Hunger Games

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Izawwlgood
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Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

Decided to give these a read given that the movie is coming out relatively soon. I'm rather enjoying them, despite their level being somewhere around the third Harry Potter book. Granted, much more violent. Thoughts?
Spoiler:
I find Katniss to be kind of annoying. She's very reactionary, and basically only does the right thing by intuiting it at the last possible moment. People keep dying for her, and she doesn't seem to grasp the scale of the things she's wrapped up in. Still, the human connection is preferable to a 'hunger games pro' or something.

EDIT, just finished series:
Spoiler:
Impressive wrap up. My biggest complaint remains, that Katniss is too reactionary and almost irrelevant to the story. Indeed, the final 3rd of Mockingjay was following her completely pointless exploits. Still, impressive finale.








For the record, I'm going to search this thread every few days. If I see the phrase "Battle Royale" in a post in which someone tries to cleverly draw a parallel between the two (aka the "I saw/read it back when it was called Battle Royale" comment), I'm banning them from High Culture for a few days. -ST
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Adam H » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

I went on several roadtrips over the last couple of months and bought these audiobooks to keep my wife and I occupied. I've never really been into audiobooks, so it's kind of hard for me to compare hunger games with similar books like harry potter, but I certainly enjoyed the 50 hours or so spent listening to them.

It felt a bit like the symbolism and themes were being beaten into my skull by unsubtle writing, but I'm a speed reader so I was probably just picking up on it more, being forced to listen to every single word and having pauses between sentences to think. Also, my wife and I kept complaining about how stupid the characters were, so much so that we came to the conclusion that the author isn't very bright.

One thing that kept sticking out to me in the first book at least was how made-for-hollywood it is. I don't think the trailor shows anything that isn't in the books exactly how I imagined it.

As for Katniss:
Spoiler:
I don't really get what you mean by reactionary. Do you mean opposed to change, or just that she reacts without thinking? While she is dumb and whiny, I didn't have a problem rooting for her. She's a 16-17 year-old girl who saved her family from starvation and sacrificed her life for her little sister - I don't think you're allowed to dislike her... :)
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

Oh, like I said, the 'reader level' is most certainly geared towards YOUNG adults. While the story itself has some heavy concepts, Collins shoves you towards the metaphors she's making. Then explains them. Then gives counter arguments. Then works through Katniss's logic. The books are not subtle. But as for how bright Collins is, I'd give her a bit of credit; the story is fairly well crafted, the issues are not 'waaaa my boyfriend doesn't pay attention to me' and the premise, for lack of a better term, is pretty fucking heavy.

As for my beef with Katniss:
Spoiler:
By 'reactionary' I mean she rarely advocates for herself or takes action. I felt like she wasn't even the protagonist in the story, merely the symbol of the rebellion. In Mockingjay, the majority of the last third of the book is her and her gaggle of soldiers slogging through the capitol, with ZERO point to all that aside from having her watch Prim die. Which is actually a common theme in the novels; something shitty happens to Kat, she reacts, barely survives either by luck, raw intuition, or other people saving her ass, and then she spends a long stretch of time sorting out the horrors she's just witnessed, maybe even waking up in a hospital after the fact. She grows a lot, and her trauma is fucking palpable, but I didn't really leave the series feeling like she was the one responsible for the revolution or even it's outcome. She was, ironically, given Peeta's statement early on, a pawn through and through.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Adam H » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

I agree with everything you say, except, I had some problems with how the story was crafted (not sure how the districts won the war, for example), and there was way too much "waaaaa I like this boy but I like this other boy too oh noes!" for my tastes.
Spoiler:
But I can't tell if you are just saying that Katniss is not a likeable character, or if you are saying that you'd prefer for Katniss to be a different character. I think that while Katniss is not especially likeable, she's what the story needs, and I don't dislike that. It seems like the author consciously chose to make a story about a girl who has stuff happen to her, rather than some sort of epic about a revolution. Katniss is supposed to be a pawn, and it wouldn't fit with the story to make her more than that.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Shro » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:08 am UTC

Theres a theme throughout the books that might end up dating it but did anyone else catch the parallels between the book and
Spoiler:
certain pop culture phenomena? Reality television for one. And the pawn plot aspect fits in with the whole "make this character fit for pop culture consumption" which in turn fits in with the reality television parallels...

Edit for more time to expand: I'm talking about certain parallels between pop culture princesses (Disney is notorious for "creating" these). They usually start out in the 11-13 age, stay the media's darling until around age 17, and then chewed up and spit out. The ones who can maintain their "purity" through this tumultuous time are then rewarded with further careers, whereas the rebellious ones who are having sex and getting tattoos and drinking and doing drugs are humiliated by the media? US culture at least has an absolute fascination with girls that age and as that's one of the main demographic targets that the author is targeting, you bet it's going to resonate A LOT.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Loadstone » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Shro wrote:Theres a theme throughout the books that might end up dating it but did anyone else catch the parallels between the book and
Spoiler:
certain pop culture phenomena? Reality television for one. And the pawn plot aspect fits in with the whole "make this character fit for pop culture consumption" which in turn fits in with the reality television parallels...

