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Summary

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

©2008 Suzanne Collins (P)2008 Scholastic Inc.

Critic reviews

"[ The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense... I couldn't stop reading." (Stephen King, Entertainment Tonight)
"I was so obsessed with this book that I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading... The Hunger Games is amazing." (Stephanie Meyer)
"Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." John Green, ( New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,829
  • 4 Stars
    1,024
  • 3 Stars
    244
  • 2 Stars
    77
  • 1 Stars
    52

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,533
  • 4 Stars
    668
  • 3 Stars
    270
  • 2 Stars
    77
  • 1 Stars
    43

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,932
  • 4 Stars
    513
  • 3 Stars
    101
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rhiannon
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 15-05-12

Great book, robotic reading.

This is a fantastic story, full of drama, action and excitement, as well as a very well written main character who you instantly become attached to, despite her prickly personality. The book is clearly read, although the woman's voice was difficult to listen to, to begin with. She is quite robotic and doesn't inject much life into the characters, she sometimes misjudges the tone or idea behind some of the speech. However you soon get so wrapped up in the story that you forget about this and it only becomes a minor irritant every now and again!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Neill
  • United Kingdom
  • 07-07-12

good book shame about the reader

I enjoyed the story but didn't like the reader. Very unconvincing when she had to do male voices. Also a lot of mispronounciation even allowing for the differences in American and English. Would have been better to have had several readers. Am not going to listen to the sequels for this reason. Have bought them on Kindle.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thom
  • High Wycombe, United Kingdom
  • 24-10-11

Young Adult?

I never did understand the need to squeeze book (or any other media or art form) into genres such as 'Young Adult' or 'Teen'. I am 48 years old and thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series. A such is the same for The Hunger Games. A well written (and in this case narrated) book I have just finished Part 1 of the Audio Book and am looking forward to the second part.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Antony
  • invergordon, United Kingdom
  • 28-02-12

Loved it!

I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved it, I have listened to over 100 books and would rate this in my top 5!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant & addictive.

I love this trilogy and have collected the books in all formats, paperback, kindle e-book & audio, as well as having the film on blu-ray.
Covering a wide variety of social, economical & political issues, as well as having the added edge of believability in this age of reality television, The Hunger Games has me hooked from beginning to end no matter what format i use. (i have the series in paperback, kindle e-books & audible audiobook)
The writing itself is gripping, engaging and fast paced and the narration flows very well.
The characters are well rounded and the relationships between them are strong and well developed.

I have been listening to audiobooks from a very young age and although i have my old favourites that have grown up with me as well as some new favourites, this series definitely ranks in my top 5 listens.

I am fairly new to dystopian fiction and haven’t read many in books in this genre but i have compared this trilogy to my other favourite dystopian trilogy, Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I am huge fan of the 'Young Adult' genre, although the genre title always amuses me as you couldn't find another category that spans a much wider customer base than the title suggests.
From Harry Potter to Twilight, Narnia to Divergent this series holds its own in a very competitive genre and will be a firm favourite with readers of all ages.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 12-04-12

Great book, disappointing audiobook.

Let me begin by saying that Suzanne Collins' novel is incredible! I really enjoyed reading the whole trilogy; however, my disappointment came when I purchased this audiobook for friends to listen to on a long car journey. The reader has a clear and strong voice and I'm sure is very suited to other texts, but not appropriate for The Hunger Games. She reads the text very slowly almost as if she is reading a recipe. It's incongruous with the pacy, first person, present tense narrative of the Hunger Games. There was just no drama or tension being developed in the way it was read. I do not want to sound overly critical of the reader, but as I said: disappointing.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • OXFORD, United Kingdom
  • 25-04-12

The Hunger Games

The narrators voice is incredibly annoying, not enough emotion in her voice at all. Very flat and grating. Such a shame as there is over 10hours of her talking but I'm not sure if I can listen to the whole book!! Great story ruined by the narrator who puts no passion into her narrating. Such a shame, very disappointed.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the book so much more than the Film

It was the publicity surrounding the release of the DVD that got me interested in listening to this book, What a great decision that was, the book is very well read and had me gripped from the moment it began.
I sped through the story in a couple of days, it was a truely captivating with the characters coming alive in the mind.
The story of poverty and oppression has been done before but this seemed so refreshing to have it done so well, I am really looking forward to the second and third books that I also have downloaded from Audible.
Today I watched the DVD and whilst it was enjoyable it did not do the book justice.
But this is a review of the book and as such it is a 5 star cracker of a story.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting!

Great book! I enjoyed it so much, an exciting story!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • m
  • 26-04-12

Wrong narrator

Great story and ordinarily I would be looking forward to listening to books 2 and 3 but I have found the narrators style more and more annoying. She seems to place to much emphasis on phrases like 'he said' 'she said' this might be a fault of the writing but the narrator only makes it worse. Plus the narrator sounds to be in a very different age bracket to the people who feature in the story and this also makes her sound wrong. I

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • tcp100
  • 27-12-11

Great story. Absolutely grating narrator.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Hunger Games to be better than the print version?

Not at all. The narrator would define the noun

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunger Games?

Almost every part except hearing it read out loud.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her false accent, if you want to call it that, is way too distracting. She gets a little too weird describing the food, too (I know that's an integral theme in the book, but it shouldn't sound... sexual.) She does the forceful parts no justice, almost making a caricature of them.

Any additional comments?

