The inevitable Hunger Games thread

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ugh these books are SO ANNOYING

max, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

i sort of agree but my sister loves them and is like the hunger games-whisperer and has a real point of view about them and is so eloquent in their defense that she's kind of worn me down.

the movie was horrible, though.

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah the more distance i get from the movie, the worse it seems to me. and from what i understand the rest of the books are all much worse than the first one??

Hungry4Ass, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i thought the second book was terrible, third book is absolutely bizarre and actually kind of redeemed the trilogy for me in some weird way, just by being so stubbornly weird

max, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm not sure what max's beef is. none of them are particularly well-written. the first and the last ones do the thing my sister likes the best, which is basically testify to the truth that all social order is founded on violence. earlier in this thread i said i liked the last book because it's the political one but truthfully this series is kind of apolitical, which is baffling to me. my sister and i get in arguments about this, and she's always like, look, susan collins is an army brat, if you want a revolutionary dystopian young adult novel you have to write it yourself. but still, it seems like a missed opportunity.

the second one is probably the weakest.

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

my sister likes how katniss is a battered shell at the end of the third one because that's what war does. she resents that rape is not depicted as a war crime in the books, though, which might give you some sense of the intensity of the perspective she brings to these books.

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

i should just invite my sister to this thread; she has a lot of thoughts4u

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

the third book i think is hamstrung by that goddamned first-person present-tense narration. important events and potentially interesting character moments are just narrated-past willy-nilly, when otherwise they might be good opportunities for world-building and character shading. and while i can see the validity of saying "catatonic katniss works because it reflects the realities of war," it annoys me because collins isn't very good at reflecting other "realities" -- like the relationship between katniss and her family. imo it becomes an amateurish scribble after the first book, there is no nuance to how prim/the mom deal with their sudden wealth/change in status or how everything that happens changes the way katniss relates to them.

the minister of RAILWAYS (reddening), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, collins really drops the ball on primm as a character after the first novel

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

my sister says the books should be adapted in a band of bros-style miniseries, btw, not three movies.

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

all three are brought way down by first-person present tense

of family bonds and individual triumph. Narrated by Tim Allen, (zachlyon), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp i doubt 1/3 of a miniseries would've made anyone $400 million

of family bonds and individual triumph. Narrated by Tim Allen, (zachlyon), Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah i mean it's an impractical suggestion for sure. she was really mad after we saw the movie. i just feel like all opinions i had on these books have been replaced by her very strong feelings.

horseshoe, Sunday, 20 May 2012 23:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I keep getting asked at work if I have read these books.

I guess that's better than family members telling me I should read Twilight.

tokyo rosemary, Monday, 21 May 2012 00:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

let's throw fifty shades of grey into the matrix too

remy bean, Monday, 21 May 2012 02:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

i want to read horseshoe's sister's thoughts4u!

liberté, égalité, beyoncé (lex pretend), Monday, 21 May 2012 10:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

not bovd about the books but the film disappointed, chris nolan kinda thing of good premise and strong exposition thwarted and retrospectively diminished by lack of basic action film competence - series of set pieces but no sense of rising tension, like at the finale where its abruptly down to three and you had little idea, and then drably petering out ahead of the doubtless already-in production sequel

guess if they'd called it "hunger games part i" some of that would have been ameliorated but even still its no less unacceptable to overlook the satisfactions of a standalone film imo. old man shaking his fist @ cloud at this point though i know

r|t|c, Monday, 21 May 2012 11:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's not even action film competence tbh, i mean these are basic film values in whatever

r|t|c, Monday, 21 May 2012 11:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess i found the books partic. annoying because there are all these flashes of good and interesting ideas that get completely lost in collins terrible writing and characterization.

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 15:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

thomp otm upthread about her exposition, christ

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 15:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's strange to me that this series is held up as being well written or more quality than Twilight when it's not. I mean, some of the ideas in the series might be more interesting than a girl mooning over a virgin vampire but what's the point when they're not executed in a satisfying or thoughtful way?

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Monday, 21 May 2012 15:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

I didn't think these books were terribly written, or at the very least the concept was interesting enough that the writing style didn't get in my way.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 15:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean dont get me wrong, i finished them, but collins needs to stop telling and start showing

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 15:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Eh, not really.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 15:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha ok

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

nah max otm, even some minor changes would've strengthened the books considerably while retaining the cool parts of the plot. like when katniss and peeta toured all the districts at the start of catching fire, it would've been greatly improved if it had been like 30% more showing what the different districts were like, and 30% less katniss talking about all the different outfits cinna made for her and having night terrors unless she sleeps in peeta's arms.

producer / dj / humanitarian (reddening), Monday, 21 May 2012 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

The main point, though, is that Katniss isn't paying attention to the various districts because she's so preoccupied with appeasing the mayor to protect her family, plus she kind of didn't give a shit about any of the other tributes besides Rue so why should she she give a shit about their districts?