Edit for more time to expand: I'm talking about certain parallels between pop culture princesses (Disney is notorious for "creating" these). They usually start out in the 11-13 age, stay the media's darling until around age 17, and then chewed up and spit out. The ones who can maintain their "purity" through this tumultuous time are then rewarded with further careers, whereas the rebellious ones who are having sex and getting tattoos and drinking and doing drugs are humiliated by the media? US culture at least has an absolute fascination with girls that age and as that's one of the main demographic targets that the author is targeting, you bet it's going to resonate A LOT.

Spoiler:
I think the reality tv aspect is pretty obvious, but I didn't connect it to the Disney syndrome. It didn't feel like the series delved into that aspect - even children who went crazy and turned into total monsters in the arena were always idolized and brought before cameras (the only exception being Annie, and they didn't torment her by any means). They turned them into stars for publicizing, and encouraged an opulent lifestyle to preserve the illusion.

I don't think it'll "date" the series. The "reality tv" genre has been around since the gladiators (having to gain popularity for a chance at freedom, etc) and will continue as long as human nature continues to idolize people in the spotlight.


As for how the series ended:
Spoiler:
I felt like the end of the star squad was rushed. Honestly, it seemed like the addition of the two-phase bombing conversation between Gale and Beetee was thrown in just to have an excuse to end the novel and "resolve" the love triangle. The abrupt change from Katniss finally taking a leadership role (as the Mockingjay and taking command of the star squad) to all of her efforts being useless threw me for a loop - I kept expecting her to be imagining Prim's death and end up having some deterministic fight to kill Snow and end the novel (reminiscent of the end of the first book - how boring would it have been if Peeta had been killed by Cato, Katniss passed out, and she woke up to find that Cato had fallen off the Cornucopia and broken his neck?). I loved the series and would've preferred a cliffhanger over this lackluster attempt to tie up the loose ends.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:27 pm UTC

The games element is obvious; I think Collins even mentioned something about how the expression for the Capitals motto meant 'Bread and Circus', meaning the Capitol could do nothing but eat and be entertained.

Ending:
Spoiler:
The Star Squad was definitely rushed, but what bothered me most was how it was utterly pointless. It was like 100 pages of Katniss seeing bad stuff and having people meaninglessly die to protect her, which ultimately lead to nothing more than her getting knocked out and woken up by people who saved the day. Perhaps a nice underline to the entire series, that is, Katniss being this human perspective witness to events out of her control, but it left me feeling like more interesting and important things were happening than her story. I can appreciate the idea of telling the story of a dystopian civilizations revolution from the eyes of a damaged child, but Collins didn't seem to inform the reader of the events going on outside of Katniss's view

Loose Ends:
Spoiler:
I actually liked the way she chose between Peeta and Gale; the line, "I didn't need the cold anger, I needed the daffodil in the summer" was well executed I thought. I think the point that she chose life at the end was a good decision; it'd be easy to end the book with Katniss retreating into a psychotic break, or sacrificing herself to kill Coin and Snow, but having her choose life at the end of it all was good. The final chapter and the epilogue I felt were pretty solid. Seriously, that line when she was writing the memoirs of the Tributes, where she says 'We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count' blew me away.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Loadstone » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:41 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Loose Ends:
Spoiler:
I actually liked the way she chose between Peeta and Gale; the line, "I didn't need the cold anger, I needed the daffodil in the summer" was well executed I thought. I think the point that she chose life at the end was a good decision; it'd be easy to end the book with Katniss retreating into a psychotic break, or sacrificing herself to kill Coin and Snow, but having her choose life at the end of it all was good. The final chapter and the epilogue I felt were pretty solid. Seriously, that line when she was writing the memoirs of the Tributes, where she says 'We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count' blew me away.

Spoiler:
I probably should've put the book down for a while after the bombing so I wouldn't have had such a sour taste going into the end of the book. It felt like Gale basically threw in the towel because he "couldn't protect her family" after Prim died, and less of a conscious choice between Gale and Peeta by Katniss.

The rest of the conclusion seemed good given the path that Collins was taking. I'll need to go back and re-read it to fully appreciate it now that I don't feel so underwhelmed by the end of the action.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby RockoTDF » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:08 am UTC

Loadstone wrote:
Spoiler:
I probably should've put the book down for a while after the bombing so I wouldn't have had such a sour taste going into the end of the book. It felt like Gale basically threw in the towel because he "couldn't protect her family" after Prim died, and less of a conscious choice between Gale and Peeta by Katniss.

The rest of the conclusion seemed good given the path that Collins was taking. I'll need to go back and re-read it to fully appreciate it now that I don't feel so underwhelmed by the end of the action.


Spoiler:
I was rooting for Gale because I thought Peeta was just infatuated with Katniss, and because I related to Gale a lot more on a personal level (due a love triangle and I was in recently, and being "friend-zoned" more than a few times, and let's be honest that is sort of what happened to Gale). Peeta never really struck me as a "man" despite his heroics. And let's be honest, calling her catnip was totally adorable.

I didn't make the "he couldn't protect her family" connection about Gale until you pointed it out. An excellent point, it actually makes his decision to leave 12 and never come back to Katniss make MUCH more sense.


