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I did like the story and the story-telling but I really could not get on board with the style of narration of this audiobook.
The Hunger Games is deservedly a best selling novel. The heroine Katniss Everdeen is bold, protective young girl with the heart of a fighter. But she is also somewhat socially inept and at times insecure and confused - not uncommon for a teenager.
The Katniss from Carolyn McCormicks narration is continuuosly exasperated, worried and sounds like she needs rescueing. McCormick's Katniss sounds more like a frail damsel in distress than a stroppy teenager. Even though Katniss is at times a bit thick to understand what is going on but with this narrations she appears even more naive. It is not just Katniss' character who lacks toughness. McCormick's voice regularly conveys fear and sorrow (plenty of opportunity for that in the book) but I could rarely hear a convincingly angry or aggressive person (plenty of situations there, too!).
What is more McCormick has a very slow pace of speaking drawing out the vowels unnecessarily ("eyes" become "ahhyes"). The majority of her speech sounded more bearable when I played it at 1.25x speed.
Sometimes it felt like she was trying to calm down an angry horse by talking slowly in a low, soothing voice. - Only after a while it did the exact opposite of "soothe" to me.
Despite the narrator's voice I could not stop listening to hear how the story would go on.
I really like the book (and the other 2) and I might listen to them again, if they were told by a different narrator.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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...
125 of 146 people found this review helpful
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.
185 of 217 people found this review helpful
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!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
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 24 people found this review helpful