Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Freaking Hunger Games

When I first heard about the Susan Collins novel, I decided not to read it. The last time I boarded a bookfad train I wasted precious hours of my life suffering through Twilight, driven only by morbid curiosity, "Can this get any worse? Let's see....yep."

Thankfully, The Hunger Games was a much better experience. But not the best.

I couldn't put the stupid thing down. As a result, I finished it within 24 hours. I was warned that I would want to read the sequel immediately after it ended, but oddly enough, I wasn't the least interested in reading it. I don't give a crap about what happens next.

Before you nutjobs try to burn me at the stake, let me break it down for you:

Reason #1: I was not compelled to like any of the characters for 2 reasons: I was warned most of them die and none were particularly likeable/memorable.

I have to be in love with at least one character for a book to carry me along. I wasn't even in 'like' with any of these characters.

Reason #2: It was predictable. Call it as original as you like, but IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE:

May I refer you to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Oscar-worthy/awe-inspiring/tear-jerking/pants-wetting performance in 1984's The Running Man, in which the scum of a futuristic society are set loose in an arena for a televised battle to the death game.

(The only reason I know of this monstrosity is because my dad was watching it one day and I wondered why he was laughing so much...)

Or, even earlier than The Running Man, may I refer you to Star Trek's 1967 episode "Bread and Circuses" wherein Spock and McCoy are forced to battle to the death with two other competitors in a televised gladiator arena game.

(It's on Netflix. Watch it. Now.)

Reason #3: The writing was too simple. I could tell it was written for youth. Normally this wouldn't bother me (Harry Potter, Narnia, etc...), but there was no depth to it. There isn't a single quote worth remembering in the entire book.

For instance, I can't imagine one of the general authorities referencing it in a conference talk. What could they possibly use from it? "Brothers and sisters, we're going to have a big big big session!"

The Hunger Games was meaningless to me. I have to take something relevant away from a book for it to mean anything.

And for those of you who would argue that The Hunger Games is relevant because it's a so-called social commentary, lemme just say this: Shut up and read Les Miserables.

(Or The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Or anything by Isaac Asimov.)

But despite all my complaints I actually think The Hunger Games will make a great movie. In fact, I often felt like I was reading the novelization of a movie as I read the book. The one semi-redeeming quality of the book is its action sequences. I think they'll translate perfectly to the big screen. And the gouge-your-eyes-out relationship between Katness and Pippin (or whatever his name was) is flat and pointless enough to make an acceptable onscreen romance.

(Bella, Edward and Jac--er, I mean...)

But seriously though, I plan on seeing it when it hits theaters this March.

In conclusion, lemme give you a glimpse of my condition after I finally finished the book:

Ears ringing, head spinning, time wasted, patience hemorrhaging. Physical recovery, 6 weeks. Full psychological recovery, 6 months. Capacity to read crappy books, neutralized.


  1. Sooo... I agree. I have a psycho (high school) friend that blogs about the hunger games every week and I seriously have concerns about her. The first book, I liked. The second and third, what a let down. I will go see The Hunger Games, and I may do it at midnight so I can wear a Mockingjay costumes (I love me some costumes). My guess, it will be better as a movie than a book.
    P.S. "Pippin" almost made me pee my pants.

    1. Glad you liked it! I always love your comments :)