Sunday, March 25, 2012

Reading list

I was up until after 12:30 last night reading (#12) The Hunger Games, which I had only downloaded Friday after work. Few are the books that I cannot put down once I start, or that will keep me awake so long after bedtime. Now I must buy the other two of the series.

Have I mentioned lately how I love the instant gratification of the kindle?

Nobody said it's great literature, but sometimes you just want to read something entertaining. This was a book I had not intended to read until Mandy's comments on FB and until a thread that hijacked a FB post of Traci's. In the comments, someone said:

"I've quit reading it after seeing an interview with the author. She said she wrote it to encourage the youth to question authority. Seriously..."
(continuing after reply by Traci)
"My first thought, and I haven't bothered to check, is that she must not have kids."
 To which I replied "Questioning authority is a bad thing?"
Came the answer "For a teen? Perhaps."
And my response "I was a teen of the 60's, so it was a lesson I learned early. I don't believe it did me much harm."

But remember, this was all before I read the first book.  Now I would say that on the simplest level it is about basic morality and ethics.  The "authorities" are hardly that.  The people in power are barely fleshed out, coming across as simplistic (though sometimes sadistic) buffoons.   The story is in the interaction of the teens:  in what ethical choices they had to make for survival in their home districts, and about altruism, morality, and yes, love, during the games.  

But if the book had been about the challenge of authority I repeat "Would that be a bad thing?"

Answer: Especially not for a teen.

It is the job of the young to challenge the status quo, to question what is fed to them as truth.  Think hard of beliefs over the ages which have been handed down as truths.   And think of some of the moral edicts that are being shoved down our throats even today by those in "authority".

Being an "authority" does not make one "right".  Which is one part of the moral of the story.