Hunger Games and Protest

220px-Hunger_gamesThis morning’s Weekend Edition/Saturday on NPR included a brief interview with Stephen Carter, a professor and novelist who discusses how Suzanne Collin’s massively popular series of books and movies mirrors much of what’s happening lately, so much so that the District 12 Salute is being used by protesters around the world.

I generally like to wave at everyone on the bandwagon as it passes me by, so the universal fascination with Katniss et al. gave me the reason I needed to leave these books in the bookstore. (NB: I was well into Harry Potter before the world went mad.)

I didn’t like the first book in Collins’ series, yet forced myself to read it a second time and found it a bit more tolerable. Even so, I was not inspired to finish the series. One, there are an awful lot of really good books for adults that I haven’t yet read. Two, the idea of children killing children (pace Lord of the Flies) appalls me. And three, I’m not a huge fan of dystopian novels in the first place!

But after hearing Carter’s analysis of The Hunger Games, six years after publication still relevant to current national and world affairs, I’m starting to rethink my too off-handed dismissal of the series. I’m not yet ready to buy the books, but I know I can find them in my library. Holiday reading! Yay! Or maybe not “Yay”. Maybe just a limp wave of resignation. I’m not expecting a happy read, but with Carter’s analysis in my head, I have hopes for an interesting one.

The Film Adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now

Being the sucker that I am for film adaptations of books I’ve read, I settled into my bed one evening not too long ago and streamed How I Live Now, directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Saoirse Ronan.

Though the film is not the most faithful of plot and character adaptations (Osbert is omitted entirely, and a few things [spoilers excluded] have been moved around), they really captured the tone of war and loss. Because of that, the film is pretty awesome. 

Take a look at the trailer below and see if it captures your interest:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSaxm68PPT4

 

-NC