The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games discussion


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what irritated you about this series?

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Annabel ♥ I loved these books, but there are several things that get to me, at the end of the series. Did anything irritate you about the way Suzanne Collins decided to write them? Or do you just kind of go with it? The problem with me as a reader is that I have very high expectations for series, and then I end up being disappointed. So, yeah, just talk: what did you think


Nya Tomlinson-Horan-Malik-Payne-Styles nothing really. except that katniss seems very boring in some of the parts


message 3: by Michaela (last edited Feb 17, 2012 02:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Michaela The fact that by the end it mostly had a theme of: "Everything will end badly and there's no hope."


Jorge The only thing that really irritated me was in MockingJay. Katniss seemed like a completely different character for most of that book, and so emotionally removed and numb, it made reading quite a chore. I would expected seeing her like that after her family died, and while her home was close to her, I just find it her to believe that she would grow so number from the end of Catching Fire to the start of MockingJay. It all made for a reading experience that just wasn't too great -- sadly most of MockingJay is like this, a terrible end to an otherwise good series.


Jayme It really annoyed me that gale didn't really have a happy ending he just kind of drifted away and that katniss kind of drifted away from everyone except peeta and hamitch


Shélah I was exceedingly irritated by her (and her editor's) refusal to use the word "whom" for no apparent reason. The rest of the grammar and sentence structure I forgave because it made sense for the book or wasn't so glaringly obvious. Maybe Katniss herself doesn't know how to use the word, or maybe it has fallen out of use in the future, but this seems to be the only consistent error throughout all three books with no explanation other than a team of professionals not knowing how to use this word at all, nonetheless properly.

I disliked the love triangle, especially when I had only read the first book. I later accepted it as necessary to how Suzanne Collins chose to write this story, but I wish she had chosen a less prosaic and tired plot line for a YA series. I especially dislike how authors of YA often have their characters end up with their childhood sweethearts as though the majority of teen romances are lasting.

The sloppy world building drove me crazy. I understand that we only get to know the few bits and pieces that Katniss herself knows (and obviously her education is limited), but I don't know that Collins even understood how the country worked or where any of the districts are/were.

The characters tended to fulfill tropes and many were not satisfactorily fleshed out. Again, this is partially because we are only seeing Katniss' view, and for a lot of the first book she is alone, but many of the characters have no real flaws or even personality traits (this is particularly unfortunate because Collins does do characterization well when she takes the time). I also would have liked to see the Capitol Citizens shown in a more realistic method rather than the good/bad (false) dichotomy that was created.

I found it unbelievable that Katniss would not be able to remember the names of 22 other tributes unless she actively chose not to learn them in an effort to dehumanize them. I think Collins probably decided not to name the tributes because it was unnecessary to devote time to characters that were going to be killed off, but I found it really bizarre that you could live and train with people, see their names broadcast repeatedly, sit through their interviews, etc. and not know who they were.

Mostly I like the book because of the social commentary it provides, regardless of any inherent flaws. But it does annoy me that most readers seem oblivious to the real-world application of this series (or perhaps those of us who like the books particularly for the intellectual and existential reasons just post less).


Poppy Jorge wrote: "The only thing that really irritated me was in MockingJay. Katniss seemed like a completely different character for most of that book, and so emotionally removed and numb, it made reading quite a c..."

This also annoyed me.. Katniss changed into a more selfish, mean person by the end of the books.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

death after death after death. I hated how there were so many deaths.


Annabel ♥ I know! I felt like SC just kept killing people for the sake of killing people. It got so repetitive and annoying after a while, and instead of the deaths make me pity katniss and everyone else, they made me impatient and had a mindset like "This is so stupid".


message 10: by Yazi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yazi How the whole point of these books was for Prim to stay alive, and in the end she dies.


Marisa Yazi wrote: "How the whole point of these books was for Prim to stay alive, and in the end she dies."

I completely agree with you! I was like WTH! That was really not a good story move on Suzanne Collins part. Prim should have stayed alive.


Breanna Morgan wally wrote: "I've only read The Hunger Games and I believe there is a lack of description....I get no sense of setting, scene, place.

