Reader not hungry for reality

Dennis Gosnell

Assignment Editor

Bread was a pillar of the books, but was downplayed in the movie.
Photo from MCTcampus

Reader not hungry for reality

If anyone has lived in America long, they know that Americans have a strange fascination with post apocalyptic genre type books and movies.  The question that people are asked in these kinds of books or movies is, “how would you survive or what would you do if you were in this situation?”

A movie was recently released on DVD that tells a story about a time in the future when a corrupt central government rules the lives of its citizens and forces them to send a boy and girl to fight other children/teenagers in an arena as tributes for their respective districts, with the outcome of only one tribute remaining alive.

This movie is of course the “Hunger Games”.  There are probably those that absolutely adore the movie. The movie was appalling and a shameful example of movie making. Like most modern book to movie renditions, the movie was focused on a sequence of events rather than building up the characters and the drama.

Often, directors take a book that is centered on a first person view of events and do not allow the viewers to see the drama and conflict of the character. The lack of dramatic and intense scenes causes the movie to lose something in its translation and interpretation.

When the trailers for the Hunger Games were first released this writer did not know there were any books. And one day wandering through a bookstore there sat not one, but an entire book trilogy.

The “Hunger Games” was at first difficult to get into due to how disconcerting it was to read in the first person narrative. After reading a couple of chapters and after letting the mind adapt to the awkwardness of the narrative, the book(s) became intense and thought provoking.

The simplicity of the story’s language and heart tugging verbiage allowed the story to become real.  The sadness and chaos the characters were introduced to began making the story heart-felt. Generic as this praise may seem, at least all the usual teenage emotional drama that is often part of young adult books was kept at a comfortable distance. The story was about surviving the terror of being forced to kill others, forced to watch as innocent children are killed for the enjoyment of others, and forced to become what other people want you to be.

As far as young adult books goes, this one certainly hit the mark in letting readers question how far they’d go, what their own morals would allow them to do, and even gave tidbits on how to remain virtuous to their own identity even if they have yet to know what that identity is.


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