Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Hunger Games

It's been a couple weeks now since I finished this book. I liked it. It explored some interesting themes that I like to contemplate: liberty, self-sufficiency, cooperation, loyalty, manipulation, exploitation, power, love, and envy come readily to mind, among others.

I believe it represents the best of commercial fiction. Of course, that's a rather evident observation given the rate at which it is selling and has been selling for quite some time now. It is fast-paced and its protagonist, Katniss, is in peril almost all the while. (Well, let me amend that to say all the while.) There's a nice set up even at the resolution for a sequel. It has a nice, conventional story arc.

Targeted at young adults, it taps the dystopian feature of many successful science-fiction/fantasy narratives. Two of my favorites are The Giver and The Road. I like them both better than this book, though. Of course, the former is targeted at the same audience as is this book, whereas, the latter is not.

I liked the main character, Katniss. She had many dimensions and was capable of introspection and compromise. She was nicely textured. I didn't like the set-up so much. It was contrived and manipulative. Furthermore, for me, the outcome seemed quite obvious and predictable. It's not that there weren't surprises along the way; there were, but the overall outcome seemed quite clear. On the other hand, there were some nice surprises along the way.

No comments: