The Hunger Games (and other books and such)
I just finished the second book of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy – Catching Fire. Both books have been really great reads – fast paced, suspenseful, extremely and surprisingly violent given their intended audience. They are quite political. If Andrew Klavan reads them, no doubt he will find they are – like Toy Story 3 – little more than commentary on the Obama administration, and their popularity reflects the general antipathy of the American public toward the leftist agenda being shoved down our throats by Washington bureaucrats.
(Did you know Klavan wrote True Crime? I did not know that. I say stick to writing thrillers and avoid conservative pop-analysis of Pixar films!)
Speaking of mystery/thrillers, I also just finished reading Dennis LeHane’s Sacred. LeHane is the author of many books-turned-into-films – the excellent Gone Baby Gone is his and was adapted into its movie form by director Ben Affleck – who, I have decided, is a far better director than actor. Clint Eastwood (who also directed True Crime) adapted LeHane’s Mystic River. And I just saw Scorses’s adaptation of LeHane’s Shutter Island which I actually really liked. Of the three, Gone Baby Gone is the best. The book, Sacred, was quite good, though I want to read some of his other works to get a better sense of how it stacks up.
I also just finished Neuromancer – the cyberpunk book that put cyberpunk on the map – by William Gibson. You can certainly see how the book influenced the popular film, The Matrix and one wonders how they will ever really do Neuromancer justice as a film adaptation now that The Matrix has stolen so much of its thunder. Maybe all the drugs and sex will help.
Television-wise, we’ve been slowly making our way through the PBS series, God in America. We’ve just started Fringe as well, which is so far very much like a new X-Files, which works for me. I very much still want to believe. This season of The Office has been pretty funny, I think, though it is certainly time for Michael Scott to retire. If I had HBO I’d certainly be watching Boardwalk Empire, though what I’m really looking forward to is Game of Thrones.
P.S. This fake Mick Jagger piece in Slate is well worth your time.