Saturday, February 4, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor

Who is excited for the Hunger Games movie coming out next month?! I mean, who else is excited? Obviously I am. Sure, the anticipation is so great that we're almost certain to be disappointed, but still. Can't wait. I just bought the books for my Kindle so I can read them one last time before the actors become the characters in my mind. Am I the only one that happens to? I never really imagine specific faces (or see them in dreams, actually...I wonder what that means?) so seeing the movie always cements the actors as what I  "see." Which is maybe too bad, since I think Jennifer Lawrence looks a little to...sturdy to play a character that's just a bad day away from starving.

And of course I'll be terribly disappointed with the changes they make, because the book will be fresh in my mind. This is the price you pay with the final re-read. And yes, the book is always better. Almost always...I've heard that the Princess Bride is better as a movie? I wouldn't know firsthand, and I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but there are always exceptions. Still, I find it hard to believe that I'll like the movie better than the book.

I was reading a blog the other day that asked why We like the book, inasmuch as it's just an awkward love triangle and a whole lot of brutal violence. I didn't respond, but it got me to thinking. Why do we like the book?

Well, for that matter, why do we like any dystopian literature? I joke that if you've read two, you've read them all. I would say there are very few dystopian novels that don't fall under "government control." A lot of them also feature issues of reproductive rights, but really, that's still just a form of government control. Do we read it as a warning of what life could be like? Or to feel better that at least things aren't that bad? It's not like they're ever particularly cheerful.

The thing that I've been thinking about, though, is the indictment of popular entertainment. It's shocking and terrible that people of the Capitol would force children to fight to the death for their entertainment, but we're not much better. They've brought back Fear Factor, have you heard? I can't watch that show, particularly the food parts. This is our idea of entertainment? Or America's Funniest Home Videos, which I have no need for now that I can find funny cat videos on the internet, since I don't find footballs to the groin particularly amusing. But the violence in a novel doesn't bother me. For one thing, it's only as bad as I imagine it (as a storyteller once said, they haven't figured out how to put ratings on books yet!), and for another, I find more meaning in it. Maybe it's just the English major in me?

So who else has read the Hunger Games? Like or dislike?


  1. LOVE The Hunger Games! I am excited for the movie but I always have reservations for all the reasons you mentioned as well as the fact that I *do* imagine faces. I think they got Peta spot on in looks, though Gale is a tad too casual(?) for a guy who has his name in the barrel a zillion times. I imagined Catniss smaller somehow, shorter maybe.
    I think this kind of book appeals to our animal side, the grungy, physical, hand to mouth life most of us don't live and to the spiritual side because the "good" guy always wins. Makes us feel empowered.
    So excited for the movie, and I will reread all the books and then point out all the flaws in the movie. My husband will not want to drive home with me after.

  2. I liked these books enough that I read them twice. And now I rented them on CD from the library (harder to read a series in time now that I don't have two hours a day of dedicated train reading time). I love the writing, it just sucks me in and makes me care about the characters.

    But I'm never satisfied with how the series ends. And I can't exactly put my finger on why. I love them, love them, love them... and then I finish them and am disappointed/frustrated with the end. I keep telling myself I need to buy the series, but just can't bring myself to do it.

    That being said, I still am really looking forward to the movies! Maybe I'll figure out when I see it on big screen what bugs me, or just get over it and like them.

  3. i loved those books and excited for the movies. and hey sometimes the movies are good too. hello, harry potter? then again i forgot almost everything that i read due to the movies coming out way afterwards.

    reality tv is so sad but most are addicted, myself included.


Be nice.