HUNGER GAMES … Book or Movie?

Figures are in. HUNGER GAMES leapt from the page to the stage and grossed $19.7 million at the midnight premiere. Suzanne Collin’s story of the spunky underdog who takes on the elite class stirs opinions. One of the biggest debates is: which is better … book or movie?

I posted this question on Facebook and the responses are varied:

*Movie was good, but book was better. So many layers of meaning missed in movie.

*Really enjoyed the movie, but loved the book more! Working on 2nd book.

*The dress on fire was awesome!

*You have to accept them each for what they are. Book was better, IMO, but the movie did what it was supposed to do.

What was it about this transition from page to stage that caused people to react so strongly? I think it is because those of us who read the book first had already formed very strong visual impressions in our minds. We fashioned our own Katniss. We assigned physical characteristics to Peeta based on his kindness. And we formed mental images of the settings: District 12, the Capitol City, and the arena.

What did I learn? When an author manipulates two-dimensional words until they evoke three-dimensional characters and worlds…that’s powerful stuff. Even if you don’t read science fiction, if you’re a writer you should study this book for craft.

I think the movie makers had their work cut out for them on this one. For the most part, they did an excellent job of capturing bits and pieces of the imaginary world that I’d already constructed. Hopefully, they’ll catch a piece or two of yours.

May the odds be in your favor as you strive to write such compelling characters that readers will cast them in their own minds.

About lynnegentry

Wife. Mother. Writer. Acting Coach. Director of Dallas International Performing Arts Academy.
This entry was posted in Characterization, Setting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to HUNGER GAMES … Book or Movie?

  1. Julie Marx says:

    Good post Lynne. Aren’t books always better? Seriously, I like using MY imagination rather than having someone impose his upon me. Either way, I eagerly look forward to seeing the movie tomorrow. My daughter tells me the constantly bouncy camera work was a little tough on the equilibrium. Made a few people…puke. Maybe I’ll take a ‘bag’ just in case.

  2. lynnegentry327 says:

    It does have some “bouncy” camera stuff. Pop back on here after you see it and weigh in with your thoughts. Anxious to hear what you think.

  3. bethrachg says:

    I’m reading the book now. Wanted to read it before I saw the movie because it’s hard to invest the hours required to read a book when I already know the outcome from the movie. Plus, someone else said they hadn’t read the book and went to see the movie–the audience who’d read the book first, seemed to be more emotionally invested in the movie. In the end, I think books are ALWAYS better. Just like PILLARS OF THE EARTH. They tried to turn that into a mini-series and failed miserably. That’s not a story that translates well to the “stage.”

  4. Pingback: HUNGER GAMES … Book or Movie? | STAGE WRITE with Lynne Gentry, Author | Marji Laine ~ Writer

  5. stuartneaca291 says:

    I finally saw the movie with my nephew and nieces. It was pretty good, I thought. I don’t know much about the book, and it sounded like the Running Man from the 80s. Unsure if I would blog review the movie. But I give it a 4 out of 5. When it comes to reading the book…I’m not prioritizing it.

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