Also, one for the psychologists and neuroscientists on the fora:

Spoiler:
Was anyone else as impressed with Collin's use of memory reconsolidation as a torture technique - "hijacking"? I know a lot of people who study it and was pretty impressed.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:59 am UTC

Spoiler:
I could be misunderstanding you, but my impression wasn't that Gale threw in the towel as much as became something that Katniss was repulsed by. An interesting note too, considering she only barely pulled herself back from crossing that line.

I think a key point in the series is that she is basically ruined at the conclusion. She's a traumatized mess. I wasn't rooting for Gale because Gale was willing to give up his humanity in the name of revenge, while Katniss... I like to imagine that she only agreed to the 'last hunger games' in a moment of grief. At the very least, Katniss returned from the brink, while Gale, Gale sped willingly across it.

And Peeta. Peeta did his best, but was never really capable of even approaching that line.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby RockoTDF » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:24 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
I could be misunderstanding you, but my impression wasn't that Gale threw in the towel as much as became something that Katniss was repulsed by. An interesting note too, considering she only barely pulled herself back from crossing that line.

I think a key point in the series is that she is basically ruined at the conclusion. She's a traumatized mess. I wasn't rooting for Gale because Gale was willing to give up his humanity in the name of revenge, while Katniss... I like to imagine that she only agreed to the 'last hunger games' in a moment of grief. At the very least, Katniss returned from the brink, while Gale, Gale sped willingly across it.

And Peeta. Peeta did his best, but was never really capable of even approaching that line.


Spoiler:
I think that she agreed to a hunger games because disagreeing might have brought reprocussions that may have denied her the opportunity to kill Snow or Coin. I don't think she actually wanted them, even after what happened to Prim. Having said this, a quick 'I only said this not to distance myself; I thought of Rue' etc would have been nice to clarify if that was the case or not. She has a clear case of PTSD throughout the story, and I think that is part of the message.

I think Gale was more focused on "the mission" than revenge; he wouldn't have gone out of his way to kill if he didn't need to. But maybe I'm just a military brat and read this stuff differently.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:54 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Oh I dunno, I firmly got the impression that she was so furious about Prim that she wanted revenge. Peeta put up a pretty good opposition to her position, but she stood fast. I might be remembering this wrong, but I think Haymitch even said something the effect of 'Are you sure you want this?' and she confirmed.

Also, I'm not sure what makes you think Gale wasn't killing unnecessarily; I think he was using the same terrorist tactics against the Capitol that they used against the districts. The point was war makes people do horrible things, even in the name of 'good'.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby RockoTDF » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:17 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
Oh I dunno, I firmly got the impression that she was so furious about Prim that she wanted revenge. Peeta put up a pretty good opposition to her position, but she stood fast. I might be remembering this wrong, but I think Haymitch even said something the effect of 'Are you sure you want this?' and she confirmed.

Also, I'm not sure what makes you think Gale wasn't killing unnecessarily; I think he was using the same terrorist tactics against the Capitol that they used against the districts. The point was war makes people do horrible things, even in the name of 'good'.


Spoiler:
You'll notice that Haymitch says "I vote with the Mockingjay" - which I think was meant to imply that he understood why she was doing it. I just reread the last third today to clear some stuff up and still think she was doing it with an ulterior motive and no intent of actually seeing another games occur.

Fair enough about Gale, but I still don't think the guy was driven by bloodthirsty vengeance, he just was made to do terrible things in war, as you point out. While we are on that topic, I think that the rebels did in fact bomb the children and their own medics (as Snow said), but I don't think that Gale knew they'd be used on civilians or his own people. I don't think you were implying this, but I thought I'd point it out.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
Oh I dunno, I firmly got the impression that she was so furious about Prim that she wanted revenge. Peeta put up a pretty good opposition to her position, but she stood fast. I might be remembering this wrong, but I think Haymitch even said something the effect of 'Are you sure you want this?' and she confirmed.

Also, I'm not sure what makes you think Gale wasn't killing unnecessarily; I think he was using the same terrorist tactics against the Capitol that they used against the districts. The point was war makes people do horrible things, even in the name of 'good'.


Spoiler:
You'll notice that Haymitch says "I vote with the Mockingjay" - which I think was meant to imply that he understood why she was doing it. I just reread the last third today to clear some stuff up and still think she was doing it with an ulterior motive and no intent of actually seeing another games occur.

Fair enough about Gale, but I still don't think the guy was driven by bloodthirsty vengeance, he just was made to do terrible things in war, as you point out. While we are on that topic, I think that the rebels did in fact bomb the children and their own medics (as Snow said), but I don't think that Gale knew they'd be used on civilians or his own people. I don't think you were implying this, but I thought I'd point it out.

