"The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins.
This is the book Meredith and Francie have been after me to read. The book I have avoided because I’m leery of people saying I HAVE to read it. The surly, Irish girl in me who distrusts authority and groups of people dug my heels in. I don’t HAVE to do anything.
Then my favorite podcast Too Beautiful to Live (or TBTL) brought back their Summer Book Club and chose “The Hunger Games.” I took it as a sign, and checked it out from the library.
I could not put this book down. I pretty much read it in a day, and it was hard to put the book down and go to bed. It is not high brow literature, but man, it is a great read. I cannot recommend this book enough.
The scary thing about this book - it not hard to imagine something like this happening. With food prices rising, the economy in the toilet - this book makes a strong argument for taking a survivalist class or to learn how to bow hunt. Let me boil it down for you.
There’s been another civil war in the U.S., this time over food. Now, the capitol is in what I’m guessing Denver, the country is called Panem, and food is even more scarce. The powers-that-be like to remind all the Districts (there are 13, but the 13th, was bombed off the face of the earth) that they are still in control, and therefore hold a lottery every year. The names of all children from ages 12 to 18 in the Districts are placed into the lottery. A male and female representative are chosen, they go off to an outdoor arena (a different climate and terrain every year) and fight to the death against representatives of the other districts.
That’s right, to the death. Oh - and it’s televised.
The winner gets food for the rest of their life.
The blending of rural life and high tech surveillance paints a very real picture of life in future where food is a precious commodity. Of course, there are richer districts with better training, better health care, better schooling - basically the same issues we face today. But in this scenario, life and death is a little more obvious than what we see today.
I’m on the list at the library for the second book, and I will be joining the live broadcast of the book club discussing the book today at 5 p.m. Pacific Time (that’s 7 p.m. my time).
Next up: “Flowers for Algernon,” by Daniel Keyes.