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Posts Tagged ‘Reading is Fun’

Book XXV: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, 2008, 374 pages

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope…I wonder if she will enjoy watching me die.”  These two lines should set the tone and mindset for the entire novel.  In The Hunger Games Collins tells the tale of a dark future for man kind in which the divisions between the haves and have nots are great and control is instilled with fear.  Just like its predecessors, 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Hunger Games paints a picture of complete class control with little upward mobility for those of the lower ranks.  I for one can never get enough of these tales of warning of future Utopian societies based solely on the disappearance of the individual for the good of the whole.   Collins designs on paper what is to look like a rather civilized society. that is until the reader finds out that once a year an event takes place that involves children from age 12-18 fighting each other in an arena to the death until only one remains for the entertainment of the entire civilization.

For me the novel plays with the age old idea behind a mob killing.  The atrocity of taking a human life and especially that of a child is naturally appalling, but work it into a popular entertainment format and instill fear into the people who oppose it and all of a sudden it becomes a yearly celebrated tradition.  If one should take anything from The Hunger Games it is that if something seems inherently wrong to a person then that person should do everything in his power to stop it even if it costs said person’s life.   I have read way too many of these works and have traced them all to a future we are all headed to if changes are not made soon.

As far as the work itself goes I must say that I found the story to be written at a very easy level of literacy.  Since the book was geared to a younger audience and a less educated reader then myself I will let it slide.  On another note considering the narrative is written in first person from the mouth of an impoverished, poorly educated 16 year old girl the wording makes perfect sense.   My final thought is that it was 1984 meets “The Running Man” only with out a bad performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I guess Hollywood produced from what I heard a pretty shitty movie of the same title on this book.  All things considered it was a fast read that I did enjoy.  If you want some good beach reading The Hunger Games is just that.

For our next book, XXVI lets go back to some higher order literature and enjoy The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain.  Happy reading everyone.

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Book XI: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens, first published serially 1837, 601 pages

It always comes back to Dickens for me.  By far I would have to say he is one of my favorite authors to ever hold a pen.  His wit and portrayal of characters is unsurpassed.   I really did want to wait a while before introducing another Dickens novel to the club with Great Expectations only just recently being entered, but my desire to read more of his work overtook my zeal for variety.  Oliver twist is one of his darker novels as far as looking into the despicable nature of the human soul.  Go out grab a copy and lets wrap out minds into yet another literary masterpiece.  I lost my tattered thrift store copy and had to go out and buy one at a real book store and still it only costs me $5.  I bought that and a blank journal and the blank journal cost thrice a great work in human literature.

Summary of Book X: Lord of the flies 

If you missed Lord of the Flies I would definitely recommend picking up a copy, although from the feed back I have gotten it appears that I am the only person in the America who did not read the book in 8th grade.  All I can say is it is a powerfully disturbing tale of human nature in its ugliest form.  Its all of 200 pages, you can read that on two train commutes, pick up and see for yourself.

This has nothing to do with Charles Dickens, Lord of the Flies or Oliver Twist but I thought it was a pretty thought provoking picture. "Talk amongst yourselves".

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Book X: Lord of the Flies, William Golding, first published in 1954, 202 pages

I know I should have read this book back in like the eighth or ninth grade.  Some how though it slipped by me being it probably was not required reading and at which time I was all about the dime novel series The Hardy Boys.  Lord of the Flies is a work that I have avoided reading for a long time mostly because  I had a pretty good notion of what the plot was about thanks to various TV and movie spin offs of the novel.  Whenever such is the case I am always hesitant to read the book for fear of my imagination being corrupted by one of these aforementioned sources.  Ade’s found a copy being thrown away at the local art museum where she teaches at risk kids art two nights a week.  I figured it was about time to give it a read.  its fairly easy reading similar to our last book Peer Gynt, which I can only hope any one who keeps up with the book club has long since finished.

Summary of Book IX: Peer Gynt

I went into Ibsen’s Peer Gynt not quite knowing what to expect from the renowned Norwegian playwright.  Turns out I found the play to be a great read borderline profound.  The book’s take on the afterlife is very interesting and its guidelines on living as well.  At times a bit tough to follow Peer Gynt keeps you guessing on the outcome all the way till the end where you will never expect what happens.  If you missed it the first time around I strongly recommend picking it up.  Its a 160 page play that is an easy read.  Give it a shot I promise you wont be sorry.

Where is the Lord of theses Flies?

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