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#1 Posted by Nonused (216 posts) -

I hadn't really been paying attention to these books/movies before watching both Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Now I kinda want to read ahead. I certainly look forward to the next couple of movies. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them and realized that maybe it's because I was lured into the whole "Battle Royale did it first" circle that my friends are so privy towards. Now I know never to trust my friends ever again.

But what about you? Did you give the series a shot? If so, did you like it? If you didn't, are you a fascist?

#2 Posted by captain_max707 (490 posts) -

I read the first book, and I did not like it at all.

#3 Posted by development (2368 posts) -

Saw that first movie and couldn't believe how boring and lifeless it was. Never read the books. Don't get the hype, at least for that first movie.

#4 Posted by DonChipotle (2768 posts) -

I've only seen the movies and both of them are incredibly boring.

#5 Posted by Armoes (64 posts) -

I haven't read the books or seen the movie. But I should watch the movie - it was on Netflix last time I checked. Too busy killing time online or playing games when I'm not at work I guess.

#6 Posted by icecreamcohn (27 posts) -

I read the first book. I have the other two sitting next me, but I will not be reading them.

I feel she justs adds so much drama for the sake of drama.

#7 Edited by Quid_Pro_Bono (285 posts) -

I also had the "Battle Royale did it first" thought coming into it, but I read the first book on a whim and then read the next two in like three days. I'm of the opinion that they are seriously good YA novels - don't expect them to be on the level of higher literature obviously - but they're entertaining and compelling, with a very good lead character. Katniss is written very well and deals with violence more humanely than most characters, even when shooting kids with arrows. I'm not much of a book snob - I like entertaining or thought provoking books - and I certainly won't tell you the movies are worse because as far as the first goes I'd say it's on par. But they're certainly worth reading.

Although they get a little heavy into the romance triangle in the second and third for my liking.

Edit: Holy crap it looks I'm the dissenting opinion here! Had no idea popular opinion was so polarized against this series.

#8 Edited by SecondPersonShooter (618 posts) -

I read all three of the books, as well as the novel Battle Royale years before, and honestly they are quite different.

I would like to just say Battle Royale is better and leave it at that, but that's not exactly true. The Hunger Games tries to build a much more intricate universe and lore than Battle Royale, and while

The Hunger Games is weighed down by a bunch of Twilighty bullshit with the main character constantly inner-monologuing about which of the two hot guys she finds to be better husband-material, the third book in the series is really quite good, and kind of worth reading the two more mediocre novels just to get to that part. The finale of the trilogy really defies any expectations of how you thought it would go, and manages to leave on a really poignant note that kind of transcends what the books had been for that point

I've also seen the first two movies, and in a rare exception to the rule I would say that the movies are far, far better than the first two books. Specifically the second one, which manages to take ideas that come off as incredibly stupid in the novel and actually deliver them as bout as well as they could dramatically. The ending is still some hot trash, but at least it gets like 15 minutes of concentration in the movie instead of the one-and-a-half pages it gets in the book.

Everything about The Hunger Games is completely enjoyable and it will definitely keep your attention. It's the kind of thing where you have to be willing to read something worse than what you probably could be reading just to partake in the discussion and pop culture of it, so if that sounds fun to you, go for it.


Edit- Actually, I think the best course of action is to watch the first two movies, and then just read the third book, Mockingjay, which borders on being a great book

#9 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (285 posts) -
#10 Edited by SecondPersonShooter (618 posts) -

@quid_pro_bono: No prob bro, seems like we have generally the same consensus about it. I do think Mockingjay is a pretty good book and transcends the quality of the previous two books.

#11 Edited by DonChipotle (2768 posts) -

If Battle Royale did it first, did The Running Man do it before first?

#12 Posted by Red (5995 posts) -

I have about the same opinion as the OP, although I remember trying to read the books a few years ago and couldn't get into them at all. I had to listen to huge chunks of the third one on a road trip once, and I remember really hating it, but after seeing the films I kind of want to try to pick them up again.

The movies are pretty good, barring the typical YA adaptation problems (the love triangle stuff feels forced, and it seems they cast Peeta with the only guy in the world who couldn't have chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence), but they're solid, interesting films. Far better than most other teen sensations, to be sure.

#13 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (285 posts) -

@secondpersonshooter: I'd agree with that. I just was disappointed that the love triangle got SO heavy in those second two books. I felt like it was more of an underlying concern to Katniss in the first. But in the second it's practically the entire story, and in the third it's constantly looming. I just didn't care much for that plot thread - it felt shoehorned in to compete with Twilight, as you mentioned.

