Christian blogger Trevin Wax re-posts a review of The Hunger Games (the novel). A writer named N.D. Wilson wrote the original review. As my blog title suggests, I find it baffling—as if he were reading an entirely different book from the one I read.
If you’ve read The Hunger Games, read this review and tell me what you think. In the meantime, here is the brief comment that I posted in Wax’s comments section.
Sorry I’m late on this… I only just skimmed the 100+ comments, but the criticism of the review is well-deserved. I don’t get the author’s point. First, if he agrees that Collins is a good writer and this book has real merit as literature, what’s the complaint about her getting so many aspects of human nature wrong? Good writers aren’t good writers if they misunderstand human nature.
By all means, the premise behind The Hunger Games is ghastly. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so I don’t believe that the world that Collins creates is likely to come to pass. Nevertheless, given this world, I find Katniss’s behavior realistic, consistent, and—after a fashion—heroic. Not unambiguously so, but isn’t that also like real life? I suppose the Christian thing to do would have been for her to simply step off the arena platform before the countdown had finished, blowing herself to bits, refusing to participate in the bloodletting. Or to have stood still after the games began and let other people murder her. But that would seem incredibly unrealistic.
As for Tom Wolfe’s asking Wilson about the book and then “blinking in confusion” after hearing about the “primary plot points”… Good heavens! I think I’ll read a Cliff’s Notes of The Bonfire of the Vanities and decide whether the book is any good. Wolfe is literate. Couldn’t he read it for himself fairly quickly and reach his own conclusion. I suspect he might even learn something about the craft of writing, since Collins is pretty good at it! As it is, “blinking in confusion” isn’t a valid critique.
Forgive me for suspecting that Wilson just wanted an excuse to name-drop Tom Wolfe.