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The oracular beard with Jared Conti

By Jared Conti in Arts & Entertainment

April 5, 2012

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Hatin’ on the Hunger Games

This is no lie: I woke up twenty minutes ago from a dream or a nightmare, but I wasn’t sure which. Please, let me explain. In it, I was in this fugue state where I was stuck on a roof, unable to figure out some secret code where I could advance to the next level. Though this happens nowhere in the book The Hunger Games, it happened again and again, and I couldn’t mind my way out.

This is also no lie: I hated The Hunger Games. Please, let me explain.

I can’t, though. I wish I could, but there’s nothing I can say that can satiate my hatred for this book. And no, please, I don’t want to read the other two books in the series to understand what’s really happening to Kantiss and the rest of District 12.

What is supposed to be a tour-de-force reading experience couldn’t get me 150 pages to the actual “games,” let alone through a mix of unwitting murder and mayhem.  The plot was threadbare, with plenty of strings left for other books because you get all wrapped up in foreshadowing that oughta show up in the book, but is going to hem and haw around for another two installments before really getting to the meat of it.

You could say the novel was beneath me (though it was) because of the Young Adult themes and reading levels, yet again, that would have been just one of the downfalls. I’ve read plenty of YA (still a kid, remember) and a lot of which were within the post-apocalyptic genre. The end of the world couldn’t come too soon for Kantiss and friends because there never was an actual end. What brought about this backward civilization where people suffer needlessly? They can’t even throw us a bone.

The verdict is still out on the movie. I’ve heard it sticks pretty well to the book, and though movies based on books normally go kaput, but I’d be happy to see something better than what I’ve read. If this is how series and trilogies are going from book to movie to put more money in someone else’s pocket, I don’t want a part of it. Can’t we just add a coupla pages and call it one-and-done? Can I get three hours of my life back? Can I please have another dream from which to wake up from?

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