Collins uses words like "tree"..."cave"...."floor"...."room"..."woods"........"


For sure, Suzanne didn't describe much and it drove me nuts when she would use "big" "Pretty" "Thing" "nice" just really basic words that did nothing to really give detail. And the ending sucked.


message 13: by Kåiłeē (last edited Feb 20, 2012 10:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kåiłeē Breanna wrote: "wally wrote: "I've only read The Hunger Games and I believe there is a lack of description....I get no sense of setting, scene, place.

Collins uses words like "tree"..."cave"...."floor"...."room"...."


I, didn't find these things a problem for me. I, myself, can picture things pretty well. In every book I read I can immediately picture things even if I don't get a lot of description. I don't know if I want to see the movie because it will change those pictures in my head. But, I can see how people who can't picture things in you head very well could have a hard time imagining what Pamen really is like.
The ending brought a really good, dramatic, conclusion to the series. Try and make an ending that would be better than what she did. I dare you to try... In the end, you won't be able to. Even if you did make an alternate ending, I bet more people would hate on that then what they do on the current ending. Collins did an amazing job in making the ending of the series, I believe.


Molly Shélah wrote: "I was exceedingly irritated by her (and her editor's) refusal to use the word "whom" for no apparent reason. The rest of the grammar and sentence structure I forgave because it made sense for the ..."

You said just about everything I wanted to say, and you said it way better than I could have.

My only other point would have been that the romantic plot line about Katniss having to pretend to love Peeta sounds like really really bad fan fiction. It also came off as incredibly creepy at times.

Also, Katniss was a bitch.


Katie I was mentioning this to another friend, and a few people have touched on it, but these books were written in a first person narrative style. Usually you write in first person because you either want to have a non-all knowing narrative, or have them be an unreliable narrator.

Katniss is the most bland first person narrator I have ever read. (And I read the first few Twilight books). This is a world where horrible things happen for no reason. She is quite possibly going to die - and she seems so unattached to anything. Except the food.

Again, I feel like this series could have been handled better if Collins would have taken it into a more adult book or had another person written it entirely. There was so much that COULD have been addressed but instead was left to the coldness I felt in Katniss.

Collins poor writing skills are just placed in the center of the third book. While the plot is solid, that handling of the characters was just completely wrong. One - Katniss' had PTSD, she had managed to survive two horrible games only to wake up without Peeta and her entire town bombed because of her actions. She should have been bouncing between feeling nothing and wanting to kill everyone in the Capital. And instead she was...well I have no idea what she was. And then how Collins had Katniss deal with Peeta - which was just. Selfish? Throughout the series she had made a point to show how wonderful and rosy and compassionate Katniss truly was (when she wasn't trying to win the games) and in the end she was upset that he wasn't her boyfriend.

And, while this is turning into something ridiculously long, I spend most of my time after reading the novels questioning the President Snow. He was obviously an adept politician who saw the way the relationship of Katniss and Peeta was playing to his subjects. They were the favored pairing. The entire realm was invested in their love. He should be rejoicing that both of them lived. It is the BEST way to show how nice the Capitol can be. And instead he tries to take them both down? Kids who really have no interest (well maybe Peeta does, but man Katniss could really care less) in taking down the government, horrible it is. The weird vendetta he has against them ends up leading to revolution. I just don't buy someone who willingly drank poison to get on top would be like OH MAN that 16 year old TOTALLY MESSED EVERYTHING UP. Cause...she didn't.

Again, this could have been handled well by a better author. I.E. Katniss could have actually wanted revolution and actively been fighting him for it. And instead we got the third book.

I don't mean to say that Collins is a horrible writer. But she suffers from some problems (some of which are YA Fiction driven, but not totally)which ultimately ruin the trilogy for me.

I could also go on about the needless death of Prim (which - done well could have really gotten me emotionally. Instead I had read about a bunch of death and got to Prim's and was like: 'Oh. Well that happened. Shrug. I am not even that surprised.') and the weirdness of Katniss' black and white ideals in a world covered in gray. Or better, Katniss' black and white ideals in terms of fighting the Capitol when she had been a character of gray morality the entire book. Or her inability to be like 'You know what, you ARE right. We need to take these jerks down."

