Where have all the children gone? They are off reading The Hunger Games…

by |March 20, 2012

Every bus we pass, every bus stop, high above us on the sides of buildings,on billboards, in magazines, papers, on the net, in the hands of commuters, in the grubby hands of unruly teens suddenly quiet, of children sitting strangely still – The Hunger Games is everywhere. Why? Because of spin? Nup. Because of a million dollar marketing spend? Nup.

Because it is good.

Who says? Who doesn’t say.

Stephen King : Reading The Hunger Games is as addictive (and as violently simple) as playing one of those shoot-it-if-it-moves videogames in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it’s not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway.

Lauren KateThe Hunger Games is the most primal book I’ve read in ages.

Stephenie Meyer:  People often ask me for reading suggestions, and I’m always happy to share because books are exciting things to me. My latest excitement is this:  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn’t have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it. I’ve been recommending it to total strangers in Target. And now to everyone who reads my website.  The Hunger Games is amazing.

Cathy Kelly:  The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – set in a dystopian future, teenagers are the protaganists – brilliant, brilliant stuff.

Monica McInerney:  a stunning, gripping, and powerful trilogy.

Kylie Ladd:  It’s not literature, but it *is* brilliant storytelling, and the premise is utterly applicable to this sort of situation. On top of that it’s an incredibly vivid book- I’m a grown woman and I had nightmares for a week after I finished it.

Rick Riordan: As close to a perfect adventure novel as I’ve ever read.

Isabel Blackmore, aged 11: I read a lot and this is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The World of The Hunger Games

The definitive, richly illustrated, full-color guide to all the districts of Panem, all the participants in  The Hunger Games, and the life and home of Katniss Everdeen.

Welcome to Panem, the world of The Hunger Games.  This is the definitive, richly illustrated, full-color guide to all the districts of Panem, all the participants in The Hunger Games, and the life and home of Katniss Everdeen.  A must-have for fans of both the Hunger Games novels and the new Hunger Games film.

Order here

The Hunger Games Official Illustrated Movie Companion

The New York Times bestseller by Suzanne Collins is now a major motion picture — and this is your guide to all of the movie’s excitement, both in front of the camera and behind it.

Go behind the scenes of the making of The Hunger Games with exclusive images and interviews. From the screenwriting process to the casting decisions to the elaborate sets and costumes to the actors’ performances and directors’ vision, this is the definitive companion to the breathtaking film.

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Read the books, first:

The Hunger Games Trilogy

by Suzanne Collins

Book One: The Hunger Games

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

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.

The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

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Book Two: Catching Fire

After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol.

A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create.

As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

This is the terrifying sequel to The Hunger Games.

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Book Three: Mockingjay

Can Katniss Everdeen win the final fight against the Capitol?

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe.

The Capitol is angry.
The Capitol wants revenge.
Who do they think should pay for the unrest?
Katniss.

And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12…

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE HEART-STOPPING HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY.

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The Hunger Games Boxed Set

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“As negative Utopias go, Suzanne Collins has created a dilly. The United States is gone. North America has become Panem, a TV-dominated dictatorship run from a city called the Capitol. The rest of Panem is divided into 12 Districts (the former 13th had the bad judgment to revolt and no longer exists). The yearly highlight in this nightmare world is the Hunger Games, a bloodthirsty reality TV show in which 24 teenagers chosen by lottery – two from each District – fight each other in a desolate environment called the “arena.” The winner gets a life of ease; the losers get death. The only “unspoken rule” is that you can’t eat the dead contestants. Let’s see the makers of the movie version try to get a PG-13 on this baby.

Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen (lame name, cool kid), a resident of District 12, which used to be Appalachia. She lives in a desperately poor mining community called the Seam, and when her little sister’s name is chosen as one of the contestants in the upcoming Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. A gutsy decision, given the fact that District 12 hasn’t produced a Hunger Games winner in 30 years or so, making them the Chicago Cubs of the postapocalypse world. Complicating her already desperate situation is her growing affection for the other District 12 contestant, a clueless baker’s son named Peeta Mellark. Further complicating her situation is her sorta-crush on her 18-year-old hunting partner, Gale. Gale isn’t clueless; Gale is smoldering. Says so right on page 14.

The love triangle is fairly standard teen-read stuff; what 16-year-old girl wouldn’t like to have two interesting guys to choose from? The rest of The Hunger Games, however, is a violent, jarring speed–rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense and may also generate a fair amount of controversy. I couldn’t stop reading, and once I got over the main character’s name (Gale calls her Catnip – ugh), I got to like her a lot. And although “young adult novel” is a dumbbell term I put right up there with “jumbo shrimp” and “airline food” in the oxymoron sweepstakes, how many novels so categorized feature one character stung to death by monster wasps and another more or less eaten alive by mutant werewolves? I say more or less because Katniss, a bow-and-arrow Annie Oakley, puts the poor kid out of his misery before the werewolves can get to the prime cuts.

Collins is an efficient no-nonsense prose stylist with a pleasantly dry sense of humor. Reading The Hunger Games is as addictive (and as violently simple) as playing one of those shoot-it-if-it-moves videogames in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it’s not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway. Balancing off the efficiency are displays of authorial laziness that kids will accept more readily than adults. When Katniss needs burn cream or medicine for Peeta, whom she more or less babysits during the second half of the book, the stuff floats down from the sky on silver parachutes. And although the bloody action in the arena is televised by multiple cameras, Collins never mentions Katniss seeing one. Also, readers of Battle Royale (by Koushun Takami), The Running Man, or The Long Walk (those latter two by some guy named Bachman) will quickly realize they have visited these TV badlands before.

But since this is the first novel of a projected trilogy, it seems to me that the essential question is whether or not readers will care enough to stick around and find out what comes next for Katniss. I know I will. But then, I also have a habit of playing Time Crisis until all my quarters are gone.”

Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly Online

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.

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Comments

  • March 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I am embarassed to say that I have not read Hunger Games. Must be the only one on the planet that hasn’t. As soon as I refill my book budget I hope to purchase it. Psst! Don’t tell anyone I haven’t read it:):)
    laura thomas

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