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The Obsession Games

Published: Friday, April 6, 2012

Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08

Hunger Games

MCT Wire Service

In this image released by Lionsgate, Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen, left, and Liam Hemsworth portrays Gale Hawthorne in a scene from "The Hunger Games.

Suzanne Collins’ revolutionary novel “The Hunger Games” has everyone completely obsessed, and by everyone, I mean the world. Set in post-apocalyptic North America, The Hunger Games are an annual event where one boy and girl aged 12 to 18 from each surrounding districts are chosen to take part in televised vicious festivities where only one can survive -- but I’m sure you all already know that.

Not only has the book been released as a paperback, but also as an audiobook and e-book. “The Hunger Games” had an initial print of 200,000 – twice doubled from the original 50,000. Since its initial release, the novel has been translated into 26 different languages and rights of production have been sold in a whopping 38 countries.

From discussion boards to forums to infatuation blogs, (where it’s noted that if you have “HgOD” [Hunger Games Obsession Disorder] that it’s crucial to join the virtual obsessed fan base) a multitude of people are completely preoccupied.

Some recent discussion board posts consisted of fans of all ages revealing their odd obsession Hunger Games habits. Some including: confusing every bird as a Mockingjay, when eating pita bread, it’s like you’re killing Peeta on the inside, reading about uprisings in Egypt mistaking them as “Uprisings in (District) Eight”, hating snow because of “Snow”, and accidentally calling Peter’s, “Peeta.”

I started “The Hunger Games” a few weeks ago, nudged first by my 24-year-old male cousin who said, “I finished the series in two days, unbelievably addicting and I want more!” Halfway through the book I decided all the mania publicity wasn’t only annoying, but was necessary. The book is better than okay, it’s pretty good.

“At 43-years-old” says Heather Thompson, Director of Government Affairs of a statewide employer’s association, “I didn’t think I’d find myself reading these ‘Hunger Games’ until a colleague if mine insisted I read them. I was hesitant at first, but trusted her opinion and I can now certainly see why the books so highly appeal to all men and women of all ages. Unlike some other teenage designed series of books these are not so far fetched that something like that couldn’t happen.”

Katrina Dion, Theatre Arts major at DePaul also sees unity through the Games:

“There was a time when it felt like every person in the Theatre School was asking me if I had read “The Hunger Games “ yet. The books have brought together all majors, years and faculties within the school,” she says. “A community of people have been built from it, an obsessed community at that.”

Although the book holds similar obsession factors from readers to series such as Harry Potter and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Hunger Games stands unique. With an expansive following ranging from the young, old, Republican and Democrat there is an open unifying force. For a period of time, we have a common story and a shared vernacular.

Why would an adult want to read a children’s book when so many more important books demand a mature adult’s attention? Well, Hunger Games offers some appeals that many adult novels don’t. The characters are hard to forget, the plot is strong and the writing is clear and concise. Undoubtedly, the novel’s main character Katniss Everdeen is a role model for young women being up against the odds in the Games fighting for her life and family. On the other hand, men enjoy the story too, for its intense and exciting action-packed scenarios.

It’s a little ridiculous when your own Father sports the famous Katniss Everdeen Mockingjay pin on his briefcase. So really, when will somebody say they “dislike” these ravishing Games? Doesn’t seem possible at this point.

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