Hunger Games - Come tell me that I'm wrong

(56 Posts)
CoteDAzur Mon 30-Apr-12 09:31:46

So, DH and I watched Hunger Games last night. I haven't read the book so not sure if I'm imagining things, but it seemed to me that it was trying to be more clever than your average teen story.

For example, have you noticed the significance of this country's name "Panem"? It means "bread" in Latin and is famously used in the phrase "panem et circences" (= bread and circuses), the only two things necessary to easily rule the people of Rome. Keep the people fed and entertained and they will not only elect you but will be easy to rule. Along with the Hunger Games as Roman circuses, "tributes" as gladiators entering the arena in chariots, the name "Panem" also points at the Roman Empire.

I also thought the whole selection of tributes for Hunger Games, going from their poor towns to rich Capitol to fight for their lives, with the promise (albeit with a small chance) of riches and glory, felt like an allegory for USA's green card lottery - each poor nation's promising young people go to a rich place where the vast majority will be exploited and spat out, enticed with the small probability of power and glory.

Now tell me why I should go read the books because I didn't get it at all smile

CoteDAzur Mon 30-Apr-12 19:47:01

Nobody?

Coconutty Costa Rica Mon 30-Apr-12 19:52:38

I saw it yesterday and thought it was fantastic - I thought it was like the ultimate big brother show/society, and loved the whole story and the way it developed.I did get the references and though they were quite clever!

I guessed what happens in the next one though, still can't wait to watch it.

BertieBotts Germany Mon 30-Apr-12 19:53:23

YY, I did notice that smile

If you can't be arsed don't want to read the books, do this blog instead. Mark Reads The Hunger Games Or read both! Especially the discussion in the comment threads.

Fifivisage Mon 30-Apr-12 19:56:14

I dont think you can tell anyone to read books, you are either interested or not. I loved them but you might not. I am not sure what it is that you didn't get perhaps you are over intellectualising it rather than just enjoying a very good story.

Books are always better than films but it seems a lot of people are determined to run this particular story down and I don't get that.

Sidge Mon 30-Apr-12 19:56:57

It was written as teen fiction; I don't know if the author intended the Roman symbolism but I think the Green Card allegory may be stretching it a little!

I haven't seen the film but quite enjoyed the books. I thought that presenting the futuristic concept of life under the Capitol and loss of democracy, freedom etc quite thought-provoking for many teens.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Mon 30-Apr-12 20:18:24

The Panem thing does get explained in the books, I hadn't heard the phrase before so was enlightened!

It might be teenage fiction, but that doesn't mean it can't be smart and interesting, I certainly thought the books were.

ClaireDeTamble Mon 30-Apr-12 20:33:26

I haven't read it or seen the films, but it sounds like something I would enjoy, so may give it a go in the near future.

However, is it basically a rip off of Stephen Kings Running Man and The Long Walk for teens?

CoteDAzur Tue 01-May-12 16:20:26

It kind of was a more teenage version of Running Man.

In the books, is the whole "Sacrifice two young people from every district to atone for a rebellion from 75 years ago" thing told a bit more convincingly?

nickelhasababy Tue 01-May-12 16:21:42

yes, that's right (about panem)

read the books!
You must!

they are bloody brilliant (i'm a bookseller, i know what i'm talking about!)

nickelhasababy Tue 01-May-12 16:22:00

it's more like Battle Royale

CoteDAzur Tue 01-May-12 16:57:32

Can you tell us a bit about what is so brilliant about them? I'm curious and not sure about going into these books since my teenage years are way behind me smile

OneHandFlapping Tue 01-May-12 17:05:02

CoteDAzur don't let that stop you. There is some great teen fiction out there. Just because your teen years are long behind you (like mine), doesn't mean you've forgotten entirely what it's like to be a teenager.

nickelhasababy Tue 01-May-12 17:13:49

I can.
you get the basic story, which you get from the film, and every page just forces you to turn over!

It's hard to explain, but they're just really gripping!
get the first one and read it! honestly, you'll love it.

I read The Hunger Games last week and am reading Catching Fire atm. I'm enjoying them smile

nickelhasababy Tue 01-May-12 17:14:29

(and as my speciality is children's - i spend most of my reading hours reading kids' books!)

yyNickel Hunger Games is very page turn overable.

I think the Roman symbolism (Bread and Circuses) is actually referred to in the books (read them about a month ago but memory not the best).

They're a good teenage read (much better than Twatlight Twilight) but the story runs out of steam in the third one, I think.

I'm not a teenager by the way, I sometimes read my DD's books if she says they are good.

I'd call them good but not classic fiction, there's also a Stephen King (short story or novella) about a long walk competition where the last kid standing wins (and if you stop walking you get shot) so the basic premise has been done before.

However it's good to see a strong female character as the protagonist.

Oops sorry Claire I see you mentioned the Long Walk one before I did!

Sorry Tiwi too (backs out of thread)...

Heyyyho Tue 01-May-12 17:38:19

Yes indeed a rip
Off of battle royal e

whackamole Wed 02-May-12 15:10:34

I really enjoyed all three of them, although I think the second book was my favourite.

Although they are teen books, I'd say the only things that really marked it out as for a younger audience are the ages of the main characters, and the fact there is no sex or gratuitous descriptions of blood and gore in it.

I have them on the Kindle, if you have one maybe we could arrange a lend? I have seen on the Amazon website this is something you can do now.

nickelhasababy Wed 02-May-12 15:53:18

or buy them...
wink
on hive
(which supports local independents)

Bear1984 Tue 08-May-12 14:25:17

I finished reading the third book yesterday. The Rome reference was mentioned in the books. My DP has just finished reading the first book (he's not a reader so this was huge for him! He was even up til 3am reading through the arena bits lol!) and he said it reminded him of the Running Man, but I haven't seen that so I can't comment.

Second book was also my favourite, but also agree that the third one lacked a little compared to the first two, but still worth a read. Can't wait to reread the trilogy and go watch the film before it stops at the cinema!

marzipananimal Sun 13-May-12 12:55:38

I've just read the books and didn't realise they were teenage fiction - perfectly good for adults imo. I didn't think the third book was that great but the first two were really good - couldn't put them down.

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