On the Hunger Games

I finished reading the Hunger Games, too late to see the movie when it first opened, but better late than never.  On the surface, without any analysis, its a simple, entertaining, well-paced read.  In discussion it could easily open up topics like modern entertainment and gender roles.

Like ‘1984’,’ Fahrenheit 451′, or more recently, ‘A Super Sad True Love Story’, ‘Games’ portrays the authorities of the future as inconsolable. Like ‘Lost’, ‘Castaway’, and ‘The Beach’ it also gives nature and human survival a furious posture. Like ‘the Truman Show’ it warns against the relentless nature of celebrity.

I was a bit skeptical about the innocent sexuality of the characters, who were otherwise ferocious murderers and survivalists. In many works of gratuitous violence, examples of extreme sexuality are also present – ‘..Dragon Tattoo’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Clockwork Orange’.  A world where characters murder each other is more imaginable if they aren’t concurrently experiencing a kiss for the first time, but innocence invites empathy and makes the story engaging and the characters sympathetic.

I really liked a few of the images from the book – birds picking up songs and passing them around – so much that now when I step outside and hear a chirp, I find myself thinking, ‘which human emotion is that bird mimicking? who did it come from?’  Probably not the author’s most deliberate attempt at a memorable moment, but it worked for me. Overall I would recommend the book if you haven’t already seen the film.


  1. Thanks for your review. I’ve been hesitant to read Hunger Games but sounds like it would be a good read (and I haven’t seen the movie).

  2. I was hesitant to read Hunger Games but just finished all three books in two weeks. I was a bit disturbed by the actions the characters took when considered in relation to their age, and agree with your opinion on their sexual innocence as well. But i do see how it has the potential to make a decent summer movie. It’s not the best series, but does get you to think about human nature and government.

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