Friday, February 24, 2012

Recently Read: The Hunger Games

The first book in Suzanne Collins' mega-popular trilogy has no poetry in its sparse, minimalist prose. What it does have is the capacity to create unrelenting suspense involving characters the reader quickly cares about.

The influences on The Hunger Games are many, including: Battle Royale, Tunnel in the Sky, The Running Man, Logan's Run, Gladiator, Lord of the Flies, Rollerball and elements from American Idol and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Again, the derivative nature of The Hunger Games can't pierce its armor, so to speak, for two reasons:

1. The target audience for The Hunger Games isn't familiar with many of its influences; it's new to them.

2. The book is sustained by its strong characters. The story is expertly equally divided by plotting and character. We care what happens next because we care about the characters.

I know I want to read the next two books to find out what happens next. On that level, it's easy to understand why Collins' book is a huge success.

Hollywood: please don't mess it up.
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John Warren said...

So, I assume you'll be reading Twilight next?

Michael N. said...

Diary of a Wimpy Kid?