Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thoughts on The Hunger Games series

I liked the first book, but finished the last two only because I promised my book club. Spoilers follow.

1. I always enjoy the hypocrisy of a movie or book that owes its success to glamorizing violence, while at the same time sermonizing on how wrong it is to glamorize violence.

2. I interpreted the last chapter of Mockingjay as a death dream or ravings of an insane Katniss. So I was a little surprised to see that my interpretation does not seem to be correct (or widely-shared).

3. I wonder how accurate this is: fiction aimed at men tends to feature a man with one woman as his romantic goal and the only question is whether he'll win her, but fiction aimed at women features a woman choosing between two distinctly different suitors she likes exactly the same.

4. I mentioned to the women in my book club that I found it really difficult to get through the last two books because I strongly disliked Katniss; they didn't understand my point of view at all. It was vindicating that when Peeta explains why he's come to hate Katniss, it's clear that the Capitol didn't have to lie to him much. Rather, they accurately described things Katniss did in the first two books.

5. Book three was too ridiculous to enjoy. I'm supposed to accept that Cinna was a genius designer and conspirator, but couldn't hide a weapon in his clothing to protect himself against the capitol? The capitol fills the city with absurd funhouse defenses specifically targeted at Katniss instead of devoting those resources to fighting District 13? Couldn't they have just won the war by airdropping a few dozen lizard men or those super melting lasers onto District 13? Finnick carries a magic trident and we never see him using it? President Snow takes the trouble to put roses in Katniss's home to mess with her, but not clever booby traps? (I kept waiting for the cat to turn out to be some sort of mutt spy.)