About eight months ago I started the massive and time-consuming novel, The Fountainhead. It is excellent but I just can’t seem to finish it so I decided to take a sort of break from it and read a book on the side. I wanted something that would be fun to read and something that would also be an easy and quick read. So I picked up The Hunger Games to see what all the fuss was about. The Hunger Games was just what I thought it would be, a brain break from Aynn Rand. But that wasn’t all it was, The Hunger Games is one those books that may overstay it’s welcome but is also a true blockbuster of the medium.
Is the Hunger Games really that great of a novel or is it just a cool concept and nothing more? That was the big question going in and the answer to it is that the novel falls somewhere in the middle. The first thing to say is that it is a “good” book. It doesn’t balance intellect and entertainment as any of the Potter books did and it may only have a few cards up its sleeve but it is entertaining and sometimes that’s all you need. Thought that the build up could have been much more and sometimes the book walks the line between realism and fantasy too much but once you get to the Games all is nearly forgiven. The games itself is such a cool emotional roller coaster ride. Yea things do get a little silly but reading about the tributes duke it out is like the ultimate survivor. It is wonderfully paced and when things do slow down it is just the calm before the storm. Action is a plenty as we wait to see which one of our favorite characters will survive the night.
When thinking about the movie, I really think that if it is done faithfully that the movie will suffer. The book never feels like it is totally invested in its tone and is more concerned with the inner monologues of our main character. I just don’t see the movie adapting the intense and lengthy inner thoughts of Katniss. For the film to work the film has to tone down the source material. People may hate this but some things don’t transfer well from book to screen. The movie should be focused on the realistic qualities of the game. I just don’t see the climax going well if the movie indulges in it too much. It will break the tone and make the feature lose a lot of its teeth. The cool thing about the game is how the reader can relate to the realism of it all. Too much fantasy, I feel, will disrupt the best thing about the novel. The idea that we could live in a world where blood, sweat, and a closed mouth is the national currency for survival.
Not many thoughts on the book because the novel never offers many. The society in which are characters live is disturbing and the games are a brutal reminder of the darkness that can live in our hearts. The main character asks herself if killing a person is so much different than killing an animal. In our world of rules it is but in a world were rules are for the hopeless, maybe not. The Hunger Games is a great read and I recommend it to those that need a break from books that weigh to heavily on the mind and those that read books that don’t.