Over this past weekend, between taxes and chores, I read Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games." With all of the recent hype over the movie, I thought I'd check it out.
It was a very easy read. The plot moved along nicely for the most part. There were spots where the action trudged along, but overall, I was pleased with the pace.
I can see why it's a hit among young folks. Each generation has its version of Big Brother. This one is 'The Capitol.' The term refers to place and people. A pampered and indulgent culture that feeds off of 12 districts that vary in degree of exploitation based on whatever each produces. One is agriculture, another produces gems and baubles and such. The star of the story, Katniss, is from the least of the districts, which produces coal. From this lowly place we are introduced to characters with character. They have desires and goals. They hurt and they love. As the story unfolded, Katniss' difficulties with being a teenage girl came out clearly. The emotional rollercoaster; no longer a girl, but not quite a woman. Her need for relationship was refreshing to me. She was a strong and capable personality, but Collins didn't paint her as a young, female Rambo. Katniss was vulnerable in her strength. She was selfless in an extremely selfish world.
There were other characters that also showed real humanity. Rue, the young girl from District 11, was one. Even the old drunk, Haymitch Abernathy, the lone Games survivor from District 12 and mentor to Katniss and her male counterpart, Peeta, was someone that one could admire.
Yes, there's violence...lots of it. But, I don't think that it was inappropriate. Culture is violent. Bad culture, more so. Overall, I was happy with the story and am looking forward to getting the second part, "Catching Fire." While it is geared for a younger audience, geezer like me can still be entertained and provoked.