Spoiler:
That's how I understood the situation with her vote as well. It was completely out of character for Katniss to want revenge. Even when she was completely powerless and her and her friends' lives were being destroyed for the Capitol's entertainment, she never wanted to harm the civilians, she just wanted them to realize the pain they were causing. After never in the whole series wanting to harm the citizens, the few chapters before the vote are spent building up her sympathy for them- seeing their suffering and realizing that the war has affected them as much as her own people, seeing their children murdered by her own side, realizing the one person she did want killed was no worse than her own leader, driving home the point that suffering and conflict create an environment where ruthless people thrive. She wanted to make sure the Hunger Games are stopped permanently but she realized the vote was just a formality- Coin was the driving force behind their re-institution and nothing Katniss said would change Coin's mind. I thought that was straight up stated a few pages later?

I thought Gale and Katniss were walking the same very fine line for the first half of the book but then he finally crossed it with the bombing of the mountain. He didn't go very far beyond it- we are never shown him hurting civilians or doing anything pointlessly evil to soldier. He is motivated by revenge but I think that is not the real problem at the end. Katniss pleaded with him not to build the device that killed her sister, pointed out its cruelty and the possibly extensive collateral damage but he ignored her. After it kills Prim Gale is too ashamed/guilt-ridden to confront Katniss- not only did he fail to protect her family but the one thing he did 'for the good of Katniss' against her wishes is what ultimately hurt her. He thought he was helping her before but he hurt her instead so how can he try to help her again? There is (finally) a lot more going on with his character in the ending but he is kind of brushed off to concentrate Katniss.

Oh, and Gale never used terrorist tactics. Both Snow and Coin regularly use tactics that rely on instilling fear but Gale's inventions and decisions just kill people, i.e. they are part of the horrors of war but are not meant to crush people's spirits.


Overall the final book was a bit of a let down. It's pretty hard to make up my mind if I like it as a whole because it is separated into distinct parts with very different goals and dynamics. I loved the first little-more-than-half of the book but then we get several dozen pages of utter awful before jarringly transitioning into a really good if somewhat rushed ending.
Spoiler:
Basically the whole trek through the tunnels was so contrived and lazy that I almost dropped the book halfway through. All these characters are killed to up the stakes and tune up the grittiness but it just feels... forced? We have the pointless slug through tunnels, hiding in basements, desperate sneaking behind enemy lines only to discover that they were behind friendly lines all along? And the trick used to get Prim killed makes no sense to me. Snow has been completely defeated (his forces, assuming he has any left, hold a single building) and everyone already hates him, so what did all that achieve? And what was Coin trying to do by getting Prim killed?

There were other smaller problems like introducing an idealistic father figure character for the sole purpose of having him killed. Honestly, the only character in the whole squad that I cared about was previous-games-winner-from-district-8-whose-name-I-forget but his death was the most rushed of all. 'Oh, uh, I am going to hold off these lizard creatures that showed up out of nowhere. I am gonna kill all of them at the same time 'cause their only purposes were to do the smell-like-blood-and-roses mindfuck and kill off the rest of the people that needed to die."

So the setup for the invasion of the Capitol is done really well. The description of Katniss' psychological state at the end after Snow has been captured and Prim is dead was awesome. I can't help but feel that the hundred or so pages that connect them used to be something completely different but some editor said "Nope, you need a hunger games segment with lots of traps and characters we barely know getting quickly killed off in gruesome ways."
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:Oh, and Gale never used terrorist tactics. Both Snow and Coin regularly use tactics that rely on instilling fear but Gale's inventions and decisions just kill people, i.e. they are part of the horrors of war but are not meant to crush people's spirits.

Maybe I'm using the wrong term then, but I would soundly place 'bombs that are set to explode after a lag period to harm medics' as fairly motivated by the desire to crush spirits.

Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote: We have the pointless slug through tunnels...

Yeah, actually, I felt most of Katniss' experiences in the series were pointless. I get that the gyst was 'horrors of war from the perspective of an innocent', but too much of the third book felt like it was just 'Katniss passively seeing horrible shit for no reason and then some more bad shit happens'

Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:And what was Coin trying to do by getting Prim killed?

Was Coin actively trying to kill Prim? My impression was that Gale and Coin were simply willing to use tactics that would foolishly place undue risk on people, that they were willing to cross that line, as you said. Coin and Gale may have been responsible, but I don't think it was intentional. Was it?
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:56 pm UTC

Prim:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:And what was Coin trying to do by getting Prim killed?

Was Coin actively trying to kill Prim? My impression was that Gale and Coin were simply willing to use tactics that would foolishly place undue risk on people, that they were willing to cross that line, as you said. Coin and Gale may have been responsible, but I don't think it was intentional. Was it?

Spoiler:
It was definitely intentional I just don't understand the purpose. Coin personally made Prim a medic despite her not having finished training and being 5 years younger than any other medic then sent her to the bombs placed by her own order. I guess she might have made the effort of getting Prim to the front lines as a medic near bombs meant to attract and kill medics but then left her actual death up to chance? That would make even less sense. Do you have any other explanation for Prim becoming a medic against everyone's expectations?


Gale:
Spoiler:
Well, Coin definitely ended up using the mines for terrorism I just don't think that was ever Gale's intention. Maybe I am giving him too much credit.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:Do you have any other explanation for Prim becoming a medic against everyone's expectations?

