the hunger games

I read good books. I have reasonable taste, a fairly good eye I for the sort of thing I would enjoy and a few friends who consistently make worth while recommendations for me. I rarely set a book I’ve started aside because it just isn’t grabbing me. Even so, it’s been a long time since I read a book I felt I could not put down, but that is exactly how I felt about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The Hunger Games is classified as “young adult fiction”, though frankly, I think this is a stretch. The themes are mature and often dark, and the writing is top tier. Not that a young adult novel has to be dumbed down, but this one pushed the limits a great deal. There is something about pitting kids, ages 12-18, against one another in a death match that simply doesn’t yield itself to immature readers.

The book had me from the first chapter. In part because, as I said, each and every sentence was well crafted. The pace of the books is perfect and Collins excels at ending each chapter in a cliff hanger that doesn’t feel contrived. As a result, I found myself up late last night pushing one more chapter in, just one more chapter, far later than I should have been awake given that today was a work day. But how could I put it down? How could I not press forward with so much hanging in the balance at the end of each chapter?

After finishing the book, morbid curiosity led me to see if there is a movie in the works. Sadly, there is. I have mixed feelings about this, though, as I don’t know how the film makers are going to be able to capture the raw, real brutality of the games while making a movie that will undoubtedly be targeted at teens. If it were made to specs, following the book kill for kill, it would certainly warrant an R rating. However, my fear is that the story will be softened, the kills represented through inference and implication. This is a shame because the heart of the book and its message will be lost if the subject matter is watered down. In spite of this, I’ll still see it. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist. (Hopefully it will be better than the movie version of Eragon, which I walked out of after 20 minutes. I wanted to walk out after 10. It was, in a word, awful. If you enjoyed the book, avoid the movie at all costs.)

It goes without saying that I recommend this book highly. Be prepared for some heartrending stuff and an addictive story line, but buy it. Read it. Pass it along. Books this good don’t come along that often.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

2 Responses to the hunger games

  1. S. C. Green says:

    Definitely a great series. After reading the first, I flew through the next two. Luckily all three were published by the time I got to them. I would’ve hated to have to wait.


    • dex says:

      Yep. I finished the last one today. Wow. I don’t really know what more to say at this point. They were some of the best stories I’ve read in a long while.


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