Em português mais adiante
I started this book on Saturday evening, after watching The Hunger Games - Catching Fire at the cinema, with my teenage kids. I had (sort of) enjoyed the first movie, but this one made me curious, so I went to amazon.com, got the trilogy - ebook - and started the 3rd book right away. The story is easy to read, so I was able to do it pretty fast (some say you read faster on e-readers), which made me enjoy it more. This won't be a fair opinion, it is the opinion of a reader who liked it "because", doesn't need reasons for it, won't defend or attack it's literary or social qualities. I'll point out what made me like it. It's more than enough.
There are loads of different opinions on this book. Some people sing its praises, but I've also read it's all down hill from the first... but the thing is... I didn't read books one and two. Can't go down hill if you haven't actually climbed the thing, so... Also, a few people told me Katniss becomes annoying and useless from book 2 on, a few others think she's awesome... Some even say she's a bad example for young people. I really didn't know what to expect, but this second film made want to find out what they'd do to the story and what role the heroine-by-force would play.
I've already pointed out in the post about the movie that I find the metaphor behind the story - the rich Capitol and the impoverished and enslaved districts - pretty basic, whether you wish to read it in an american context or in a more general one (world wide). The wasteful rich vs the ones that actually do the work, and so on. Vanity, cruelty, the lack of respect for human life and human rights, the use of the most horrible forms of torture, the exploitation of image and the influence of the media, and so on, are to be expected. You don't get many details about the actual revolution - because in many ways, your first-person-shooter is kept off the loop: she shoots more film than targets.
First person narrations are tricky - believe me, I've written them - for two reasons: first, you get a one sided POV, you know what the character/narrator knows. If the character is deep in the action, so are you; if he/she is kept in the dark... well, you spend most of the time wondering what the hell is going on. The second reason is that you are sooooo much in the character's head. If it turns out you hate or don't understand the character, or find him/her uninteresting...
I can see why many people would find this book (maybe "these books", I don't know) annoying. First, you don't really get to see most of the wheels turning - larges parts of the revolution take place while Katniss is sick, half-crazed or being used in pro-revolution publicity stunts. She doesn't understand all that is happening, has lots and lots of doubts and suspicions that you not only share, but can see through a lot better than she can, because her mind is so muddled. But if you're expecting to get every detail of the action, you'll be disappointed. You do get a lot of it - whenever Katniss does. I'll stop writing about this now, before I start SPOILING the book.
The character isn't lovable. Katniss is no flower, not a nice girl, not sweet or confident, overly brave or a person you'd like to be friends with, knowing her inside out as we do. She isn't always fair to those around her and has very little love for herself. In this 3rd book, she is battered and bruised, broken, both body and soul, mostly by fear and guilt. Fear seems to move her, and anger sometimes, guilt is an ever present shadow, sometimes more than a shadow, a shackle. She doesn't seem to understand that she's an excuse, the chink in the machine, the spark people needed to start the fire. In this she's a bit self-centered, blaming herself for other people's decisions, not realizing that the sacrifices people make are not actually for her, Katniss, but for the freedom she represents. She is obsessive and stubborn. She doesn't treat the boys who love(d) her as well as she should... I'm not sure she understands love that way. It doesn't matter: I loved her FOR all her faults.
Yes, the reading sometimes gets a little tiring and once in a while you want to tell the girl to stop moping around and feeling guilty and sorry for herself, but then you get into action and it's all pretty quick and nice. Lots of death and gore and nice characters dying and more guilt (it doesn't stop her). It's a bit like the Games, but in the Capitol... and all through it she's still confused about herself, people's intentions, what she can do...
The ending is bittersweet, nice enough, but not the happily ever after we sometimes get in these books. People find a way to survive, to live, but they are damaged, the land is damaged, and we get the impression the future may not be very bright. Fear is still ever present for Katniss... this may very well be a book about fear. I don't really have a reason for that, but I understand fear - how it comes from nowhere and shackles you and you must fight it always... and fight it a little more.
Em português, muito abreviado
Li este livro num instante, motivada pela curiosidade que o 2º filme me provocou. Tinha lido muitas coisas sobre ele e sobre a personagem, boas e más, e não sabia bem o que esperar.
É na primeira pessoa, o que traz dificuldades. Por um lado, só temos o ponto de vista da personagem. Se a personagem sabe muito, nós também, se anda iludida ou confusa, também nós, embora, neste caso, seja possível descortinar mais do que ela. Por outro lado, estamos na sua cabeça. Se não gostamos da personagem, não a entendemos ou é desinteressante...
A personagem aqui não sabe tudo o que acontece, muitas vezes é manipulada e mantida mais como um adereço (para filmagens de "publicidade") do que como o soldado que deve e acaba por querer ser. Por outro, não é fácil gostar dela: vive com medo e culpa, está "quebrada", nem sempre é justa ou simpática, não é a heroína típica e não quer sê-lo a maior parte do tempo. é obsessiva e em momento quase louca. Não compreende que a cuklpa é infundada, porque os sacrifícios, em vidas humanas, por exemplo, não são feitos por ela, mas pela liberdade que ela representa. Sim, de quando em quando torna-se cansativo e apetece sacudi-la, mas é por isso tudo que gosto dela, por ser cheia de falhas.
Está longe de ser um grande livro, mas foi um livro que me deu muito prazer, mesmo na repulsa. A acção, quando chega, é rápida e sangrenta, morrem personagens que nos são simpáticas. Não há contenção nisso, e o fim não é inteiramente rosa - é agridoce. Não é um fim característco do YA. As personagens encontram uma forma de sobreviver ao que lhes sucede, até de viver, mas estão feridas, por fora e por dentro, a terra está ferida, e suspeitamos que a bonança é temporária. O ser humano continua a ser fundamentalmente corrupto, e o medo está sempre presente para Katniss, criou raízes nela. Para mim é, de certa forma, um livro sobre o medo e, mesmo sem uma razão concreta para isso, entendo o medo - a forma como vem de lado nenhum e te prende, te sufoca, e tens que lutar contra ele a todo o instante... e depois lutar um pouco mais.