The second book, Catching Fire, gives us a better peek into the characters, and one gets the sense that we’re learning about them now because they’reThe second book, Catching Fire, gives us a better peek into the characters, and one gets the sense that we’re learning about them now because they’re not going to be around later, and again, reminiscing is a luxury not afforded anyone in this series. Besides, all of their memories are dark and full of anguish. There is a lot in these first two books about what it takes to keep a small segment of the population in pampered perfectness—it takes the long, hard hours of labor of many more people. There are yet more twists on devices we see in other YA literature—whereas readers can glory in the rituals and rules of something like Harry Potter’s Quiddich game, here the twists and turns in the Hunger Games only ratchet up the monstrosity of what this culture is doing to its children. But by keeping the references in the narrative so close to reality and history, we are treated to the full weight of it grotesqueness. There is not much in these books that hasn’t happened before, somewhere on Planet Earth....more
Katniss Everdeen is one intrepid teenage girl who lives in District 12, a place known for coal mining in a world after great floods devastate North AmKatniss Everdeen is one intrepid teenage girl who lives in District 12, a place known for coal mining in a world after great floods devastate North America and the countries that used to exist there. Along with District 12 are eleven others that all live in some form of servitude, all exporting whatever they have to the people of the Capitol of Panem. And to remind the residents of the Districts that they should never, never have another uprising against the Capitol and President Snow, two children are selected from each district every year for The Hunger Games, a gladiator-style, no holds barred fight to the death in a changing “arena” filled with the weapons of their destruction and the tools for only one of them to survive. When Katniss’s little sister Prim is selected lottery style to be one of District 12′s candidates, Katniss takes her place. It is Shirley Jackson’s short story made more horrible and told with gruesome detail.
Collins is on a mission to explore what war and rampant strife do to children, and she never misses an opportunity to pull out from her imagination the most gut-wrenching horrors that one person could commit against another. There are no shades of gray in the set up between good and evil in the first book, mostly because there’s no time for pondering such things. It’s just an all-out fight for survival in a malevolent arena like The Truman Show turned homicidal....more
Equisitely well researched book on all of the major aspects supporting the gast food industry in the US. I started reading it thinking it would be aboEquisitely well researched book on all of the major aspects supporting the gast food industry in the US. I started reading it thinking it would be about workers spitting in the meat, and came away after reading it with a lot more knowlege about slaughterhouse workers and injuries in that occupation, subsidies for potato growers, and how impossible it is to make a living wage in any of these related occupations. The footnotes were almost more interesting than the text itself....more