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Big Brother gone mad!
The Hunger Games Classic - Suzanne Collins
Member Name: hlb2009
The Hunger Games Classic - Suzanne Collins
Advantages: Really interesting and absorbing
I was recommended to try this book by various people who all said it was a real page turner. If I would have read the blurb I probably wouldn't have bothered with it as it isn't the kind of book that I would normally read but I am really glad that I listened to peoples' recommendations and read this as I think it is an outstanding book which is rather abstract but fantastically written. It really did leave me wanting to keep on reading.
The book tells of Katniss who is a teenage girl living in District 12. It is set at some point in the future although when exactly is never mentioned and it's details like this that aren't really relevant and leave you, the reader, with the chance to fill in the blanks. District 12 is part of what was America. It is broken down into twelve districts which are all under the power of The Capitol. The Capitol use propaganda to influence the districts and to keep them 'under control'. There was a time when the districts tried to revolt but The Capitol enforced stricter rules and even blew District 13 to pieces leaving just 12 districts. Now, to remind them of how they should not revolt every year The Capitol hosts The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is where two children from each district- a boy and a girl- are called up to an arena to fight it out. Only one can survive and then return to their district with enough food to keep them comfortable for the rest of their lives and a new house set in their district's very own 'Victor's Village'. This is no ordinary arena- this is a huge place with forests, rivers and all kinds of things all of which are under the capitol's control- they can turn the temperature down to below freezing, can drain the rivers of water and can send dangerous insects in to cause chaos. On top of all this The Games are televised. It is riviting viewing for members of The Capitol who look forward to this event every year and can pledge money to help send in various equipment to help their preferred candidate. Contestents don't just think about surviving but about how they come across on the television with the hope that they may appeal to viewers who could potentially help them.
Katniss is the unfortunate candidate for the 74th Hunger Games and she enters the arena alongside Peeta- the son of a local baker who she has various members of throughout her childhood. Whilst in the arena Katniss has to put all of her strength to the test and try to survive. She has to learn to kill and work out how to manipulate the audience in order to hope to appeal. There are various twists and turns throughout the book as The Capitol decide to spice things up by changing the rules.
The question is will Katniss survive? And will she have the heart to kill the other contestents who are just like her- poor, unfortunate children from other districts?
What I loved about this book was that it was so very well described that you could picture the arena, feel the fear of the contestents and really felt passionate towards them and willing them to survive. It covered a lot of ground- the politics of the whole of this country, the rather sick desire the public have to see people suffer on reality television, the relationship between Katniss and her friends and family back home and futuristic ideas. Despite so much ground being covered I didn't feel as though it was just one whole book full of descriptions or as though I was being lectured at, instead it was written in such a way that so much information was absorbed in a natural way throughout the story.
It made me think about programmes that we watch such as Big Brother and I'm A Celebrity, how we like to see people get pushed to what we consider to be the limit in order to make for good entertainment. This book is like taking that to the extreme. It also makes me think about the various countries out there that are being ruled by various propaganda and how, in some ways, the events in this book are quite real.
This was an extremely readable book. I was told before reading it to have an open mind as it's quite abstract but I didn't feel as though that made it difficult to read. I thought it was completely absorbing, it really was a book which was full of escapism as I could read it and feel as though I was in the book and lose myself in the story for a while. I haven't read a book like this before and now it's made me realise that this genre of book can really be enjoyed.
There are two other books in this series and I am just beginning the second one. I am enjoying this one just as much so far and can't wait to see where it ends up.
I am really glad that I gave this book a try, it's definitely a very different read and one which will stay with me for a long time which is something that I think shows the sign of a good book. I definitely recommend this to everyone whether you're looking for a book to take on holiday with you or just a general read, it's fantastic!
Summary: I really enjoyed this despite not being my usual kind of book