The inevitable Hunger Games thread

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(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

not cuz it was so bad just because it was Always On.

my Sonicare toothbrush (difficult listening hour), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think the Snicket prose is part of the joke. It'll suddenly digress into a discussion of King Lear or the water cycle with no warning, just to keep you on your toes. If anything, it reminded me a whole lot of Tristram Shandy, right down to the black page.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

Like, wheel-spinning as an art.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:40 (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, July 11, 2011 12:36 PM (54 seconds ago) Bookmark

the 'best' part about the hunger games adaptation is they're making 4 movies out of 3 books

Ayatollah Colm Meaney (Princess TamTam), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

My daughters are both obsessed with what a spindle even is. Most antiquated fairy tale staple?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

Now, see the L Snicket books are a good example of a successful book/series without too many predecessors that absolutely set off a mania for "wacky hijinx" stories involving groups of kids. That accounts for the Skullduggery Pleasant series, DEFINITELY, BIG-TIME for the "Secrets Series" (The Name of this Book Is Secret et al) by "Pseudonymous Bosch", and I'm sure for 17 other currently successful extended series, too.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

The original had merits, but most of the other ideas that it made possible/successful will just be variations without the deftness or depth.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

pseudonymous bosch is another pen name for daniel handler, aka lemony snicket. i think you're right about there being v. little precedent for series of unfortunate events, tbh

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh bother, really? I read the first three and then was like, I don't know if I just lost the thread but I'm over this now.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

i actually read two of the skulduggery pleasant stories, i quite liked them, it was a little odd that he was doing 'cthulhu ... y'know, for kids' but i gather that's a thing, right

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

i read daniel handler's grownup novel once, it wasn't very good

thomp, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

i associate the whole lemony snicket thing w/ the girls in my high school who were deeply in love with neutral milk hotel

my baby eats special k all day (Lamp), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think I might have read the first Skullduggery but it was under complicated circumstances, and I didn't follow their success afterward.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Awww I was just going to say I wish D Handler would keep writing The Basic Eight only in a way that was eternally fresh and new!

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 16:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ha, on Wikipedia:

Bosch has been widely believed to be Megan McDonald, Rick Riordan, Heinrich Hoffmann, Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), Graeme Williams, Jon Scieszka, Trenton Lee Stewart, or Edie Bilmann.

That's pretty definitely non-commitmal.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 11 July 2011 16:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, Trenton Lee Stewart, chalk up another one for the wacky hijinx.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

the copyright is (c) daniel handler so i mean

remy bean, Monday, 11 July 2011 19:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Whoah that's funny, I'm holding 3 of the books right here and the copyright is under the pseudonym.

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Monday, 11 July 2011 19:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

so the flashback-a-chapter rhythm is starting to wear on me. but she's maintaining a deep understanding of what it's like to grow up poor. starting to get curious about these underland books

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 12 July 2011 12:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

so some spading reveals that handler isn't the author, and i'm kind of a chump. a handler friend/cohort (?) from WA named raphael simon is responsible

remy bean, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 13:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Haha I wd have been even more of a chump if I didn't realize one of my old idols was writing for us!

manager expects you to work past 6PM but won't allow you to change into (Laurel), Tuesday, 12 July 2011 13:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

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


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