Karen's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Dec 29, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: dystopia, young-adult, coming-of-age

Collins' book is probably a little better than I am acknowledging. I would have rated it much higher if I were between the ages of 15 and 25, during a time when I was reading a lot of dystopian literature as a way of exploring Big Ideas about culture, politics and religion. Currently, I am more interested in the particular, and her book deals more with universals.

She imagines a world where various states in a society war against each other in an ultimate test of strength and wit. It's class warfare played out in literal terms. Because of this, the book falls into allegory pretty quickly and most of the characters are symbols in action. Most of the sympathies are for the characters from the bottom of the totem pole with The Power That Be coming off as heartless and masocistic.

It's a very suspenseful book, and it helps the uninitiated to ask questions and make observations about class, politics, economy, the media, religion and such. It can keep company with Lord of the Flies and Brave New World. It just appeals to a younger version of me, so I did not relish it, but I did engage in the plot if not in the characters. It's a "real page turner."

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