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Uncle Barb's

I was under medication when I made the decision to burn the tapes.

-Richard Nixon-


Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Survival fiction has always entranced me from The Boxcar Children to My Side of the Mountain to Alas Babylon, I have been totally captivated by the genre. It can be argued perhaps that all stories include the dynamic of survival. Stories that include descriptions of grinding acorns for flour or finding water in the heart of a plant compel me like none other, an innate human drive to know how to survive.

The Hunger Games does not disappoint in this fulfillment. Katniss Everdeen is an archetype of the woman warrior. Her striated environment is a parable of human society. Her foes are arch demons. Her allies full of human ambiguity.  Suzanne Collins has written a tightly woven, can't put it down story that stimulates my intrinsic hunger for survival. I love that feeling.

Collins is concise, compelling and tells one hell of a good story. Is it literature? Does she combine words in new and surprising poetry that make you catch your breath? Well no, but she does photograph a moment with superb clarity.  For an example of survival literature see Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower. On the other hand, literary great Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake did not provide poetry or survivalist satisfaction. Bleak and overwhelmingly sad, this work by one of my favorite authors left me shivering. I much preferred Handmaid's Tale.

The filmed version of The Hunger Games seems promising. I love the cast. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss does not physically match the character, but her performance in Winter's Bone was absolutely masterful, so I approve. Josh Hutcherson (Laser) of The Kids Are All Right is another casting choice for acting talent rather than curb appeal. Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz add some zing and are perfectly cast as Haymitch and Cinna, respectively. The entire cast line-up is right on. Suzanne Collins is an experienced script writer having written for television for many years. I am very hopeful that this film is going to be every bit as good as the book.


Wow I didn't expect to dislike the Hunger Games Movie quite as much as I did. Jennifer Lawrence was swell, as were the other actors. The problem is that I felt like I was one more zealous spectator of the cruel and vicious games, one more in the crowd roaring for blood, one more prurient onlooker to violence and gore.The film didn't capture the tension or emotion of the book and felt like one more gladitorial film for the mean and base to consume.

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