The inevitable Hunger Games thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (590 of them)

in the year 2011, YA literature shelves are filled with strong and independent female protagonists – and this, i don't think is one of the better examples. the predominance of feminist readings are, to my mind, occasioned by the popularity of the books and not their quality.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

so this appears to be an interesting set of books, being adapted into films by a decent filmmaker with a strong cast. as far as megafranchises go, we could do worse.

THIS IS SATIRE BTW (Simon H.), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm the first guy i know who's reading it. lots of ladies i know have though. so far the girl from 'true grit' would make a way better katniss than the girl who played mystique in the last x-men. that's who they cast, right?

remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels? i just want them to invoke the spirits of the greats, like mervyn peake and joy chant. so far, so good

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels? i just want them to invoke the spirits of the greats, like mervyn peake and joy chant. so far, so good

absolutely, and i often find it. YA isn't the 'junk' genre it (largely) was 20 year ago. laurel wil back me up on this, i think, but there are a number of incredibly talented, capable, and innovative writers working in the field b/c its lack of pretension, willingness to bend genre and story conventions, and relative ease of getting published make it a good place to try out new ideas.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

the girl who played mystique in the last x-men. that's who they cast, right?

Yeah, but I prefer to think of her as the girl from Winter's Bone, which makes her seem more promising, tbh.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

well i avoided twilight so i might give these a go i guess

― thomp

Those two things need to be decoupled: Everyone should avoid Twilight no matter what you plan to do later in the day/month/year/life.

xp remy is right! Don't lower your standards for young peoples' sakes, they don't need it!

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't consider young adult fiction junk or i wouldn't be reading it. but have you ever read harold bloom's young adult fantasy novel, 'a flight to lucifer'? yuck

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels?

Also this is a patronizing and makes you sound like a jerk. Don't do that.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't see how a lifelong reader/critic not turning out to be a great YA author in the genre of fantasy is proof of anything, btw. False dichotomy, or at least an extremely lazy one.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

the girl who played mystique in the last x-men. that's who they cast, right?

Yeah, but I prefer to think of her as the girl from Winter's Bone, which makes her seem more promising, tbh.

Yeah she really has nothing to prove in the confident-lead department.

THIS IS SATIRE BTW (Simon H.), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

like harry potter, i think these stories may succeed better as movies than books: there's very little in the story besides a kind of reportorial narrative.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

laurel do you like hunger games

Ayatollah Colm Meaney (Princess TamTam), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

laurel & r.bean recommend two or three good YA novels i should read for contrast to 'hunger games', if i read 'hunger games'

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

Haven't read 'em. Storyline seemed a little too pat, and then they got the commercial success to match so I just didn't make the effort. remy is saving me from having to try again.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

Remy already did!

Rick Yancey in his Will Henry series – 'The Monstrumologist' & 'Curse of the Wendigo'

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

@thomp, for the sci-fi/horror/gore/monster angle i'd recommend rick yancey's 'the monstrumologist.' it isn't really my cup of tea, but i think it is a well-written book and a good read for a certain type of kid. it introduces a lot of great elements, and ties well w/ frankenstein, lovecraft, etc.,

for total contrast w/in the genre i recommend peter cameron's 'someday this pain will be useful to you' for great, deceptively simple, characterization.

i've recently enjoyed green & levithan's 'will grayson, will grayson' and paolo bacigalupi's 'ship-breaker'

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

halfway through ellen klages 'the green glass sea' if historical fiction is your thing

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yay, Ship Breaker!!

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

so good, right?

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

thanking u

just out of curiosity, how would you rate the possibly-not-as-ubiquitous-as-i-think-they-are franchises:

i. artemis fowl
ii. diary of a wimpy kid
iii. skulduggery pleasant

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sorry, actually quite busy so reduced to being cheering section. Also in terms of new stuff, I get most of my reading from work these days and our YA is extremely "commercial" so apart from SB'er and some others, most of it isn't what you're asking for.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

you attacked me for reading 'the hunger games.' then you call me a jerk? sorry if i offended you somehow

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

(my vested interest here is that my nephew is being put off reading by being deluged with brightly coloured FOR THE KIDS type books that people get him which largely appear to be .. kind of awful, and it is a lot harder to go into the bookstore and buy YA books than it was to buy picture books)

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

there's a general-purpose YA thread somewhere, isn't there? maybe i should revive that one

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

you attacked me for reading 'the hunger games.'