Prim already demonstrated gifted level abilities as a healer, from working with her mother. There was a bunch of stuff about her skills being impressive to people of District 13 throughout the book. As for her placement at the front lines? I dunno; my guess is Coin okay'd both her going into combat as a Medic, and the use of those bombs, and maybe even thought Prim might die, but my impression was not that Coin was actively trying to kill Prim off. Because, as you said, that would serve zero purpose, and even Coin would have realized that the loss of Prim removed an essential control over Katniss.

Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:Well, Coin definitely ended up using the mines for terrorism I just don't think that was ever Gale's intention. Maybe I am giving him too much credit.

I honestly think you are. Katniss confronts him about it (twice I think actually!) and he makes some speech about how in times of desperation you need to be willing to do anything. I think he even calls her a naive little girl when she objects to his tactics.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby apricity » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:47 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:Prim:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:And what was Coin trying to do by getting Prim killed?

Was Coin actively trying to kill Prim? My impression was that Gale and Coin were simply willing to use tactics that would foolishly place undue risk on people, that they were willing to cross that line, as you said. Coin and Gale may have been responsible, but I don't think it was intentional. Was it?

Spoiler:
It was definitely intentional I just don't understand the purpose. Coin personally made Prim a medic despite her not having finished training and being 5 years younger than any other medic then sent her to the bombs placed by her own order. I guess she might have made the effort of getting Prim to the front lines as a medic near bombs meant to attract and kill medics but then left her actual death up to chance? That would make even less sense. Do you have any other explanation for Prim becoming a medic against everyone's expectations?
Spoiler:
The argument I've heard is this: Coin needed Katniss on her side, and she thought the only way to get Katniss to back her was if Katniss was angrier at the Capitol than she ever could have been at the rebels. So the rebels manufactured this situation in which Prim would die and it would look like it was because of a Capitol attack. Coin thought the process would be: Katniss thinks Prim is killed by Capitol -> Katniss backs Coin because Coin is the antithesis of Snow. What actually happened was: Katniss figures out that the rebels killed Prim -> Katniss realizes that the rebel leaders and the Capitol leaders are both horrible and evil and she destroys both.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:31 am UTC

lanicita wrote:
maybeagnostic wrote:Prim:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:And what was Coin trying to do by getting Prim killed?

Was Coin actively trying to kill Prim? My impression was that Gale and Coin were simply willing to use tactics that would foolishly place undue risk on people, that they were willing to cross that line, as you said. Coin and Gale may have been responsible, but I don't think it was intentional. Was it?

Spoiler:
It was definitely intentional I just don't understand the purpose. Coin personally made Prim a medic despite her not having finished training and being 5 years younger than any other medic then sent her to the bombs placed by her own order. I guess she might have made the effort of getting Prim to the front lines as a medic near bombs meant to attract and kill medics but then left her actual death up to chance? That would make even less sense. Do you have any other explanation for Prim becoming a medic against everyone's expectations?
Spoiler:
The argument I've heard is this: Coin needed Katniss on her side, and she thought the only way to get Katniss to back her was if Katniss was angrier at the Capitol than she ever could have been at the rebels. So the rebels manufactured this situation in which Prim would die and it would look like it was because of a Capitol attack. Coin thought the process would be: Katniss thinks Prim is killed by Capitol -> Katniss backs Coin because Coin is the antithesis of Snow. What actually happened was: Katniss figures out that the rebels killed Prim -> Katniss realizes that the rebel leaders and the Capitol leaders are both horrible and evil and she destroys both.
Spoiler:
Yea, that sounds about right. It reminded be a lot of V for Vendetta when he makes the police kill the little girl to turn the people to his side. Except in V it worked. Sort of a one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter thing. I guess.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:54 pm UTC

I am trying to remember if there is some mechanism or rule in place so that the contestants can't cooperate in the games and thus prove that the overlords are scum, and that subverting what they want you to do is a better idea.
Heck, even if they all decided to starve, ala Masada, that might make a powerful statement.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:I am trying to remember if there is some mechanism or rule in place so that the contestants can't cooperate in the games and thus prove that the overlords are scum, and that subverting what they want you to do is a better idea.
Well, one of the main rules of the game was that there is only one winner. So, you could cooperate until there are only the two of you left, but then one of you has to die.
Spoiler:
Unless you pull something like at the end of the first book and pretend to both suicide, causing the government to freak out because there has to be a winner.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:45 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:I am trying to remember if there is some mechanism or rule in place so that the contestants can't cooperate in the games and thus prove that the overlords are scum, and that subverting what they want you to do is a better idea. Heck, even if they all decided to starve, ala Masada, that might make a powerful statement.


SurgicalSteel wrote:Well, one of the main rules of the game was that there is only one winner. So, you could cooperate until there are only the two of you left, but then one of you has to die.


I haven't read the books for a while, but I don't remember there being anything that would stop them from all cooperating (in an attempt to either all stay alive or all starve to death). Since the Gamemakers controlled the arena, I guess they would have just started killing tributes off until there was one left if there was some sort of widespread cooperation.