I mean, what you're talking about would be an interesting story, possibly even a more interesting one, but it's not actually the story being told, which is how Katniss is massively self-involved and mostly non-observant to the forces pushing her around like a chess piece until late into the third book.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

i saw the movie w/ my wife, who's read the books, and coming out of the theater the #1 thing that bothered me about the movie turned out to be one of the things that according to her was changed the most from the book -- that District 11 rioting after Rue dies thing was apparently not in the book? felt kind of forced and tacked on even before i knew that.

some dude, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

iirc it happens, but you dont learn that it happens until book 2?

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think that's right; there's no way Katniss could know about it in book 1 anyway given that she was in a death arena at the time

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah i guess the bigger change is the book POV to movie POV from first person to omniscient third person

some dude, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think the thing I liked the most about the book was the limited point of view; Katniss was central to the conflict but spent most of the story behaving like the self-involved teen she was, not really breaking out of that role until the end of the third book. A lot of the details weren't really necessary to get across the point of the story, which seemed to me to be about the corruption of power paralleled with the consequences of actions/inaction.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

i really liked the movie. books r 4 nerds.

Mordy, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

i mean, it is better-written than twilight, and less horribly anti-feminist, but that is the lowest of bars.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

a friend of mine reads katniss as gay, and that's why she's such an unbelievable opaque-to-herself weirdo in general and about peeta and gale in particular. i don't really believe that was collins's intention, but it totally makes sense to me.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

an english grad student way to make bad writing more interesting than it is, maybe

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

i keep calling the books badly written, but like Dan, it didn't really stop me from reading them in a day. i do think they're compelling even if i mostly wish they had been totally different.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

i read them all in a day, too! & they are totally compelling and interesting in all kinds of ways. but collins is a terrible writer.

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

I do think "I didn't buy the way the story was presented" and "this wasn't the story I wanted her to tell" are both entirely valid criticisms btw; I just think in general "this is badly-written" is a lazy way of saying that and I wish people would cut to the chase.

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

there are lots of great writers who don't really 'cut to the chase,' so i'm not sure that's true

Mordy, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

if i had written these novels, they would be all about thresh and gale and i wish she had done more with those characters (not killed thresh off, made gale a person) but i have to admit i think peeta is a really interesting and complex and uncommon character. fuck the love triangle but props to collins for coming up with him.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

no no i want to be very clear, i think suzanne collins is a bad writer on basically every level. so yes while its true i wish shed told a different story, and barring that i wish shed told the story she did tell in a different way, but barring even the two of those things i think shes a horrible writer on a very basic stylistic level

max, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

by badly written, i mostly mean long strings of undifferentiated, unsubordinated straight narration. this happened and then this happened and then this happened.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

the peeta in the movie is godawful btw; not convinced the director read the books.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

by badly written, i mostly mean long strings of undifferentiated, unsubordinated straight narration. this happened and then this happened and then this happened.

How is one supposed to avoid that in a book written in first person present tense?

(The obvious answer is "don't write in first person present tense", which to me is a "I don't buy the way the story is presented" criticism, which is also a more specific point to make and actually allows for a conversation about storytelling technique and what could have been more effective/interesting. Hence my assertion "this is badly written" is usually a sign that the person making the comment is being lazy.)

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

by badly written, i mostly mean long strings of undifferentiated, unsubordinated straight narration. this happened and then this happened and then this happened.

Well, her background is as a writer for children's TV. She claims that when she first started writing fiction (the Underland Chronicles), narrative prose (as opposed to dialogue) was particularly difficult for her.

Never translate Dutch (jaymc), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

you can still use grammatical subordination, i think. but yes, reddening is right. some tracking between katniss's pov and a narrative voice would have improved the writing. you're also right; i'm being lazy. i lent these books to my other sister, the non-hunger-games-evangelist, so i don't have them to refer to.

horseshoe, Monday, 21 May 2012 17:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ah, here it is:

“Prose is full of many challenges and unexplored territory for me because I came to it later in my life… I’ve been doing scriptwriting for 27 years and books for maybe 10 years now. I think I started the first Gregor book, Gregor the Overlander, when I was 38.

“I’d be clicking along through dialogue and action sequences. That’s fine, that’s like stage directions. But whenever I hit a descriptive passage, it was like running into a wall. I remember particularly there’s a moment early on when Gregor walks through this curtain of moths, and he gets his first look at the underground city of Regalia. So it’s this descriptive scene of the city. Wow, did that take me a long time to write! And I went back and looked at it. It’s just a couple of paragraphs. It killed me. It took forever.”

Never translate Dutch (jaymc), Monday, 21 May 2012 17:57 (2 years ago) Permalink


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