You can keep thinking that's what I was "attacking" you for, or you can re-consider about how dismissive you were about the literary "merit" of books for kids/young people.

thomp, honestly I haven't read any of any of those three. They give me the lip-curl when I see them around...hadn't realized Skullduggery Pleasant had become a thing?

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

There is an excellent YA sf/f thread somewhere but it's probably like 700 posts.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

artemis fowl are kind of silly –- they've got some good ideas, but they seem a little too calibrated (?) cynical (?) for my taste. there's definitely an audience, but they're so commercial that they sometimes seem more like a product than a series of books in their own right. whenever i'm reading artemis fowl, i sort of wish i were reading diane wynn jones

diary of a wimpy kid is fluff, but its formatting is obv. very appealing for struggling readers (marginalia, text design, illustrations, limited words/page) and it's pretty funny, i think. they series isv. easy, and doesn't go to any depth or characterization so the books don't have a cross-generational appeal in the way they might the format was used to better, and more interesting effect in tom angleberger's 'the strange case of the origami yoda' which came out last year.

i haven't read skulduggery pleasant; it hardly made splash over here. i've got an ARC of it sitting on the sofa and i'm meaning to get to it.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

sorry abt. poor editing above ^^^

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

@thomp: how old is your nephew? how is his reading?

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 15:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think the really good stuff ends up coming out in areas that aren't popular at the time, it just goes unnoticed a bit until things quiet down. I don't think the repetitive and increasingly sensational sf/f that's everywhere right now is going to be the stuff of this era that lasts -- not when we've got Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and some gender-bendy/LGBTQ "issue" books by Julie Peters and others that are also v good and will probably burrow into kids' thinking more deeply and, one hopes, lastingly, but aren't going to make headlines now.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

And I normally dislike like "issue" books, I'm just sayin'.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

i sort of wish i were reading diane wynn jones is basically my motto in life.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

when was i ever dismissive about the literary merit of books for kids/young people? i haven't said a single negative thing on this thread . . . that i revived! how very district one tribute of you

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm sorry. i said something negative about harold bloom

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, help yourself to that. he's kind of a turd.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm reading his new book alongside 'the hunger games.' definitely prefer 'the hunger games'

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

black jelly bean: cold oatmeal

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

why people get so defensive about their aesthetic tastes i'll never understand

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

i really enjoyed patrick ness's 'chaos walking' trilogy despite some incompetent and repetitive plotting. certainly i think its a little more sophisticated in how it approaches its dystopia & the way it presents moral questions to the reader than hunger games.

my baby eats special k all day (Lamp), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

good call, lamp: I am actually thinking of reading the first novel in the series w/ my class in the fall. I think Knife of Never Letting Go raises some really interesting ontological questions.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

qualmsley:i'd say that maybe for a lot of people 'aesthetic taste' represents a cultural investment or a hard-won knowledge and experience, and there's a lot of ego bound up in what is a kind of half- arbitrary judgement.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

It wasn't even about my taste so I'm not sure what that was? It was about remy, are you serious that you expect literary erudition to shine throughout young adult novels? But let's agree that you're not going to understand what I was saying and I'm not going to keep trying.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

fwiw i liked the first hunger games book & read it in a single afternoon. its working w/in a structure that i really like tho & i thought the simple, direct language a point in its favor. i did sort of think it was interesting how it seemed to be geared at readers who needed to be able to visualize the action clearly, & think it suffers a little emotionally/psychologically for that.

but honestly idk for a reluctant reader i think theres also value just in 'reading what everyone else is reading', in being able to take part in the conversation surrounding the books. helps make it more social/interesting/compulsive? this is just an idea i have about ~culture~ tho idk

my baby eats special k all day (Lamp), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

Definitely, there's always the argument for encouraging kids to read whatever they WILL read, and to get the habit of reading and talking about reading, which conveniently dovetails with publishers' desire to sell a great number of copies. My cynicism about the second part shouldn't negate the good stuff about the first part.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

remy my nephew is actually only like nine. but he's actually a moderately advanced reader for his age -- it's just that he seems to be rapidly losing enthusiasm & it seems kind of hard to find stuff that's suitable, neither overly-childish nor alien in its concerns. i'm not about to get him the hunger games, i gotta say

like okay when i was a kid i was hooked on dragonlance and shit by that age, that was easy enough;
but i don't know what to do w/r/t the 'repetitive and increasingly sensational sf/f that's everywhere right now', as laurel puts it, which seems to be what kids want to actually read (how long until the first zombie series for kids) (brb, writing to a publisher) --

like what you say about a. fowl: they sometimes seem more like a product than a series of books in their own right: seems to apply to about 75% of what's in the kid's section of the bookstore at the moment

