The Write Idea

05/26/2011

The Hunger Games

Sorry to be so long gone from this forum. I’ve been reading more young adult literature than anything else lately, partly in preparation for my family’s Very Exciting Work as extras in the movie based on the Suzanne Collins best-seller. Had never heard of it before the movie came to town and am discovering that many of my reliable adult reader friends love it. I just started it.

So … who has read The Hunger Games? Love it? Hate it? Excited or trepidatious to see the Hollywood version? What do you think of the people who have been cast in lead roles (Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, etc.)? Come on, now. I know you have opinions.

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8 Comments »

  1. Sarah got me started on the series and I loved it – until the very end. I think that all the special effects are made for Hollywood. I wonder if they are doing each book to make it a series, or if they will mush them all into one story. I like Woody Harrelson, but don’t recognize Jennifer Lawrence.

    Comment by Tracy — 05/27/2011 @ 6:20 am | Reply

  2. I’m pretty sure this movie is just the first book. (You know, they want to keep the franchise going as long as they can!) Jennifer Lawrence was Oscar-nominated last year for her lead role in Winter’s Bone, a very dark movie in which her character had many similar characteristics to Katniss. I’ve only begun the first book, so I don’t know enough yet, but she seems a little old to me for the part.

    Comment by ljcollins — 05/27/2011 @ 6:24 am | Reply

  3. An adult friend turned me on to this trilogy a year ago. I remember that after I finished the first book I was haunted by it for days. It was/is pretty intense. But I was hooked and have since become a huge fan (as have my husband and daughter). It is not just another Twilight-esque romance (though it has been labeled “the next Twilight”). There is a lot more substance here.

    Being a YA series, it’s targeted at about 13 and up, but I hear every day about 10-year-old fans. That bothers me because it is really quite violent. But then, I parent differently than a lot of others. I’ll be shocked if the movie ends up with less than a PG-13 rating.

    As for the movie, I’m thrilled that the screenplay was written by the author, Suzanne Collins (no relation, right Laura?) but I’m always nervous when a book I like is turned into a movie. My family of geeks has enjoyed debating the casting choices at the dinner table. 🙂

    Comment by Tess — 05/27/2011 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  4. I recently read the Hunger Games. I liked it very much. I thought Collins did a great job of keeping the frustration and tension levels in story effectively taut and the characters had a pleasing depth to them. Katniss is a many layered character, strong, yet vulnerable, self-sacrificing, yet somewhat dense in her ability to be empathetic. She is truly a product of her environment, and there are some good things about that, and some bad ones too.

    The premise of the book has been done before – I’m specifically thinking of Stephen King’s Bachman book, “The Running Man” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and of course, gladiator death matches are definitely part of our history – but Collins genius lies in making the competitors 12-18 year olds, which is a fresh and interesting take on the theme. Teens, with their invincibility and ruthless self-interest mixed with a dash of green inexperience, make for decidedly complex death match competitors. Additionally, with all the “reality” t.v. competitions so rampant for the past 10 years or so, it isn’t such a huge stretch of the imagination to envision a society that creates a chillingly manufactured reality, with all kinds of “designer” elements, in order to satiate the most base of human fascinations – bloodlust – but at a cleanly distance, of course! I think fear about the current social and political of our current society are used to very good effect by Collins, which reminds me a bit of the way Margaret Atwood writes by speculating on how current trends might play out in the not so distant future. As I love Atwood, that’s meant as a compliment!

    In terms of the film – Harrelson seems like a good choice to me for Haymitch. Don’t know much about Jennifer Lawrence, so I can’t comment. Whoever plays her needs to be simultaneously tough and vulnerable, self-interested with a delayed empathy. I would imagine she’ll be an interesting character to play.

    Looking forward to reading the next two books – they are on my to be read pile – just need to get my hot little hands on them!

    Comment by Eileen — 05/27/2011 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  5. Woody Harrelson is the fat jovial sponsor? Hmmm. Have to think about that.

    We read the book for our mother-daughter book group this fall because several of the moms wanted a forum to discuss the books that their daughters were already reading. The gilrs are all 6th graders. Rachel hated the book and didn’t finish it, but the other girls loved it. While I found the book to be engaging, it was so violent that I can’t say I liked it. Engaging like a bad car wreck, where you have to look, but wish in a way you hadn’t. I have had the second book for awhile, but haven’t had the energy to read it yet.

    Comment by soulcycles — 05/27/2011 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  6. Haymitch is the cyncial, alcoholic trainer (previous competitor). I can see Harrelson in the role (thinking of his work as Larry Flynt, for example). Lenny Kravitz is supposedly the designer dude, though he’s not on the website yet. I don’t know the other young people in the movie, but you can see them on the IMBD site for the movie.

    The violent premise of the book is already bothering me and I haven’t gotten into the details yet. Glad to hear those of you who loved it. Will keep me going.

    Comment by ljcollins — 05/27/2011 @ 11:06 am | Reply

    • A caution (and I don’t think this is a spoil)…it gets more violent toward the end.

      Comment by Tess — 05/28/2011 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  7. Yes, I imagine it must!

    Comment by ljcollins — 05/28/2011 @ 11:31 am | Reply


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