I think I wouldn't be feeling quite so disappointed by this book if The Hunger Games hadn't been quite so close to perfect. But there it is. Must be hI think I wouldn't be feeling quite so disappointed by this book if The Hunger Games hadn't been quite so close to perfect. But there it is. Must be hard to compete with yourself when you set the bar so high.
Where The Hunger Games is a tightly-plotted, fast-paced dystopian thriller heaped with romance and horror, this book is... well, a lot of the same. A WHOLE lot of the same plot. Redundantly similar at points, only slower moving and far less polished. Too much of the story is told rather than shown -- whole months can go by in just a few pages -- and yet the real action gets rolling about two thirds of the way through the book. There were times when the story actually seemed to PLOD.
That said, this is an ARC and things could change. Here's hoping this one sees some revision before its publication this fall. Collins is obviously capable of great things. And all complaints aside, this is a very compelling read. Fantastic characters, and the setup is definitely there for an interesting conclusion. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
THAT said, marks off for deus ex machina abuse....more
Got this one through inter-library loan and was very, very sorry to have to let it go today.
I (morbidly) loved everything about it except for Lesy'sGot this one through inter-library loan and was very, very sorry to have to let it go today.
I (morbidly) loved everything about it except for Lesy's opening and closing essays, which are sometimes poetic, but more often cringe-inducing. Fortunately, they are also short, and the end result of this compilation of photographs and newspaper clippings from late 1800s Wisconsin newspapers is fantastically weird and totally absorbing.
Like many reviewers, I read this because it was mentioned in the notes in Goolrick's A Reliable Wife, a book I did not actually enjoy, but nonetheless could not stop reading. "Such things happened?" Apparently so... diphtheria, arson, murder, and madness abound in WDT. The suicides are what really got me, though.
"Mrs. Phillip Fredericks, aged 82 years, who was partly insane, threw herself in her neighbor's cistern at Beloit and was drowned. She had long planned death in this manner."
"Henry Johnson, an old bachelor of Grand Dyke, cut off the heads of all of his hens recently, made a bonfire of his best clothes, and killed himself with arsenic."
"The 80 year old mother of an imprisoned man threw herself in front of a train and was cut into 3 pieces. She was crazed by the disgrace."
"James Price, aged about 60 years, committed suicide at Omro by taking paris green and morphine. All attempts to save him he resisted. Despondency was the cause of the act. He fell last spring and broke the patella of his right knee and has been unable to work since. He leaves a wife and one daughter."
"Working men at Kenosha found the body of a man hanging from a rafter. The body was badly decomposed. Nothing was found to identify it."
"Gottlied Wagner, an old farmer living near Montello, set fire to all his farm buildings and then threw himself into the flames. All his grain and farm implements were destroyed... The cause of the act was supposed to have been a divorce procured by his wife. He destroyed the property to prevent it falling into her hands. Wagner kissed the children goodbye, gave each some money, and sent them to school. His wife left him a week before.
"Ludwig Senglaub, a German resident of Manitowoc, aged 74, committed suicide Friday morning at the home of William Radins. The old man had become enamored of Mrs. Radins and had been a frequent visitor at the house. She told him not to come any more. He went to the house, however, walked into the front room, and deliberately shot himself while looking into a mirror."
"Mary Karban, wife of Wenzel Karban, a farmer of the town of Neva, committed suicide by eating the heads of 4 boxes of matches. She was only 16 years of age and had been married last fall."
Mrs. Reuben C. Bartlett, an elderly woman living near the western limits of Eau Claire, partly filled a washtub with kerosene, partially disrobed, and poured kerosene over her head and set fire to it. She died in a horrible agony before help reached her. She was undoubtedly insane... She leaves several adult sons and daughters and a husband."
"Abraham Zweekbaum of the town of Holland committed suicide by battering himself on the head with a hammer... He attempted to take his life a few days ago by cutting his head from his body with a sharp instrument, but was prevented from doing so."
"Elsie Whitsan, 4 years old, child of Henry Whitsan, died at Neenah of grief... Her mother died a few days before and from then until her death the child cried without stopping. Physicians say that death was caused by a broken heart."
Also watched the film adaptation last night, and it is a beautiful, delicate treatment of the subject -- highly recommended. ...more