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thread's already too long, but I thought the "Lemony Snicket" books were among the most subversive, post-modern, just plain smart and funny YA-ish books I've ever read.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

Lamp: Agreed. I'm approaching these books as a teacher, if that helps to qualify my bile. I'm all for kids reading what they'd like, when they'd like. I don't totally buy the 'as long as they're reading' line, but I do think that independent reading – especially in the case of reluctant readers / LD kids – should be self-directed for a start, and gradually channeled into a careful, but not oppressive, appreciation for good books.

thomp: there's a lot of great realistic fiction for boys that is not reductive or lame, or overly issues-driven (ugh), which has not always been the case. YA sci-fi/fantasy is a mixed bag at best, but I agree w/ Laurel that it is not mostly lasting and some of it is passing fun.

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm tired of marketable book series-to-film. I got over Harry Potter ages ago and Twilight was a pitiful joke. Hunger Games doesn't look much different. I miss when authors used to write individual novels rather than serials, I get tired of the sameness after the second book.

Breezy Summer Jam (MintIce), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

xxxp lemony snicket was like thomas pynchon jr. plotwise but i could never quite handle the prose.

my Sonicare toothbrush (difficult listening hour), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just finished books two and three in short succession. It might be just exhaustion from doing too much at once, but boy did these fall off. Book one had lots of problems but it was relatively tight, and the central questions/conflicts for the main character locked in with the themes of the book and basically it made sense.

Books two and three, besides being just a brutal exercise in thinking up every sadistic thing you could do to the cast (and blaming it on the villains) are repetitious, flabby and unfocused - episodic rambles punctuated by unearned deaths, indistinguishable convalescence scenes, and a thousand sleepless nights. On one level I get some of this: our protagonist is a subaltern trauma victim many times over and I'm glad that's not prettified out of the picture; as well, I think she (mostly) manages to make the violence totally unglamorous and horrifying, and keep up the attack on the world that finds it entertaining (in the first book) and a necessary evil (in the last). Even the endlessly fretted-over romance story has all kinds of good ideas going in - I imagine the line between liking someone and performing that affection resonates like crazy for the teen audience. But things are just so unimaginative. She has more or less 1-2 ideas per character, all based on how they relate to Katniss and nothing more, and they almost never surprise you. It's all about plot, then, but the plot is stuck on replay for so much of the series. There are huge chunks of the second book I can't remember and I read the entire thing yesterday.

Also suffers intensely from the Harry Potter problem where our protagonist grows nowhere and learns nothing, or maybe learns the same lesson repeatedly to no avail. This is a real problem for a series whose climax hinges on a big, ambiguous moral choice (the outcome of which being btw covered up by both characters and author); the reasoning behind it is fuzzy and can as easily be chalked up to the same kind of emotionally-driven impulse with which she starts the series. It's telling that the other characters can interpret it as insanity, and that so many times the narration has to insist how much has changed since page one of book one, because you might otherwise not realize it. Versus something like the end of Nausicaa (with a similar choice made), it's all very hollow. And I agree about how undeveloped the world feels - very detailed in certain ways and bafflingly vague in others.

It's annoying, because the outline/major themes really SHOULD be in a smash kids' book series. Like, this is basically Society of the Spectacle crossed with The Culture Industry, set in the Tripod trilogy by John Christopher, and specifically trying to make a point about reality TV and pro sports and what they might say about us. Okay, sure. But they could be better books along the way.

I did like a few things - the political intrigues, some of the monsters/etc., and everything we learn about the past winners (which is coincidentally some of the most useful world-building, maybe because it's Katniss finding things out rather than her laying them out for us, and there remain unanswered questions).

The ending is bugging me more and more even as I'm typing this. Ugh!

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:48 (7 months ago) Permalink

Also something very ''Star Wars prequels'' about a lot of the characters from later on...sketchily introduced and they show up constantly in conferences/battles but all they do is talk and die. If they have physical traits or individual personalities or speech patterns or ways of moving around a room, the book doesn't let it show. They just talk and die, talk and die, in shot-reverse-shot.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 27 August 2013 05:55 (7 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

I saw this Catching Fire film and I can safely say beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was the worst most incredibly dull film I have ever seen.

bets wishes (jel --), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:00 (4 months ago) Permalink

you are nuts.