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Re: Hunger Games

Postby apricity » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

There wasn't anything to stop them, but with the way the Capitol worked, it was way too dangerous for any of them to even broach that idea with anyone else. If they'd been turned in by another contestant for conspiring against the Capitol, the Capitol would have killed them and all their friends and family. Also, some of the districts, like District 12 where Katniss was from, contained people who competed in the games because they had to. But the Careers from Districts 1, 2, and 4 would never have agreed to it, because competing in the Games was seen as an honor in their districts. THG says right in the beginning, when Katniss volunteers for Prim, that volunteering was common in the Careers' districts because everybody wanted to compete and win, but it was unheard of in D12 where it was pretty much understood that you were going into this to die.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby WarDaft » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:45 am UTC

Haven't read or anything like that. I have heard a lot of people talking about them very favourably though. If I do decide to read these after I finish up the current extent of the the Song of Ice and Fire saga, how long should I wait to be fair to them? I mean, I doubt anything described as young adult fiction can be a proper followup, but if they are even half as good as people say, I'll go buy them tomorrow.

I'm not trying to come off as snooty here (though in retrospect, I really am, but I'm to lazy to reword anything,) but I'm like the only person in my residence who is reading ASoIaF, everyone else is reading HG. If they're at least pretty good, I want to be able to enjoy them as at least pretty good, rather than going in with unfair expectations.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:43 pm UTC

They are pretty good for what they are but they don't really compare to ASoIaF. The writing will be a big step down, the story is much simpler, the dilemmas lack subtlety and the characters are not nearly as well developed- not all of them fall neatly in the good or evil category but most do. So, uh, ASoIaF is a story about kids but the Hunger Games is a story for kids (written to be understandable by 12-year-olds at any rate which is not to say that I didn't enjoy the series).
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Adam H » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

IMO if you haven't read the books, just watch the movie when it comes out. The book was written just like a Hollywood movie, so I expect the movie to about as good as the book. And the scenes in the previews I've seen are taken straight from the book.

Then if you get the HG bug you can read all 3 books.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:20 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:They are pretty good for what they are but they don't really compare to ASoIaF. The writing will be a big step down, the story is much simpler, the dilemmas lack subtlety and the characters are not nearly as well developed- not all of them fall neatly in the good or evil category but most do. So, uh, ASoIaF is a story about kids but the Hunger Games is a story for kids (written to be understandable by 12-year-olds at any rate which is not to say that I didn't enjoy the series).

I mean, you know that HG is a young adult novel, while ASoIaF is... not. It's like saying Jurassic Park was more compelling and intriguing than Petes Dragon.

ASoIaF is a book that has kids in it. Hunger Games is a book about horrible things happening from the perspective of a child, who at no point in the story really acclimatizes to the horrible things she see's. Compared to, say, any child PoV character in the Game of Thrones books.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby WarDaft » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:35 am UTC

Adam H wrote:IMO if you haven't read the books, just watch the movie when it comes out. The book was written just like a Hollywood movie, so I expect the movie to about as good as the book. And the scenes in the previews I've seen are taken straight from the book.

Then if you get the HG bug you can read all 3 books.


That actually sounds like a reasonable idea. Particularly since apparently it's only a 3 day wait at this point.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:37 am UTC

WarDaft wrote:
Adam H wrote:IMO if you haven't read the books, just watch the movie when it comes out. The book was written just like a Hollywood movie, so I expect the movie to about as good as the book. And the scenes in the previews I've seen are taken straight from the book.

Then if you get the HG bug you can read all 3 books.


That actually sounds like a reasonable idea. Particularly since apparently it's only a 3 day wait at this point.


I'd recommend it. Just saw the film (no spoilers), and while I liked it, I think the fact that I just read the entire series last week on spring break meant that everything was fresh in my mind, so the few inconsistencies/things left out seemed particularly salient, whereas they may not have otherwise. Having said this, most of what was changed in the film was either taken away justly, or added to compensate for the lack of the first person perspective, since we cannot read her mind in the film.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Chen » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:I'd recommend it. Just saw the film (no spoilers), and while I liked it, I think the fact that I just read the entire series last week on spring break meant that everything was fresh in my mind, so the few inconsistencies/things left out seemed particularly salient, whereas they may not have otherwise. Having said this, most of what was changed in the film was either taken away justly, or added to compensate for the lack of the first person perspective, since we cannot read her mind in the film.


Not reading the books before the film could make parts of it somewhat confusing or at least unclear.
Spoiler for film and books
Spoiler:
Its not immediately evident Katniss doesn't really love Peeta in the movie. There's one scene on the train where she says "we forget about this" or something, but its not really clear that she's just pretending. Without being in her mind it looks like she genuinely does love him, rather than just trying to save him. This is the only real sticking point I had with the movie, otherwise it seems quite true to the books.

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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:01 pm UTC

@Chen:
Spoiler:
Actually, I felt the opposite; I felt the movie made it such that it wasn't clear that she was conflicted about it Peeta. Part of that was the actress being rather flat, but it seemed to me like she didn't have any feelings for him short of 'I don't want this guy to get hurt'.


Also, kind of a minor point, but I was really disappointed that they cut out;
Spoiler:
Rue's district sending Katniss a gift. It both underlines how unique she was as a contestant, and how strongly she was undermining the Capitol.


