I think everyone has heard of The Hunger Games. The sales figures for the books are said to number 50 million, but the films grossed $1,169,814,624. That’s over one billion dollars, add on another few hundred million for the books, and you’re looking at a book that everyone’s heard of. It sparked off a craze for dystopian books, particularly amongst the young adult genre as it seemed that us teens enjoyed thinking about how bad the future could be. I have previously read all three of the trilogy, I decided to re-read the third, Mockingjay. Susanne Collins has done a fantastic job with the writing, though it is slightly odd in several ways.
After World War II ended, there was jubilation amongst the general population, a feeling that this time, everything would get better. Indeed, the jubilation sparked a huge increase in the number of children, a generation subsequently known as the ‘baby boomer’ generation. The world was a different place then, different brands, different values, and different expectations. But above all, the people were different. It is said that childhood shapes a person’s adulthood, and so it is only natural that someone who had a childhood so far removed from today’s experiences should write about the experience.
Child 44–there’s something fishy afoot
When reading Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44, I was reminded of something. I couldn’t think what it was when I was reading it, but later I realised: I was reminded of Robert Harris’ Fatherland. Granted, one was in Germany and one in Soviet Russia in the Cold War, but there were striking similarities. The main characters are good guys in a bad world, they live in authoritarian dictatorial nations, but don’t worry, they’re both good guys (that was sarcastic if it didn’t carry). Smith’s first novel reads exactly like Harris, and I’m not convinced if that’s a good thing.
In keeping with last week’s review of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles I this week reviewed another detective novel. One murder with a seemingly obvious criminal, yet deeper examination shows discrepancies. Christie stated in her autobiography that she had had second thoughts about Poirot’s involvement. I enjoyed the book a great deal, and disagree with Christie’s view (though Poirot is absent from most of the story)-there are several suspects, motives for everyone, everyone seems to be trying to throw off the police-just how I like a detective fiction.
Thomas Hardy’s tragic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles is almost guaranteed to leave you depressed at society’s restraints only a couple of hundred of years ago. As Tess herself puts it, we live in a “blighted world”. A little slow in getting going, but once it got up steam it was a gripping read of how one act could ruin a life.
This dip-in dip-out dictionary (which is what, in all essentials, it is) is a surprisingly interesting read. I know you aren’t meant to read the dictionary (as far as I’m aware), this one made for surprisingly manageable and enjoyable reading.