Last year I made a vow with my girlfriend not to watch any movies without reading the book first. I made an error on that with the first season of Game of Thrones, but made that up by reading the second book before seeing the second season of the series! Now last year there was this movie called “The Hunger Games” getting pretty decent reviews. I wanted to go see it but my girlfriend was all like: “no you have to read the book first!”. After protesting she helped me remember the vow so next thing I did was to order the book. But it wasn’t just one book, but a complete trilogy! Here we go again I thought.. (remembering the Game of Thrones book series I’m not even halfway in yet).
One week later the trilogy box arrives at my door. Each of the three books over 400 pages. I wonder how long it would take me this time to get through them all… nonetheless after I started reading I noticed it read pretty fast. In the time it took me to read 10 pages in Game of Thrones, I had read 30 in The Hunger Games… I liked!
The story takes you to the post-apocalyptic land of Panem that is divided between 12 districts and The Capitol. For the entertainment of the Capitol each district is yearly forced to send two children to the Hunger Games where they have to fight until there’s only one survivor. We follow Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark from district 12 as they are sent to the Capitol and pitted against the other districts tributes and eventually against each other.
I found that I quickly got attached to the main characters as the story went along. Even though it’s a children’s book and it’s fairly simple writing with only one viewpoint, there are a few passages in the book that I’ll always remember and are a real piece of art. I will not spoil it to you by telling you about those moments but one, if not the most prominent is where she loses a friend. That’s all I’m going to say about it.
Anyway when I was nearing the end of the first book, I was thinking what could be in the other books that followed. Not another Hunger Game I hoped? That would be too odd… or not? We’ll see… I tell you this: the other books deal with the consequences of the first book.
So after reading book 1 I also went to see the movie which was a little disappointing to be honest. Everything was a lot less spectacular than in the books. You’d think there are enough computer techniques to make everything as spectacular as in the books right? Well they didn’t.
I’ll give you a few examples, keep in mind these are how I imagined it before, so you may have a different perspective on this :
- the Capitol in the movie only seems like a small town with a few towers instead of the metropolis I pictured it to be…
- Peeta seemed much smaller in the movies. I had imagined him to be a tall bakers boy.
- The costumes at the ceremony, you call that fire?
- The arena itself with the horn. In my eyes the horn was a lot bigger and especially more spectacular, not just a tent on a camping site…
- Where was the lake in the arena??
- Haymitch’s casting…
I think everyone has these remarks after watching a movie of which you’ve read the book first right? There were a few things I did like though :
- The casting of Cinna, Rue, Tresh, Katniss, Effie, Snow
- The reactions in the districts after watching the games
- behind the scenes with Seneca Crane and Snow
In the end I have to admit I can only recommend anyone to read all the books; Third book being the least good in my opinion but nonetheless still remarkable!
Did you watch the movie and read the book too? Which one did you prefer? And in what order? Perhaps there are other movies of which you’ve read the books first?
Oh! And may the odds be ever in your favour!