I also loved how they cut between scenes in the Games and scenes back in Panem. That told a neat side of the tale. As a sort of aside, does anyone know, or rather, is anyone else as curious as I am;
Spoiler:
as to what was in the 3 other bags at the second cornucopia? I vaguely remember something being described for one contestant, but really wonder what the other people needed. Also, there were 5 contestants when the four bags were placed... Anyway, might be cool to do a 'Hunger Games from other peoples perspective' short story.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Chen » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:23 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@Chen:
Spoiler:
Actually, I felt the opposite; I felt the movie made it such that it wasn't clear that she was conflicted about it Peeta. Part of that was the actress being rather flat, but it seemed to me like she didn't have any feelings for him short of 'I don't want this guy to get hurt'.


Spoiler:
The scenes in the cave seemed to indicate she felt something for him. Either way, the main point of her being conflicted DEFINITELY didn't get shown and that's the key. A little more explicit exposition on her part would have made this better. They could probably have made her say some stuff to Cinna and it wouldn't have felt too forced


I also loved how they cut between scenes in the Games and scenes back in Panem. That told a neat side of the tale. As a sort of aside, does anyone know, or rather, is anyone else as curious as I am;
Spoiler:
as to what was in the 3 other bags at the second cornucopia? I vaguely remember something being described for one contestant, but really wonder what the other people needed. Also, there were 5 contestants when the four bags were placed... Anyway, might be cool to do a 'Hunger Games from other peoples perspective' short story.


Spoiler:
I recall Cato gets a suit of body armour in his in the book They don't really mention it in the movie. Don't know if they mention the others. As for the numbers there were 6 contestants left when the bags were left there: Katniss, Peeta, Cato, Clove, Foxface and the guy from Rue's district. I think it was one bag per district not per person; there was only 1 for Peeta and Katniss and presumably only 1 for Cato and Clove which gives us 4 total.

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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I recall Cato gets a suit of body armour in his in the book They don't really mention it in the movie. Don't know if they mention the others. As for the numbers there were 6 contestants left when the bags were left there: Katniss, Peeta, Cato, Clove, Foxface and the guy from Rue's district. I think it was one bag per district not per person; there was only 1 for Peeta and Katniss and presumably only 1 for Cato and Clove which gives us 4 total.

Spoiler:
Ah, right about that much. I forgot about the body armor. In any case, I'm still curious about the other two bags.


One thing I will say is I think whoever decided jerky close camera action was the best way to show action scenes should be shot.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Obby » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:One thing I will say is I think whoever decided jerky close camera action was the best way to show action scenes should be shot.

Agreed. The scene in the movie on top of the Cornucopia was incredibly difficult to follow. Other than that, I think my girlfriend put it best when she said that the movie did a great job of capturing the events that happened in the first book, but not a very good job of making you care about the people these events were happening to.

Not much to add to the discussion on the books just yet, as I'm only about 1/4 the way through the third.

I came into reading them just after finishing ASoIaF, similar to WarDaft. The writing is not nearly as intricate or detailed. Whoever said Collins shoves you towards the metaphors and analogies earlier the thread was spot on, I feel like she is very heavy-handed in her writing. But, as was also said, it's crafted to be understood by 12 year olds, so that's to be expected. Once I got past the writing style, I really started enjoying the story a lot more. There are some minor gripes I have with some minor events in the books so far, but nothing really groundbreaking just yet.

For instance (late book 2 and early book 3):
Spoiler:
I understand that the plan was just a ruse to cover what he was actually doing, but I feel like more people would catch that Beetee's proposed plan is just not possible (wiring the water around the cornucopia to the lighting rod tree at 12 o'clock, in order to electrocute the other tributes). Especially the people that are designing the games. I guess Collins tried to hand-wave it away with Kat's remark about most people not understanding electricity, so they'd just have to trust Beetee, but it still rubbed me the wrong way.

And also, Pollux's whistling. If Avoxes are rendered speechless by the removal of their tongues, that means it is also impossible for them to whistle. Pollux whistles in response to Kat while they are in the woods near District 12. Unless he uses his fingers or something, which is not explicitly stated, but even then I'm fairly sure the tongue is required to manipulate the air flow across the teeth and lips.


As I said, minor gripes.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Chen » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

Obby wrote:For instance (late book 2 and early book 3):
Spoiler:
I understand that the plan was just a ruse to cover what he was actually doing, but I feel like more people would catch that Beetee's proposed plan is just not possible (wiring the water around the cornucopia to the lighting rod tree at 12 o'clock, in order to electrocute the other tributes). Especially the people that are designing the games. I guess Collins tried to hand-wave it away with Kat's remark about most people not understanding electricity, so they'd just have to trust Beetee, but it still rubbed me the wrong way.




Spoiler:
Firstly depending on how magic the damn wire is I'm not sure the actual problem here (except that it probably wouldn't electrify much of the lake and not for very long). Aside from that though even if people did realize it wouldn't work well, would it matter? The contestants obviously didn't realize anything was amiss, but even if the game keepers did, why would they assume he knows better? It would just be a plan that fails to work.