#14 Edited by SecondPersonShooter (618 posts) -

@secondpersonshooter: I'd agree with that. I just was disappointed that the love triangle got SO heavy in those second two books. I felt like it was more of an underlying concern to Katniss in the first. But in the second it's practically the entire story, and in the third it's constantly looming. I just didn't care much for that plot thread - it felt shoehorned in to compete with Twilight, as you mentioned.

It's atrociously bad in the second book, and I think that book is pretty hateable because of it. But by the third book, everybody is so fucked up and traumatized that the romances actually become interesting, and there's a real "everybody-loses" theme attached to the entire thing. I guess I just thought the romance was pretty well handled in the third book after doing it in the worst possible way in the second.

#15 Edited by 49th (2763 posts) -

I read the books after seeing the first film and enjoyed them, although I agree with above that the love triangle thing really starts to grate. Katniss is constantly thinking about it - I don't know if that's just how girl brain works but it got fairly annoying when all these people are dying around her and all she can think about is who loves her the most or whatever. It's still a fun read although the ending isn't great either.

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#16 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -

@secondpersonshooter: Before describing something as twilight esque bullshit, it might help if you actually read twilight. The love triangle in Hunger Games is the best fucking romcom in the world compared to twilight.

Also I think Mockingjay is the worst, if only because it's written so poorly that I didn't even realize Katniss's sister died until the wrap up, and it was way overloaded in general (which is why I think the third book being two movies will help immensely).

Anyway, obviously OP I like the books. They ain't Harry Potter, but they're fun books.

#17 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4683 posts) -

I seen the first movie and liked it.

#18 Posted by Devil240Z (3383 posts) -

Theres a series of games called "Hunger"? never played em.

#19 Edited by Encephalon (1266 posts) -

I waded into the first one but found the prose to be a bit clumsy. Also, I don't think I ever fully bought into the main premise. I'm still not entirely convinced of the state's rationale behind running the Hunger Games, but I suppose it solves the age-old YA problem of how to make a handful of teenagers the most important figures in the world.

#20 Posted by MB (12479 posts) -

I listened to the unabridged audiobook of the first in the series when I was on a long flight. Not a fan. Maybe if I read it way back when I was 14 I would have liked it.

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#21 Posted by SecondPersonShooter (618 posts) -

@animasta: Fuck man, that may be the first legitimate burn I've ever gotten from someone for not reading Twilight.

#22 Edited by mlarrabee (2967 posts) -

I bought the first book at the airport and read three chapters before stowing it in my bag. I gave it away shortly after.

It was ruined by too many sentence fragments, an overly theatrical style, an extremely unconvincing foundation, and an honest-to-goodness clerical error (within the first three chapters, in a legitimate edition).

#23 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

I read the first book and it was kind of OK. Not great, but not terrible. I started reading the second book, but the introduction is so plodding that I didn't really feel like bothering with it at the time. I'm going to be one of those assholes that says that Battle Royale is better.

A friend of mine has read all three books, and while she likes the first two, the third is, in her opinion, poor. The plot and characters go straight off the rails, to hear her speak of it. It'll be interesting to see how they adapt it into the two movies they're planning.

#24 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3440 posts) -

You know what they call The Hunger Games in real life?

The Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest

#25 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

It's better than Twilight, far from being great.

#26 Posted by VeggiesBro (132 posts) -

I've been enjoying it so far... Though i've only been watching the movies to date. Doubt i'll read the books.

#27 Posted by ajamafalous (12007 posts) -

I watched the first movie on Netflix a couple weeks ago.

I did not enjoy it. I went in optimistic, but I thought it was very boring and cliche as hell. Definitely obvious that it's a young-adult book.

#28 Posted by TheHT (11362 posts) -

I do. I've only seen the first movie though. It's like Battle Royale, but not as awesome, and with a sequel that doesn't look like ass, so maybe more awesome in the long run.

No interest in reading it though. Pfft. Reading.

#29 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@theht said:

I do. I've only seen the first movie though. It's like Battle Royale, but not as awesome, and with a sequel that doesn't look like ass, so maybe more awesome in the long run.

No interest in reading it though. Pfft. Reading.

In fairness to Battle Royale, the second movie wasn't based on any book and had a directorial change part-way through when Kinji Fukasaku died during production. When judging Hunger Games against BR, BR2 shouldn't be part of the discussion.

#30 Posted by Redbullet685 (6045 posts) -

Really, really liked the first book, never finished the second and never attempted the third. Hated the first movie and haven't seen the second. So really I just like that first book and lets leave it at that.

