labingi: (ivan)
[personal profile] labingi
I have a review/reflection on The Hunger Games up at The Geek Girl Project. Here's a teaser...

I have just become the billionth person to read The Hunger Games, and I have found it perfect. It is a book with no mistakes, a monument to every rule of popular fiction craft that writers workshops teach.

If you read English, it’s virtually certain you know what The Hunger Games is about, but to recap just in case: it’s about a young woman who is forced to fight to the death against other teens in a sport designed to entertain the elites and degrade the peasants. Suzanne Collins executes this narrative with a tiger-eye for popular science fiction best practice...

Read more, no heavy spoilers

Date: 2012-10-06 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] louderandlouder
I enjoyed the movie because it's exactly the feminist YA text I've dreamed of, so I tried to read the book and was actively turned off by the prose -- though I think we actually agree on the point of prose transparency; there's really nothing there.

I do recognize what you're describing from other reading experiences and think this is a sparkling critique of a certain kind of work.

Date: 2012-10-06 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] louderandlouder
Yeah, it's definitely true that I prioritize prose highly. And you're probably right that I've enjoyed a lot of skillfully styled but otherwise flat stuff that a more character-oriented reader wouldn't. I've always considered myself a very character-oriented reader, but I think you're much more so (ditto with worldbuilding). Indeed, we often have very different priorities as readers, and it took me a long time to recognize this because our actual tastes in work tend to be very similar.

As for Perdita, yes and no. I was turned off by the prose in Perdita's opening chapters, but it wasn't the same kind of feeling I had towards The Hunger Games -- which gave me a lingering sense that I wasn't being addressed as an adult; too neatly visceral and too calculated. Perdita did address me as an adult, and though there was a roughness to parts of this version, I'd generally rather have that than the opposite.

I think it's time for me to properly read Perdita -- is Help the Gods going to be printed soon? I've been flipping through it, and I think my initial response was quite unfair.
Edited Date: 2012-10-06 09:13 pm (UTC)


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