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The Hunger Games (And Other Teen Franchises)--Thoughts?
I've said my peace about my disdain for manufactured book series in general, and especially teen ones...and yet, "Ender's Game," a book I've praised, is definitely a series, and if not targeted at teens, certainly aimed at them in large part...so, my question, as The Hunger Games hits theatres, is simply--what do you think of them? HP? Twilight? Hunger Games? Ender? Others? Fair to compare...and do any of them, in your opinion, have "staying power?"
@abge - If I recall correctly, obi doesn't like Lord of the Flies. But to put it in a different perspective, Swiss Family Robinson was written for young adults to relay the same message as Robinson Crusoe. Now I personally hate SFR as I much prefer RC, but it is written in a much easier language for teens. It still serves a purpose as well, does it not?
There are books written for young adults (middle schoolers from 10 to 14) and most of the book series mentioned here (HP, THG, Twilight (blech!)) are written geared to that audience. Judging them the same as you would The Lord of the Rings does them a disservice. they are more comparable to The Hobbit which Tolkein wrote for his children and is a much simpler book.
Just a little background: My first foray into fantasy at age 9 was The Hobbit followed shortly thereafter with the trilogy. My first foray into real sci fi was Have Spacesuit, Will Travel that same year follow thereafter by Martian Chronicles, Starship Troopers, and Rendevous with Rama. The next year, I read 2001 and started into The Silmarilian and I discovered Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels - my toughest read to date at that time but my all-time favorite shipwreck fantasy.
Yes, I do like Lord of the Flies...not my favorite book, but it's good...
And I would count it as an "adult" novel, the same way I'd count SFR and THG--
I'd count most things that aren't, say, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or "The Phantom Tollbooth" and such "adult" novels, though, really...
I'd prefer to just drop the age pretense and call them novels period, full-stop, as, well, some kids read faster than others, some kids will be reading Austen and Twain in middle/early high school...some will be reading Lord of the Flies...some will be reading The Hunger Games...and so on.
The age distinction, at a certain point, becomes silly.
Again--once the book has an adult message, it ceases to be merely a kid's book and becomes a novel; more adults, true, may read Conrad than Collins, and more teens may prefer the exploits of Katniss'-crazy-knife-girl-assailant (oddest part of the whole book...suddenly, some random girl decides to have a random vendetta and give a sadistic villain speech and get ready to go Ledger Joker on Katniss' face...WTF, why doesn't THIS kid have more of a focus, forget the trite love interest boy, I want to know how this girl got so fucked up so fast!) to those of Kurtz...
But regardless, they're still NOVELS.
I reject the whole young adult/adult dichotomy, people read different material at different levels at different times.
As odd as it is for me, an elitist English major and self-professed fan of the Bard to say...
Shakespeare isn't necessarily always or entirely "more adult" than Suzanne Collins--that's for the author to decide.
Now, is Shakespeare more complex? By leaps and bounds he is. Is Shakespeare the more mature author/has the more mature audience on average? A bit open to interpretation, and the Bard could be pretty silly...but probably so. Is Shakespeare the more influential author? Incredibly so (in fairness, Collins' books are new, but still...500 years hence, RIII > THG) Is Shakespeare the better author? That's a matter of taste...but if we're going to go by technical prowess and popularity and complexity and influence and all of that...you'd need a lawyer who could get Charles Manson out of jail to make that argument stick, I think (or, take the shorter way--become a successful writing legend in your own right, like Leo Tolstoy, and then you can follow his footsteps and call Shakespeare garbage all you like by standing on a platform built by such mountainous works as "War and Peace" and "Anna Karrenina.")
But all that aside, there's nothing necessarily more "adult" about Shakespeare...
He and Suzanne Collins are in the same arena--the fact that he and many, many, MANY authors would go on the unofficial ranking lists, so to speak, ahead of Collins, who probably couldn't right now crack a Top 200 (not necessarily a slight to her, again, I think she's decent if lazy and flawed, that's more a statement of just how many great authors have existed so far in history) doesn't mean Suzanne Collins is out of the "adult" literature (not that kind!) arena.
She doesn't get her own subset where she can be queen; sure, we may group her in with other authors who had similar target ideas and formats and so on, we may group her with the dystopians with Orwell and Huxley, or with her modern contemporaries...the same way we'd group Shakespeare with Marlowe and Kyd, historically, or, in terms of influence, have him right up there with Dante and Homer and their ilk...
But, at the end of the day, we can compare anyone to anyone, regardless of subset--
We can set Shakespeare up against Oscar Wilde or Sophocles or Albert Camus and so on.
But that doesn't just go for the big-name writers you can somehow turn into a semi-meme on an Internet forum by mentioning them so damn much. ;)
If we want to compare Orwell to Collins, or Collins to Golding, or Conrad to Collins and Orwell, or any combination of those, and others...we can--they're writing about adult ideas and have adult messages, ergo, they're fair game for serious, adult criticism.
Dune tells a story that Frank Herbert thinks is worth being told. Now, it's very likely that he also wanted to make money, but at the end of the day, Herbert believed that Dune held intrinsic value. Clearly people agree, or we wouldn't still be reading it.
Children/Teen/Young Adult Novels have an added object: to encourage kids to read. Scholastic wouldn't publish a book that made kids less interested in reading. It's less important if THG holds less intrinsic value because it has the added extrinsic value of encouraging its readers to continue reading.
@Sarg - Well Gulliver was shipwrecked and is there anyvdoubt that the land of the Lilliputians or the land of the giants was a fantasy land? I mean, I know it was political allegory, but the basic elements that most people take away are the fantasy elements.
I started a password protected, long-phased new game. http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=84290 I hope there are some guys who want to join, as I need good players for a good game. So, just message me if you are interested!
I am about to host my second diplomacy party with a group of friends. here's the thing: i've only played online, and none of my friends have played at all, except for my last game. I'd like to tell you what I'm doing and see if you guys have any pointers for teaching diplomacy, and how to host a good live game.
it's been suggested that I am racist because I think an African American can make it on his own in 2012. If you are African American...do you NEED a White Man's HELP to make it in life? Or do you think that you are capable of succeeding on your own, WITHOUT a White man's help?
Who's racist? The one who trusts you for your own strength? Or the liberal whitey who thinks you are too weak on your own to succeed????
What is the difference and why do they both have the same webDip logo but it seems are seperate sites requiring seperate user info. Was there a split in leadership and one site is a rebel faction? I want to play more fun variants' does that mean I need
Any one else tired of the God-Hating socialist lefties that troll this site.
Any time someone starts a forum to state an arguement it is filled with trolls mocking other peoples opinions because they are not their own. I know as soon as I post this trolls will flood it, but I want to know if I am not the only sensible person who wants to see other opinions and ideas and think about them.
Question: Has anyone else notice that pork rinds seem to be completely devoid of nutrition or tastiness? That their outlandish texture often completely conficts with our delicate sensibilities, and often suggest that we should spit them up or cover them with hot sauce?
Question: Has anyone else noticed that Putin seems to be completely void of rational thought? That his outlandish statements often completely conflict with reality, and are often suggest the exact opposite of what was stated?
I have a goal to finish stats that look at the following: a solo layout for each power that looks at the centers owned by each country and the frequency of control, i will also separate WA and PPSC win/draw stats, the number of centers a country needs to feel secure in the idea that it has likely minimized the likelihood it will be eliminated, and an update on my prior work. important about 40% done and hope to have it done by the end of the semester.