Sad to see the whole series is narrated by the same person. I'm hoping she got some tips after the first and improved it - we'll see.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • 27-03-12

The Book Deserves The Hype

I listened all 11 hours and 14 minutes of this book in one sitting! Seriously.... Onnneee SIITTTIIINNGGGG!!!!!! I have never done that to an audiobook before. Heck I have had audiobooks that are 3 - 5 hours long that took me a week! This book took me one day and I bet if I had the actual paperback I would have finished this book in about half the time. Why? It was downright addictive!

My only drawback, as almost everyone else has stated, is the narration. It wasn't horrible by any chance, it was done very well actually. It is obvious that Carolyn McCormick who voiced Katniss does know how to deliver a great performance. With that being said though, a better choice could have been made to voice her. Someone younger or at least sounded younger could probably have done a better job. Carolyn McCormick did though did a very good job irrespectively.

The story, the story is where this book shine! Any book that can bring me back to a 15/16 year old me spending all day/evening/night engrossed in one book deserves my utmost praise. In fact when I was watching the sun rise as I finished the closing minutes of the book (I stayed up all night listening to the book) I couldn't help but chuckle wondering what my mother would say if she knew I was still sacrificing sleep for the sake of a good book, lol. It was action packed with a fair amount of surprises. Had some gut-wrenching moments and you just plain get to start loving and bonding with each character. The ending of the book leaves you downright begging for more though and I literally am just gearing myself up for another assault on Book 2 in this series. I can see another all nighter looming ever so closer in my future...

132 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • 08-03-13

Performance ruined it

This is a great story that the reader absolutely destroyed. She sounds like she's skipping through a field of daisies with a whimsical smile on her face during every scene. Wrong book for that, dear. This book is for young adults, not challenged 5 year olds. Boo. I want my credit back.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Holly Helscher
  • 08-01-10

One of the Best in Fiction

It is not unusual these days to find a book written for the young adult that has appeal to an older audience. Some of the best fiction these days is in the young adult genre. The Hunger Games falls into this category. Katniss and Peeta are District 12 children, aged 16, who are selected to participate in Panem's annual hunger games. 22 other tributes/contestants are also drawn - 12 boys and 12 girls between the ages of 12 and 18. The objective for the tributes is to be the last one standing. The objective of Panem is to remind all districts that they may not rebel against the Capitol. The book is about the games themselves. If the reader is looking for a fast paced, action driven, gory, bloody plot, this is not the book. The violence of the games is not masked by Collins, but she treats it in a PG13 way, alluding at certain events that cause the deaths of the tributes. After all, it is written for the PG13 audience, not for the mature adult. But certainly a young adult sees and hears far worse on the evening news. The action of the book is far more about strategy, problem solving, critical thinking, relationship building, and the wisdom, or not, of rebelling and why. These are the common themes that young adults face in the teenage years. But they are couched in a plot that contemporaries can relate to. This cleverly created book is well written with good character development. It is respectably read by McCormick and easy to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone and have purchased it and the sequel (the final book in the trilogy will be available in print 8/2010) for two young adults I know. I have also recommended it to my adult friends, who were quite puzzled by my droopy eyes all week as I stayed up until 2:30 or later in the mornings reading the book. Although they know I am a voracious reader, they recognized this as a highly unusual book that fully engaged my attention.

189 of 221 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Reveurs
  • 28-10-11

Katniss Everdeen read by an old lady, epic fail

As a huge fan of this series I was excited to pick it up on audio book. I should have listened to the sample. They had no business casting her to read this. I can hear her reading Jane Austen but not this. They really needed a younger, fresher sounding voice to read this book.

118 of 145 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ross
  • 26-10-11

Carolyn McCormick's voice just doesn't work

I loved the story, but Carolyn McCormick's voice nearly ruined it for me. When she tried to do a little girl's voice, it sounded cartoonish and it grated my nerves. It was awful. When she tried to make the characters' voices sound surprised, she over played it and startled me each time. It sounds like she should be doing children's books.

If she is the voice for the rest of these books, I'll buy the paperbacks instead.

169 of 208 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • 22-02-13

Could Not Stand this Narrator

First I'd like to say that I have now read all 3 Hunger Games novels and loved them all. I had to read them on my kindle because I simply couldn't stand this narrator. Her voice absolutely grated on my nerves. I was only able to make it through 1 chapter before her babyish rendition of Katniss turned me off completely.

49 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melody
  • 14-12-09

Good Book - Narrator not so much

This is a good story but I wish I would have read it instead of listened to it. The narrator uses such a whiny voice throughout the book that it gets annoying. I've listened to so many great narrators, it can make a huge difference in the entertainment quality of the book.

122 of 152 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LarryD
  • 04-04-10

Absolutely!

OK, you are like me... you are reading this to see if you should use a credit! Yes, yes, yes! I was leery at first because I'm 53 and it was young adult... and a gruesome premise!!!! Hmmmmmmm! But it's so worth it! I read the criticisms of the narrator but don't feel she was bad at all! Our county is doing a promotion to get everyone in the county to read the same book. You get to vote for the book online! Of course, the classics were on there like "Great Gatsby", but they did have two new ones like "The Book Thief" (definitely get this one, too) and "The Hunger Games". I was torn between the two, but voted for "The Hunger Games" because I think it will grab young readers! GO USE YOUR CREDIT!!! :)

110 of 137 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 12-08-09

Annoying narrator

A great story ruined by the narrator. She speaks with an annoying affectation, and sounds as if she were reading to children. Perhaps she was trying to imitate the speech of the heroine -- but this doesn't explain why her delivery was so devoid of emotion. In all, very distracting. I'll avoid this narrator in the future.

100 of 125 people found this review helpful