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Posts Tagged ‘Past-Tense Narration’

(Here be spoilers! )

After weeks of hearing my lady’s enthusiastic recommendations of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy, I finally started it last week, and at every reading opportunity I’ve had since then I’ve torn through the first book like a genetically-engineered wolf-person tearing through a poverty-stricken teenager.  The book is mighty-fine pulp: cynical but not hopeless; mercilessly violent yet deeply compassionate; lean but not scrawny.

The biggest question I had throughout the book was, “This book’s supposed to be class warfare, right?”  Which is not necessarily a criticism.  Normally I wouldn’t condone fanning the flames of class warfare, but in a sense, most satire is class warfare, and satire is always necessary.  The Hunger Games is a vicious, occasionally comic satire of the ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots, and like some of its ancestors (1984, Idiocracy), it often feels frighteningly inevitable.  Since it was written and published well before “class warfare” became a hot topic again, you can’t really criticize it for bandwagon-hopping or shameless zeitgeist-mining.  The book’s disdain for the cruelty that festers in widening class-gaps is timeless; it was only a matter of time before its scorn became relevant again, when, say, a billionaire mayor bullied Occupy Wall Street protesters from their tents instead of, you know, maybe passing a few more laws that might actually help the unfairly impoverished and punish the unfairly wealthy.

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