Saturday, June 4, 2011

What I'm Reading: The Hunger Games

For months friends have been urging me to read Suzanne Colllins' The Hunger Games trilogy.  I'll admit to resisting. I don't care much for dystopian fiction; no matter how engrossing the book, I leave the reading experience feeling depressed. I didn't anticipate that this reading experience would be different.

Finally this week my impatience with being left out of the The Hunger Games conversation overcame my resistance, and I dove in.  As predicted, I didn't come up for air until I had finished the first book.  Instead of being depressed, I left this book intrigued.  Collins has created a fascinating heroine in Katniss Everdeen, and her quest to survive the murderous Hunger Games makes for a compelling story.  But what intrigued me most was how the book made me think beyond the story.  The book is fiction, and I never forgot that I was reading a story someone had created.  Yet even as I read, I was thinking of how this story reflects of our society.  At the foundation of this story is a society obsessed with competition and voyeurism.  How does that world differ from our 21st century world where we tweet our every action and spend our free time glued to "reality" television?  Are the Hunger Games a metaphor, albeit an extreme one, for our own patterns of destruction?

4 comments:

Marie Hasty said...

My oldest two children have read the books in this trilogy. The first book was required summer reading last year for their school and they were quickly hooked and HAD to have the other books. (It was not easy waiting for "Mockingjay" to be released!) I haven't read them because I do not enjoy that type of literature and, when I do get free reading time, I feel the need for something light instead of thought provoking. Perhaps next summer I'll get around to tackling the "Hunger Games" trilogy.

wendyhoward said...

I love reading fiction! I plan to catch up on my man James Patterson and read his latest novels. Maybe I'll start in on this trilogy - what's the name of the first book?

Sheryl Long said...

Marie -- I completely understand that need for light reading. Sometimes I need to lose myself in a book for pure entertainment. I think some people would consider The Hunger Games to be absorbing and entertaining, but it's certainly not mindless reading.

Sheryl Long said...

Wendy -- The Hunger Games is the first book. People seem to be referring to all three books as The Hunger Games trilogy, but the other two books are Catching Fire and Mockingjay.