#31 Edited by chrismafuchris (1088 posts) -

I read the first book in 8th grade and thought it was entertaining, but I had no interest in continuing after that. It baffles me how the series has kind of become this whole trans-media thing. I get that kids like it, but I can't understand why moms in their 40s would be into it, but I suppose moms reading books meant for teen girls is a whole 'nother can of worms.

#32 Posted by TheHT (11362 posts) -

@hailinel: Well in that case, it still may be more awesome in the long run.

#33 Edited by Sackmanjones (4711 posts) -

Holy shit, pretty surprised that there is pretty much all negative comments here. I liked the first movie and thought the second was even better. Never got to the books but ice never been much of a reader.

#34 Posted by Animasta (14697 posts) -

@animasta: Fuck man, that may be the first legitimate burn I've ever gotten from someone for not reading Twilight.

I'm just saying, it's like... comparing aliens: colonial marines to, say, blackwater. Sure, Aliens is a bad game, but Blackwater is such a bad game that it makes Aliens seem downright competent.

#35 Edited by Barrock (3536 posts) -

@animasta said:

@secondpersonshooter: Before describing something as twilight esque bullshit, it might help if you actually read twilight. The love triangle in Hunger Games is the best fucking romcom in the world compared to twilight.

Also I think Mockingjay is the worst, if only because it's written so poorly that I didn't even realize Katniss's sister died until the wrap up, and it was way overloaded in general (which is why I think the third book being two movies will help immensely).

Anyway, obviously OP I like the books. They ain't Harry Potter, but they're fun books.

Yeah Mockingjay felt insanely rushed. Things that could've been given an entire chapter pushed into a sentence.

#36 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (1113 posts) -

The Battle Royal film is better than the Hunger Games film in my opinion. (Talking about the first films, haven't seen Catching Fire or BR2)

I haven't gotten around to reading the BR novel, so I can't fairly take a side on which book series is best.

#37 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4362 posts) -

Saw that first movie and couldn't believe how boring and lifeless it was. Never read the books. Don't get the hype, at least for that first movie.

I watched the first movie on Netflix a couple weeks ago.

I did not enjoy it. I went in optimistic, but I thought it was very boring and cliche as hell. Definitely obvious that it's a young-adult book.

#38 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3345 posts) -

No, but I've only seen the movie, and in that, the world felt paper thin.

#39 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5584 posts) -

I found the first movie somewhere between boring and mildly entertaining, edging more toward the former.

#40 Posted by Hunter5024 (5702 posts) -

I went in to the first movie knowing basically nothing about it and ended up liking it. Teenagers killing each other? Hell yeah! It was far from perfect, but I had a good time. I'll probably see the next movie. Though I doubt I'll ever get the books, I've heard that it reads like a first or second draft.

I thought about watching Battle Royale but a friend of mine who knows me pretty well said that I wouldn't like it because it's basically torture porn, which I hate, and because the character stuff is less fleshed out, which sounds lame. Can't say though, never watched it.

#41 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Not enough face and neck stabbing.

#42 Edited by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

I went in to the first movie knowing basically nothing about it and ended up liking it. Teenagers killing each other? Hell yeah! It was far from perfect, but I had a good time. I'll probably see the next movie. Though I doubt I'll ever get the books, I've heard that it reads like a first or second draft.

I thought about watching Battle Royale but a friend of mine who knows me pretty well said that I wouldn't like it because it's basically torture porn, which I hate, and because the character stuff is less fleshed out, which sounds lame. Can't say though, never watched it.

It's really not torture porn. Violent and graphic yes, but it's not Saw-levels of grotesque.

As for the characters, the novel switches between all of the various students from chapter to chapter. It's more about the variety of reactions the students have to their situations that drives the story while giving the most focus to the protagonist as someone to rally behind. The movie is in some ways the same, depicting the horrors of the class as a whole.

The problem with The Hunger Games, in my view, is that by focusing on Katniss, who is a dreadfully dull protagonist (the books are written from Katniss's viewpoint, and she is a terribly unimaginative narrator), the world and characters as presented in the books are overlysimplistic. And the focus on Katniss renders most of the other competitors to either cardboard nonentities or caricatures. Battle Royale at least gives enough meat to each of the students to present an idea of what they're like, even if the only time we're ever in a particular student's shoes is by the time she's been driven stark raving mad.

#43 Edited by Hunter5024 (5702 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@hunter5024 said:

I went in to the first movie knowing basically nothing about it and ended up liking it. Teenagers killing each other? Hell yeah! It was far from perfect, but I had a good time. I'll probably see the next movie. Though I doubt I'll ever get the books, I've heard that it reads like a first or second draft.

