn't feel as coherent as the first two - without the driving force of the Games themselves, it has to be a very different book and the characters don't feel quite so credible to me. The second is that the ending seems to undermine most of the central messages I took from the book. It just doesn't gel - it's a jarring misstep to my sensibilities. The third is that the horror of the central plot-line loses a lot of its impact with the half-hearted way in which events are described. Certain characters, I feel, deserved better in their final send-offs.
Don't get me wrong - it's still an intensely good book, and a reasonably good cap-stone to a tremendous trilogy. It doesn't take away from how good the first two books are, and it stands up well as a book in and of its own rights. It's just I came away from it feeling a little colder than I think I would have if some other paths had been taken.
 A premise which becomes less ludicrous, through explanation, as we progress through the series. But taking it just from the first book and how it's presented, it's not really all that well contextualised.
 Jennifer Lawrence is exactly how I visualise the Katniss when reading the book, too.
I loved that the film followed the plot of the first book so closely. It took me just two days to read all three books. They are amongst the best stories I have ever read. They were harrowing, thought provoking, tragic, exciting, touching and with a little romance and a tiny touch of humour. The story is extremely dark and post apocalyptic but is so worth reading.
I felt everything Kat felt and cried quite a lot. The writing was wonderful and swept you along. The story had hints of Ancient Rome in the barbaric way the people, outside of the Capitol, were treated.
I did foresee the shock in the final confrontation part towards the end: Conversely, I had no idea for most of the trilogy with whom Katmiss would end up, if anyone.
I do find it hard to understand that it is acceptable for young adults to read about that level of violence and torture to children but heaven forbid that sex should be anything more than alluded to. Ms Collins also seemed to have a penchant for killing off some characters without, to me, any logical reason.
Despite these concerns this is a wonderful story which I will re-read at some point - but not too soon as I need to recover from the first reading. It was that good!
A highly recommended trilogy.
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