Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hungry for more Hunger Games

I can remember the second to last time I stayed up all night to finish a book. It was Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. I was in hotel room in Dallas, puffy eyed, tearful and extremely tired as I turned the last page at 4:30 am knowing I had an 11 o'clock meeting the same day. To make matters worse I had been traveling for 20 hours prior to arriving in Dallas from my home in New Zealand. That was at least a decade ago and I have (or should say had) come to my senses about such things.

The last time (and possibly only ever time) I have read all night was last week when I completed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins in a single sitting. The four am finish is the only similarity however. I was not at all emotional (strange given that so many young people lose their lives  for seemingly insubstantial reasons. To describe this book as a page-turner is inadequate. Gripping is insufficient. Suzanne Collins has created a story and characters that are incredibly engaging and accessible, so it is surprising that the emotional hooks were not present. They couldn't be of course, otherwise the book would simply be too, too depressing. This is consummate story-telling and writing at its best.

Once I recover, I shall read the second book with similar gusto I suspect, since I am already anticipating the story of Katniss' return home.