I thought about watching Battle Royale but a friend of mine who knows me pretty well said that I wouldn't like it because it's basically torture porn, which I hate, and because the character stuff is less fleshed out, which sounds lame. Can't say though, never watched it.

It's really not torture porn. Violent and graphic yes, but it's not Saw-levels of grotesque.

As for the characters, the novel switches between all of the various students from chapter to chapter. It's more about the variety of reactions the students have to their situations that drives the story while giving the most focus to the protagonist as someone to rally behind. The movie is in some ways the same, depicting the horrors of the class as a whole.

The problem with The Hunger Games, in my view, is that by focusing on Katniss, who is a dreadfully dull protagonist (the books are written from Katniss's viewpoint, and she is a terribly unimaginative narrator). And the focus on Katniss renders most of the other competitors to either cardboard nonentities or caricatures. Battle Royale at least gives enough meat to each of the students to present an idea of what they're like, even if the only time we're ever in a particular student's shoes is by the time she's been driven stark raving mad.

Well that certainly sounds better than my friend claimed. If I ever see it I'll let you know whether or not I agree. Did you see The Hunger Games film or just read the book? I didn't really find Katniss particularly interesting, though I wouldn't say boring either, and I felt like a couple of the characters aside from her were kinda cool. I liked whoever Woody Harrelson was. Didn't read the book though.

#44 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@hunter5024 said:

I went in to the first movie knowing basically nothing about it and ended up liking it. Teenagers killing each other? Hell yeah! It was far from perfect, but I had a good time. I'll probably see the next movie. Though I doubt I'll ever get the books, I've heard that it reads like a first or second draft.

I thought about watching Battle Royale but a friend of mine who knows me pretty well said that I wouldn't like it because it's basically torture porn, which I hate, and because the character stuff is less fleshed out, which sounds lame. Can't say though, never watched it.

It's really not torture porn. Violent and graphic yes, but it's not Saw-levels of grotesque.

As for the characters, the novel switches between all of the various students from chapter to chapter. It's more about the variety of reactions the students have to their situations that drives the story while giving the most focus to the protagonist as someone to rally behind. The movie is in some ways the same, depicting the horrors of the class as a whole.

The problem with The Hunger Games, in my view, is that by focusing on Katniss, who is a dreadfully dull protagonist (the books are written from Katniss's viewpoint, and she is a terribly unimaginative narrator). And the focus on Katniss renders most of the other competitors to either cardboard nonentities or caricatures. Battle Royale at least gives enough meat to each of the students to present an idea of what they're like, even if the only time we're ever in a particular student's shoes is by the time she's been driven stark raving mad.

Well that certainly sounds better than my friend claimed. If I ever see it I'll let you know whether or not I agree. Did you see The Hunger Games film or just read the book? I didn't really find Katniss particularly interesting, though I wouldn't say boring either, and I felt like a couple of the characters aside from her were kinda cool. I liked whoever Woody Harrelson was. Didn't read the book though.

I both read The Hunger Games and watched the movie.

#45 Edited by Ezekiel (461 posts) -

It was disappointing to find out that it's a series when I finished reading the first book, since I'm not much of a reader. It was okay. I liked it, but not enough to read two more which had mixed receptions. I might watch the movies when they're done, though.

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#46 Posted by bmehlers (130 posts) -

I really liked the movies, especially Catching Fire.

#47 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

I like Jennifer Lawrence...like too much.

So that means I will continue to sucker anyone and everyone to support these sub-par movies

#48 Posted by Hunter5024 (5702 posts) -

@hailinel: I was gonna say that maybe the secondary characters held up better due to the shorter time span of a movie, but their goes that theory.

#49 Posted by Karkarov (3131 posts) -

The books are okay, they aren't going to win any real awards but they aren't bad. This is not Battle Royale, they really are ultimately different and the central story of Hunger Games is trying to do more with it's world. In fact the games honestly only felt "central" to the story in the first book and in the second was more of a backdrop to the reality that was going on outside of them. The third book in the end will either be the best or worst depending on your view. It is a little all over the place and honestly tries to cram more into it than actually happens in both the first two books combined without actually using more words and it doesn't "really" pull it off. That said the third book also has more interesting plot, surprise twists, and genuine "shock" style moments than both the other two books as well.

I haven't seen the second movie yet, but based on what I have heard they did better with it than they did the first movie. So honestly unless you are a big reader if you are interested in the story... I would sort of advise just sticking with the movies.

#50 Edited by Marz (5654 posts) -

I like the movies, helps that i'm also attracted to Jennifer Lawrence.