Um. So that is just a brief sampling of my problems with these books.


Alpha I liked the first book but the second one I started I didn't get attached and it was a bit boring.


Kathryn Everyone has a different opinion by the end of a series involving a younger narrator. Look at the mixed reactions when Harry began to grow up. Or when Bella & Edward finally matured.
It would be no different to feel differently about Katniss, Peta, & Gale. But there are important things to remember about all of these - they are fiction, they are a series, and even in reality people change via their life experiences and states of maturity.
I hope my 12 year old has a lot of life left to live and will be a different person in a few years than who he is today.
For this series in particular a few things I have noted: Katniss has been through an awful experience, not once but twice. She has been hardened. She has grown up in a vile way in the public eye. Watch a reality series - really look at some of the moms on Teen Mom that everyone loves. Maci, Leah - those girls have changed from their first episode in a bad situation to today when they are instant stars from their earlier decisions. We don't always like them. We don't like their choices. We forget they aren't grown women just because they had a child. It's the same concept in this series. You forget she is going to become more detached emotionally. She is going to be rough around the edges from where she was in the beginning. She has lived a lot.
Furthermore, I never read anything twice. Not even the Harry or Bella stories. My son wanted to read these so I decided the only way to deal with it was to read with him aloud like we used to do. In this way, we can discuss everything and I would know if the material was too harsh for him. He has loved it.
But through a second reading of Mockingjay I'm picking up on clues I wasn't always watching for the first read. Such as the similarities between District 13 and the Capitol. The way that people keep expecting something from Katniss. She is troubled and caught in the middle, even between her best friends. Peeta wants her to do one thing and Gale another. Gale is the one who really toughens through the last novel. I never saw him getting the girl in the end, but I didn't expect him to be so rough. At times cruel.


Kathryn As for hating death or the death of certain characters, you should choose books that don't involve fighting and war. Nice, rosy, sunshine beaming, cupid hearts flying romance or something of that nature.

Which I love in their own place. Even in Harry Potter important people died. How many readers were in shock when Dumbledore went splat? Or the other characters at the end? Both writers gave readers a dose of what war is. It doesn't care who you are. What part you played in the story or life. You are a casualty, the choices are in how the reader will perceive the character and their death. Honorable? Stupid? Etc.

In the end, the one thing Katniss wanted to guard with her own life was taken from her anyway. So were all of her choices mistaken? Or were the others going to be happier? She was left with more questions than answers and that was part of her exile I believe.


message 19: by Jao (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jao Romero i threw the book after i read the ending. that's how bad it was. the series strung me along but the ending was a flop. i had a mind to hunt the author and give her a dose of hunger she'll never forget.


message 20: by Molly (last edited Feb 21, 2012 09:08AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Molly Katy wrote: "Everyone has a different opinion by the end of a series involving a younger narrator. Look at the mixed reactions when Harry began to grow up. Or when Bella & Edward finally matured.
It would b..."


My biggest issue was that she never seemed all that emotionally attached in the first place. She's killing other children. People she could she been friends with. People she knows are being forced into this as much she is, but she never seems to care. She rarely, if ever, feels regrets during the games. She doesn't believe she killed anyone before Rue's killer, even though her actions directly lead to the death of Glimmer and one other person, and indirectly to the one boy from district 3 (I think). She wanted to kill Johanna because Johanna insulted her for being a bitch about the way Johanna treated Nuts, after Johanna just dragged the woman through a jungle of raining blood.

I think these books would have been greatly improved if they were told from several prospectives, so we could know all of the characters rather than just Katniss. Frankly, had I spent less time in her head I would have liked Katniss more. Had we been inside the other competitors' heads, and known more about them, the impact of their death would have been much greater. Instead, we get Katniss, who doesn't care about them, and spends most of the book vilifying most of them.

Plus, by the third book Katniss has completely out lived her usefulness to the rebellion. She would have been a much better martyr than an actual fighter at that point. I would have rather read about the people living i the different rebelling districts and what they were going through rather than Katniss skipping out on important meetings to sleep in a broom closet, or Katniss getting her make up done, or people describing how supermodel beautiful and positively wonderful Katniss was.