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Re: Hunger Games

Postby quantumcat42 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:@Chen:
Spoiler:
Actually, I felt the opposite; I felt the movie made it such that it wasn't clear that she was conflicted about it Peeta. Part of that was the actress being rather flat, but it seemed to me like she didn't have any feelings for him short of 'I don't want this guy to get hurt'.
Personally, I'd blame that on the writing and directing rather than the actress -- I thought she did a fantastic job with what she was given.

Izawwlgood wrote:Also, kind of a minor point, but I was really disappointed that they cut out;
Spoiler:
Rue's district sending Katniss a gift. It both underlines how unique she was as a contestant, and how strongly she was undermining the Capitol.

Agreed. That was one of the most subtly powerful moments in the book. Though, I understand why they cut it...
Spoiler:
They already had a lot of exposition to pack in, working in the setup for how she recognizes that the bread is from District 11 would have been really awkward. I don't think a District 11 riot was really the best choice as a replacement, though...

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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:01 pm UTC

I think she handled dramatic things well, crying and looking scared and such, but didn't handle the scene in the cave with much nuance. Maybe my expectations are unreasonable though.

As for District 11;
Spoiler:
They didn't neccesarily need to have the recognition of bread be a thing; they could have just included a note, something to the tune of 'District 11 thanks you on Rue's behalf', and a cut to Stanley Tucci saying 'This is the first time a district has ever given another districts tribute support!'. Showing District 11 rioting was of course one way of handling it, and showing Katniss saluting, and them saluting DOES indicate that there's some degree of camaraderie against the Capital. So, meh. I liked the bread gift more than what was shown, but at least they showed something


As for the race thing, I'm... disappointed... in people... again.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby quantumcat42 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:12 pm UTC

That suggested handling of the District 11 stuff would have been better, definitely. She could still have followed that with the salute, and all of the awesome would be there in one place.

The issue with the cave scenes is
Spoiler:
the disconnect between what her character is feeling, and the show her character is putting on for the Capitol's cameras. I don't recall having a problem with how she portrayed that -- IIRC she tended to err on the side of showing the difficulty Katniss had acting the role of girl-in-love rather than letting Katniss give a flawless performance for the potential sponsors. I thought that was a fine way to go with it, but YMMV.

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Re: Hunger Games

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:52 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I guess what was missing was the urgency of the performance, and the juxtoposition of the fact that Peeta once saved her life by throwing her intentionally burnt bread. They kind of glossed over the bread thing, and barely even indicated that Peeta risked his own ass to get a loaf of bread to her. This was partially lost because the movie didn't really convey how starved District 12 was; in the beginning, we see a singular scene of a scrubby old dude gnawing on some bones, but that doesn't really indicate that they're starving, especially considering Katniss, Gale, Prim, the mother, and... everyone else in District 12, looks kind of dirty, but not starved. Poor, but not destitute. So the scenes of the rain and the bread just look like Peeta threw a sleepy Katniss a loaf of burnt bread, and we were given one or two lines about how Katniss remembered it.

So what comes off, is Peeta making some play about pretending to be in love with Katniss to garner support, Katniss kind of figures it out and gets on board, and then puts on a mild act to go along with it and help him out. I wasn't under the impression that she was conflicted about it, just that she's a decent person who wants to see the fewest lives lost and saw her semi-buddy hurt, so helped him. I mean, she only kills defensively. Her being conflicted about Peeta though is something pretty tricky to convey over the scope of the film, short of showing, perhaps, twinges of jealousy in the right circumstance. But I dunno, I didn't even feel like Peeta assuredly had feelings for her.


It didn't help that no one in the film looked starving.
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Re: Hunger Games

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:18 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
I guess what was missing was the urgency of the performance, and the juxtoposition of the fact that Peeta once saved her life by throwing her intentionally burnt bread. They kind of glossed over the bread thing, and barely even indicated that Peeta risked his own ass to get a loaf of bread to her. This was partially lost because the movie didn't really convey how starved District 12 was; in the beginning, we see a singular scene of a scrubby old dude gnawing on some bones, but that doesn't really indicate that they're starving, especially considering Katniss, Gale, Prim, the mother, and... everyone else in District 12, looks kind of dirty, but not starved. Poor, but not destitute. So the scenes of the rain and the bread just look like Peeta threw a sleepy Katniss a loaf of burnt bread, and we were given one or two lines about how Katniss remembered it.


It didn't help that no one in the film looked starving.


Having seen the movie before I started reading the books, I interpreted the bread scene in the movie completely differently from how it is written in the books

Spoiler:
From the movie, the impression I got was that Katniss was resentful that he was throwing the bread to the pigs, and then in the mud, rather than giving it to her. Especially since, in the first couple of times they do that flashback, it doesn't show him giving her the bread at all, but only on him feeding the pigs. I think it's on the third iteration of that flashback in the movie that it shows him throwing her the bread.

In the book, it's clear that she is very grateful and considers herself deeply indebted to him for giving her the bread, and that he did so at significant risk to himself, and later finds the obligation quite troubling, especially in light of the fact that there is a possibility that she may have to kill him.


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