I’m reading Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children. I know it’s kind of weird to start a review of a book by talking about a completely unrelated one but I was reading Stead’s book. And still am. And because it’s a heavy book, I needed somerthing a little less heavy to balance out the reading load. And so I turned from a book about a family to a book where kids kill each other.
That doesn’t sound quite right either, does it? But compared to The Man Who Loved Children, The Hunger Games is a light book. It’s a quick easy read and despite the dystopian world, the fight for survival, the fact that involves kids trying to stay alive, it somehow rested easier on me than the other.
The Hunger Games was a quick read. It was a pretty interesting one too. But I couldn’t help but think of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery as well as that Japanese film Battle Royale (which is itself based on Battle Royale: The Novel by Koushun Takami, which I have not read). And feel that I’d already read/watched a rather similar story before.
Still The Hunger Games was entertaining. Again that doesn’t sound right. Should a book where kids’ deaths are televised, are entertainment, be an entertaining read? How about if I call it an absorbing read? That sounds better. It was an absorbing read. It didn’t make fireworks go off in my head the way that Connie Willis’ Passage did, but that’s ok. Fireworks don’t have to go off all the time, that’s what makes it special. However, reading The Hunger Games made me want to read the second book, Catching Fire, which I happen to have on my shelf (the final book, Mockingjay, will be out in August). But first I need to get back to The Man Who Loved Children.