Lesbian has fucking riffs for days (Neanderthal), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:03 (4 months ago) Permalink

like ok if you didn't like it but if you think this is the 'worst most dull thing' ever I got a stack of DVDs for you.

Lesbian has fucking riffs for days (Neanderthal), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:04 (4 months ago) Permalink

Well, I may have been going for dramatic effect...

bets wishes (jel --), Sunday, 24 November 2013 14:07 (4 months ago) Permalink

Walter Chaw/my thoughts exactly:

It'll make the money it will make, earn no new converts to the flock, and be the type of movie you hope no one ever brings up in polite company because you don't want to look like an asshole.

a fifth of misty beethoven (cryptosicko), Sunday, 24 November 2013 17:10 (4 months ago) Permalink

I loved it. But I also loved the first film.

Murgatroid, Sunday, 24 November 2013 17:53 (4 months ago) Permalink

if it was worse than the first one "worst most incredibly dull film" seems entirely possible bring on yr stack of dvds bro

resulting post (rogermexico.), Monday, 25 November 2013 03:14 (4 months ago) Permalink

The first one felt like it was five hours long. Not bad so much as interminable.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Monday, 25 November 2013 03:16 (4 months ago) Permalink

Some movies should be labeled clearly "This movie is for someone else, but not for YOU!" I'm pretty sure that those who found the movie insufferable are just not in the intended audience demographic. I don't plan to see it any time soon for just this reason.

Aimless, Monday, 25 November 2013 05:22 (4 months ago) Permalink

See also: the Twilight film series.

Aimless, Monday, 25 November 2013 05:36 (4 months ago) Permalink

I already saw The Running Man and Rollerball and Battle Royale, I think I'll sit this whole thing out out.

Viceroy, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:06 (4 months ago) Permalink

So weird how it's always art geared towards women, children, etc. that people (I won't say that I know you well enough to say that people doing this are always men, like the poster above me) feel they should announce that they're not partaking in. I'm not saying it's a strict rule, there's definitely stuff geared towards straight white men that people do this to as well, but it's mostly stuff like Hunger Games, Twilight, Taylor Swift, pop music in general, etc. that dudes are like, I'M GONNA SIT THIS ONE OUT AND LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW.

Murgatroid, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:19 (4 months ago) Permalink

buzza, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:22 (4 months ago) Permalink

Murgatroid OTM

This was pretty good

goth drama is universal (latebloomer), Monday, 25 November 2013 06:33 (4 months ago) Permalink

First one was pretty entertaining too.

goth drama is universal (latebloomer), Monday, 25 November 2013 06:38 (4 months ago) Permalink

Seriously, I'll take the vaguely left-leaning dystopian scifi action over boarding school wizards any day

goth drama is universal (latebloomer), Monday, 25 November 2013 06:43 (4 months ago) Permalink

I honestly don't get why people are saying how Catching Fire is a MASSIVE improvement over the first movie. I mean, it IS an improvement, but the improvements are subtle (more moments of levity, the cast seems generally more into it this time, etc.) so the improvements don't make it that much better.

Murgatroid, Monday, 25 November 2013 06:43 (4 months ago) Permalink

Artforum:

"What are The Hunger Games books, and now movies, really about? Exactly what it looks like: war. ...

Two things are certain in America: War and sequels."

http://www.artforum.com/film/id=44211

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 1 December 2013 18:47 (4 months ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

i went with mr veg to see this today -- haven't read the books...i was kinda bored through most of this. dug PSH but mostly just because he was just being PSH without a mohawk ponytail or a tophat or stupid circus clothes

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 30 December 2013 02:27 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

It's a good thing we have important satirical works like The Hunger Games to remind us of the horrors of a possible future where human life and death become irrelevant to the needs of narrative in a palliatory mass-media spectacle.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 9 March 2014 15:40 (1 month ago) Permalink

that's not what hunger games is about at all!

balls, Sunday, 9 March 2014 16:12 (1 month ago) Permalink

i love the voice of cinema blend

mustread guy (schlump), Sunday, 9 March 2014 16:17 (1 month ago) Permalink

it's in there! xpost

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 9 March 2014 16:45 (1 month ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.