Also, I swear the Capitol is is clutching their Idiot Ball fiercely. If you want to stay in power, why do you actively give the bulk of your people a reason to rebel? Why would you starve, murder, abuse, and mock them, while giving them absolutely no reason to like you or need you? That's just begging to be over thrown.


Merideth What annoyed me in Catching fire was how he lied bout da baby and in Mockinjay when Katniss was like a different person and of course Peeta bein hijacked and stuff. Oh and her having kids.


Maddie Desfosses That Rue dies! I mean come on did they have to do that!


Maddie Desfosses wally wrote: "I've only read The Hunger Games and I believe there is a lack of description....I get no sense of setting, scene, place.

Collins uses words like "tree"..."cave"...."floor"...."room"..."woods"........"

well how else is she supposed to say tree?


Maddie Desfosses And I can see how you would want more description, but say shes talking a tree that Katniss sees that has no real value or impact on the direction of the story.

"The tree was very tall, and the trunk was brown and rough, and the leaves were turning orange from fall."
OR
"The tree was tall and it's leaves were turning orange, and the trunk had a brown color.

You get the same idea but it doesn't drag on.
"


message 25: by Jeanie (last edited Feb 21, 2012 12:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeanie Maddie wrote: "That Rue dies! I mean come on did they have to do that!"

Yes, Roo had to die... that was the point of the Hunger games as established by the Capitol. It stretched the rules enough to let both Catnis and Peeta live. If you mean you wished her death had happened "off stage"... it was the only death that was given full meaning and we would have howled if we hadn't seen it.


Jeanie As for me, I, too,, found first person problematic in this series. It reminded me of the times when reading the Twilight series that I wanted to claw the insides of my own head to get Bella out of there. It isn't easy watching events through the eyes of a person who is going out of her mind. It took me a little bit to figure out that was why I was struggling so much with Catnis through most of the third book. I mean, it sounded so justifiable for Catnis to want to avoid things in District 13 that it took me a while to see how damaged her behavior really was. The ending... I was rooting for a Peeta wins ending, but nobody really won and the ending epilogue was more frustrating than satisfying.


message 27: by Molly (last edited Feb 21, 2012 12:19PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Molly Maddie wrote: "And I can see how you would want more description, but say shes talking a tree that Katniss sees that has no real value or impact on the direction of the story.

"The tree was very tall, and the t..."


The type os tree could be very important considering the circumstances. In the first book Katniss mentions that she really needs to find water by tomorrow or she'll be seriously dehydrated. She then calls it a night and sleeps in a willow orchard/forest/thing. She spends the next day running towards the lake, completely ignoring the fact that willows only grow that well in a place where there is a significant amount of water. They seek out water very aggressively, to the pint that they destroy sewer systems and pipes to get to it. So Katniss would have been better off hanging around the orchard looking for water rather waisting her precious calories and hydration trekking across the arena to get to the lake.

Then again she also could have just drank the rabbit's blood, which isn't really healthy, but is still preferable to dehydrating and dying.


Molly Jeanie wrote: "As for me, I, too,, found first person problematic in this series. It reminded me of the times when reading the Twilight series that I wanted to claw the insides of my own head to get Bella out of..."

First person seems to have become to default for YA books lately, which is unfortunate because first person POV is difficult to do well.


Amanda Killing the sister ruined the ending for me. Katniss endures so much and for what? In the end, her sister still dies.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't read the final book, but these were some of my peeves with the series:

1. So. Many. Freaking. Fragment. Sentences. It got to the point where. Just reading. Gave me a. Headache and this annoying. Constant. Mental pausing.

2. Katniss was an idiot. Granted, she had to deal with a lot of crap, but she just lead boys on before she was sure of her own feelings and then didn't know what to do with herself afterward. Plus, I never felt any of her supposed emotions. Her narrative felt so detached and indifferent that I became the same way.

3. I hated the "love triangle". It barely seemed like Katniss liked Gale or Peeta, so I didn't understand why it became this whole "TEAM PEETA" or "TEAM GALE" thing.

