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Going To See The Hunger Games Movie? What’s Your Opinion?

I’m not going to see The Hunger Games movie. I haven’t read the books. Probably never will. I have no beef with them, I think it’s a great thing that a book has excited so many readers of all ages and a movie made from that book is selling out theaters and the media is giving books and reading this much coverage. This is never a bad thing. And as an author, I firmly believe that any book that becomes a phenomenon and drives people into to bookstores and gets people, especially young readers, excited and jazzed about reading is great for both readers and writers.

But the thing about reading is, it’s a personal choice. And I know the subject matter of The Hunger Games would be difficult for me to deal with. Reading is an intense emotional experience for me. And I’m certain the idea of children being forced to fight to the death for food, no matter the reasons or circumstances, would bother me. Again. I don’t have a problem with Suzanne Collins writing about it, people reading it or watching it on the screen. I want to be clear. It just not for me. I know a lot of authors, but I’ve never met Suzanne Collins. But from reading about her she seems like an imminently likable, nice person and and an obviously talented writer. I congratulate her on her success. But I won’t be reading her books. At least not The Hunger Games.

I realize it sounds like a contradiction for me to say, as someone who has written about the Third Crusade in my Youngest Templar series, a particularly violent period of human history, that I don’t want to read a book like this. My characters face battles and death and all things the people of that era faced. But I also try to show them avoiding violence whenever possible. Resorting to violence only when it’s necessary to defend themselves or someone else. I also try to show that violence has consequences. It changes a person.

And I understand the concept behind The Hunger Games of a young girl doing what she feels she must to save herself and her family. But as a father, upon reading the books or seeing the movies, and cursed with a vivid imagination, I know I would imagine my own children in a similar predicament and it would upset me. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. I tend to do this all the time. I love reading Dennis Lehane for example, but I have never read his book Gone Baby, Gone because it deals with a kidnapped young girl. I know I would instantly imagine my own daughter in that situation and become emotionally distraught by it. I can’t watch movies or TV shows or read books where children face this kind of danger. Like I said, it’s a personal thing. Maybe it is a naive viewpoint, heck it probably is. But its how I feel. Maybe I’m just a big ole wuss.

But I will watch the success of The Hunger Games with a smile. I rejoice in the fact that we live in a place where books like The Hunger Games are published. Where books that inspire, teach, entertain, speak to and sometimes even anger people, are readily available. And I’ll especially rejoice that we live in a place where we are free to make our own choices.

So if you’re going to the movie this weekend, I hope you enjoy the experience. If you are a parent taking your child to see it, I congratulate you for allowing books like The Hunger Games to be read in your home. I hope you’ll discuss it with each other, reveling in the parts that spoke to you. And when the movie is over, I sincerely hope you’ll stop by the bookstore or library on your way home and pick out something else to read.

I would love to know your point of view. Are you going to the movie? Have you read the books? Love them? Not love them? If not why not? Tell me what you think. No spoilers please for those who may not have read the books or seen the movie.

Your authorness,

Michael P. Spradlin




    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog Cheryl. Since I haven’t read the books, I can’t really offer an opinion, but as I said, when books are treated as a cultural phenomenon, even if it takes a movie to do it, I think that’s a good thing.

  1. OK,
    Because I teach 5th graders who have gone absolutely a little nuts over this I read the book, which I finished about 2 hours before I was scheduled to see the movie with my husband, his two high school friends and their wives. I have to say, if you are going to or feel like you are going to have to find out about this — SEE THE MOVIE, it stays more true to the book than just about any other book/movie combination I have ever seen, EXCEPT, it dramatically reduces the violence. As someone who has read the Templar series as well as the first HG books, the movie did a far better job of making the violence there for necessity and honor than the book did. HG main character Katniss, is in many ways like Sir Thomas. I had a few parents ask my opinion about the book – I am going to tell them no to the book, but maybe yes to the movie, which I think defeats the purpose. I’ve not read much of the Twilight series either, but I see even less redeeming qualities there.

    Please keep writing high quality books with morals for my 5th graders – we will continue to love them and visit you in Warrensburg.

    1. Janeen thank you for your insightful comment. As I said, books like this are too disturbing for me as a parent. It’s my own issue. I have no problem with their success, I applaud Suzanne Collins for writing a provocative book and as I said, anything that raises this much awareness for reading and has people buzzing about any book is a fantastic thing.

      I’m also glad parents are seeking your opinion. It shows they are being deliberative and considering the age appropriateness of the material their children are being exposed too. Good on them. And your point on the movie versus the book is a valid one. Seeing the movie without reading the book perhaps defeats the purpose. But then again, I’m sure there were thousands who saw the Twilight and Potter films without reading the books.

      And I promise I’ll try to keep writing fun, interesting books with characters who make hard choices but hopefully always the right choice. It’s how I roll!


  2. I agree with alot Michael had to say about the Hunger Games. I have only read the first book and had a hard time deciding if I liked it or not. The book seems to have a good message but when it came to the part where the girl has to kill others for the safety of her family, I wasn’t sure if I agreed with that. The type of books I enjoy are ones like Michael writes. The characters in the book fight only if they have to and I think that it’s the better option than resorting to violence to win a game. Like Michael said, I imagine myself in the book as well as members of my family and I’m not sure if I would want to kill others even if it meant the safety of others.

  3. I totally agree with your opinion, even though I am a huge Hunger Games fan and Finnick Odair lover. I have family and friends that went with me to see it midnight and were offended. Don’t listen to what people have to say. Stick with ur opinions!
    Love Spy Goddess btw.

  4. Hi Michael!
    Yes, I love the books, but not the ending… It was too sad for me.
    (I’m not so good writing english, so i hope i haven’t made too many mistakes)

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