Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Top Ten Books Read in 2012, #4

So #4 was probably one of the biggest clean books (down with the smut!) of 2012, even though it was published a few years earlier. This was due in large part to Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games being brought to the big screen.

In our most popular guest post and second most popular post all time, our friend Katherine spoke about it here.

As for me, it takes me a week or two to read a book of fiction. I read Collins' dystopian teenage drama in less than 24 hours. I couldn't put it down. I was surprised the way it sparked my reading.

The concept is both apropos and scary at the same time. It takes the culture of death that has been invading our national culture and brings it to the end game. Children are put on national display in a contest to kill each other. You can tell that the hunger is not just for food but for true freedom, which from all quarters is sorely lacking. In the outlying districts they are enslaved to work and production. In the Capital they are enslaved to pleasure. It is overall a quite depressing book.

All this is played out in the confused life of Katniss Everdeen. She herself seeks freedom but can never find it. All she see is predetermined ends. In the end, she exerts her free will to disrupt the 'tradition' of the Hunger Games and awakes in the hearts of many a desire for the freedom she exhibited.

It has some food for thought from a Catholic perspective. It asked all the right questions, but where Collins failed is she never provided answers. More questions occurred and no answers were forthcoming. Even if her answers were wrong, bringing up the right questions would have still made for a satisfying book.

It was fast paced and like a speed boat never entered the depths. This is made even more evident in the second and third book of the series. Nonetheless, this book caught me off guard and hit me square in the shin (which when I read it had metal sticking out it). I couldn't ignore its profundity even it never realized it itself.

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