The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (unabridged audiobook read by Carolyn McCormick; 11 hours 11 minutes on 9 discs): In a kind of Battle Royale-meets-The Running Man-type setting, each of the twelve districts in what used to be the United States must submit two randomly-selected teenage tributes – one boy and one girl – to the annual Hunger Games, where they fight to the death until only one remains. The story starts on Reaping Day (the day the tributes’ names are drawn) and ends when the victor returns home. Our narrator, Katniss, volunteers to be a tribute for District 12 (somewhere in the West Virginia area, I think) when the name of her younger sister is chosen. Since she’s the one telling the story you can be reasonably sure she won’t die, but it’s still quite gripping as you follow her fight for survival. There was a good balance between the drama of the games and Katniss’s confused emotions as a sort-of love triangle emerges. Never a dull moment. Can’t wait to find out what happens next.

A note on the audio: McCormick was great, using subtle but distinct voices for each character. I especially enjoyed her version of Haymitch, and I look forward to her interpretation of the other books in the trilogy. And for some reason, even though I knew she was supposed to be an olive-skinned brunette, I kept picturing Katniss as Atlanta Silverstone. I don’t know if this is because of the character or the narrator, but that’s how it is.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. Why am I hesitating to read these books? I’ve heard nothing but good about them! Your review is another nudge for me. :)

    Hope you’ll check out my review:

    Cindy at Cindy’s Book Club

  2. A very intense book, while not a new concept in the genre it is told very well. Every book out there now is about vampires and people with special powers, Katniss the main character is just a normal person with skills anyone could learn. The characters are well developed, better than any shimmering vampire or hairy werewolf. The quality of this story is amazing, and the qualities displayed by its characters could teach us something.

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