4. The writing was poorly paced and jerky. Collins spent page after page about things that didn't matter much, but when it got to the action, I had no idea what was going on.


Megandemily Gale just left. he should not have just left. he should've fought for her heart. And peeta was to different. he should've stayed the same!!!!!!!! i do think katniss ended up with the write boy!!! any one agree?


Megandemily forgot to add madge married gale


Jeanie Molly wrote: "Jeanie wrote: "As for me, I, too,, found first person problematic in this series. It reminded me of the times when reading the Twilight series that I wanted to claw the insides of my own head to g..."

I understand the temptation to use first person POV, especially in YA, because so much depends on experiencing situations with the same inexperience and lack of understanding the main character has. I get it that many readers or the "omniscient author" could ruin things if too much were already known. The toughest thing is when the hero or heroine is too stupid for the situation and it's like we're stuck behind the wheel of a car, seeing it's going to crash, but having no hands of our own to put on the steering wheel to avoid the crash we more-experienced drivers see coming. Even worse though is being inside their heads to hear the all-too-human thoughts that are uncensored and would usually never be said aloud, but are inescapable if we are to get to the end of the story. A perfect Twilight example is when Edward proposes to Bella and she is looking at the ring and thinks it was too bad that wasn't the hand that had been broken. talk about ruining the moment. I was so glad that Edward couldn't read her mind and desperately sorry that I was stuck in there with her so that I couldn't avoid her crappy true feelings.
Being inside the head at all times and seeing the world through the eyes of a person undergoing traumatic stress and then suffering the post-traumatic stress is, to say the least, very uncomfortable. I think, in part, it's this disconnected sense we get from Catnis that makes books 2 and 3 less satisfying, to me at least.


message 34: by Mika (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mika first off, i hate that Finnick died. and Cinna. and Prim. and Madge. A lot of characters got killed off that didn't have to. I also hate the loose ends at the end of the book. Gale just drifted away? I didn't even read what Panem was like in the epilogue. It's like the ending was rushed or something. I also hate how Katniss goes completely spaced out and crazy near the end, but i suppose it's part of the story, AND Prim died. I still love Peeta, though.


message 35: by Kat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kat What made me mad was that there was no "showdown" with Gale and Peeta...Gale just like excepted the fact the Peeta liked Katniss and that was it. I was buummed/:


message 36: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth The love triangle. i think we've seen enough of those lately and i think the story would've survived fine without it


message 37: by Sandybeach (last edited Feb 29, 2012 03:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sandybeach I agree with most of the comments already made. I absolutely hate love triangles so it's great to see a discussion about the books that for the most part doesn't include the whole overdone "Peeta versus Gale" topic. I don't think this needed to be a trilogy (another trend I'm starting to hate). This would have been better as a stand alone book with an improved finale. It would have made more of an impact.


message 38: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay I agree with most of the above comments. Mostly about the fact that the whole premiss of the books was for Primm to survive and then she gets killed off in the end. Furthermore, I never understood why Katniss and Haymitch voted in favour of a last Hunger Games. Was is to keep Coins attention off of her, or did Katniss genuinely feel that the "Game Makers" children should suffer the same as she did. If its the later, then so much for being better than the Capitol.
And I completely agree with the above comments concerning the 'love triangle'. I never felt like Katniss was in love with either of Peeta or Gale, and the ending was so rushed that it felt as though the only reason Katniss chose Peeta was because Gale 'gave up' on her and left.


Jeanie Bk70lvr wrote: "Kat wrote: "What made me mad was that there was no "showdown" with Gale and Peeta...Gale just like excepted the fact the Peeta liked Katniss and that was it. I was buummed/:"

Excellent point! =]"


Gale couldn't confront Peeta in Book 2 because the Capitol was watching and the pretense that saved both Catnis and Peeta had to be maintained. In Mockingjay, Gale didn't lose out because Peeta won Catnis... Gale lost her. But, there were far too few sentences devoted to Catnis's rationale for abandonning Gale and why he accepted it and moved on so apparently easily. In an interview Collins noted it was her editor who encouraged her to focus more on the triangle... it ended up being either too little for a really good triangle or too much for a relationship that didn't really exist in the first place.


message 40: by Beth (last edited Mar 02, 2012 02:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth The thing that irritated me the most was Katniss. I don't like her as a protagonist. She annoys me


Lorin✨ Molly wrote: "Katy wrote: "Everyone has a different opinion by the end of a series involving a younger narrator. Look at the mixed reactions when Harry began to grow up. Or when Bella & Edward finally matured...."

I totally agree about having different characters perspectives. That would have been much more interesting - Prim's thoughts while watching Katniss in the first games? Gale's thoughts when she's kissing Peeta all the time and the other features towards the end (trying not to include spoilers)? Two I would have loved to hear more from would be Haymitch & Snow. I'd love a book from Haymitch's view, because I think he was the most deep, interesting, ambiguous character. I'd love to hear his games from his point of view and when they were watching Katniss and Peeta in the first games. Did he plan for a revolution the whole time? How did he feel about the rest of the two books? I doubt Collins will write these after such heavy criticism for Mockingjay but alas!

SPOILERS;
I didn't like the fact that Katniss was out of it for the most important parts in Mockingjay. Yes, she was sick for a while, but I kept waiting for the switch to click that made her say "Yes, let's bring down the Capitol" but that never came. She was the bleached, heavy soul she was throughout the whole book, even when others were trying so hard for her and the cause.


message 42: by Sandybeach (last edited Mar 02, 2012 05:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sandybeach Lorin wrote: "SPOILERS;
I didn't like the fact that Katniss was out of it for the most important parts in Mockingjay. Yes, she was sick for a while, but I kept waiting for the switch to click that made her say "Yes, let's bring down the Capitol" but that never came. She was the bleached, heavy soul she was throughout the whole book, even when others were trying so hard for her and the cause.
..."


I so agree with you there. Katniss just seemed to give up. Everything was happening around her and while others were strong in the cause, she just faded away to a disappointing ending. She never really had the fight in her that I expected or wanted her to have as a central character. When she lost interest in it all so did I.


Caroline Kat wrote: "I was mentioning this to another friend, and a few people have touched on it, but these books were written in a first person narrative style. Usually you write in first person because you either wa..."

I totally agree. By the end of the 3rd book I was emotionally numb and didn't feel anything at all when I read about the deaths of Boggs, Finnick, Prim, etc. I was hoping either Peeta or Gale would come back and give the ending some substance, but Katniss pushed them both away and we didn't hear anything else about them.

Then Katniss marries Peeta and has children at 30...what?!?


message 44: by Leah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leah Nya wrote: "nothing really. except that katniss seems very boring in some of the parts"

i see where your coming from... the thing that annoyed me most was Katniss' close mindedness, it really bothered me


Christie I didn't mind the description and wording because I was able to imagine the settings etc without a problem. I was shocked at the ending at first but after reading the books again I really understand the underlying message and themes and I think the end was sad, but also kind of true. One thing I didn't like was that it seemed Katniss fell in love with Peeta too quickly without giving readers any inkling. All throughout the Games she thought of him as a friend and helper, and she knew he loved her, and the same it true in the second Games, she made it very clear that the whole love thing was just a charade--it was clear to me anyway that she felt more towards Gale than Peeta. Then in Mockingjay when Peeta is hijacked it's like suddenly she's loved him just as much all along. Maybe she has, maybe it had grown on her, but I think Collins could have showed us that throughout or given the readers hints. Reading the whole thing from Katniss' POV, I was surprised when she reacted to Peeta's predicament the way she did because (even though I figured she'd eventually fall in love with him from a plot standpoint) I really didn't see it coming at that point and in that way. That's really the only problem I had with the book.


Jenny I loved the first book, but feel the story went downhill after that. By book 3 I was totally over it.

What I believe Collins should have done was make each book a stand-alone focusing on a different contender in different games, their families, motivations etc. she (Collins) could have even gone back in time to tell the story of Kat's trainer, whatever that guy's name is - the one who won his own challenge.


message 47: by Maya (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maya That it just ended. like she was so depressed about Prim dying then it didnt tell what she did to get over that. Also that they didnt tell us more about her family or Gales life.


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