Archives for March 2012

Hogwarts Professor on Hunger Games Victory Tour: Appalachia, Academia, and it’s All in the Pin

I have just returned from a wonderful whirlwind visit to the fabulous Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University where I was whisked to speak on The Hunger Games as Appalachian novel. I also had the opportunity to present that topic at the much closer but also wonderful Lees-McRae college, and I have been (and will be) doing other Hunger Games-type programs in the midst of the movie hoopla. As our month of Hunger Games movie madness winds down, these programs help bring readers and filmgoers into our on-going conversation about the complexity and artistry of Suzanne Collins’s Panem novels. Join me after the jump to hear more about the talks and about events with our students Mayland Community College where, for me, all this started. [Read more…]

What I Fear Is Coming (Has Come?) to Hunger Games Fandom

This almost certainly will be my last entry in the HogwartsProfessor Hunger Games Month of posts celebrating and exploring the artistry and meaning of Suzanne Collins’ wonderful Panem Trilogy. I have speaking dates Saturday at Augustana College (actually Stronghold Castle! left) and at the University of Chicago on Monday, so I will be out of pocket, as quarterbacks say, for blogging at least until next Wednesday. I leave the Marshaling of the Closing Ceremonies duties to the fair and profound Prof. Elizabeth Baird-Hardy and her associates, Profs. Kendall, Freeman, and Pazdziora. Thank you all out there for a delightful, engaging, and challenging month of conversation about these books, about the film, and the possibilities and inevitabilities of reading and film watching, in general. If I say so myself, it’s been one of our better month’s for discussion here, our best, perhaps, since the months before and after Mockingjay’s publication.

I spent much of yesterday chatting with John Patrick Pazdziora over virtual ButterBeers at the Hog’s Head pub, which conversation (really more a Q&A session about Hunger Games) he’s edited and posted at our sister site. I’ve taken one of my answers there to post here below the jump to start a conversation about a strong trend in Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games fandoms consequent to movie adaptations that I think is lamentable, if all but inevitable, namely, a change in focus from the search for and a loss of comprehension about ‘what books mean.’

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Happy Kindle Harry Potter Day! What a Cornucopia of Choices!

I know it’s Hunger Games month here at HogwartsProfessor, but as the site name suggests, we’re serious readers of Harry Potter here first and last so there’s no way the big news of Kindle availability for all seven Hogwarts Saga titles is going unheralded. You can read here about the crush to buy that all but crashed Amazon’s Kindle store when the buy possibility for the first books went viral in fandom. The first three books in the series are selling for $7.99 and the four bigger novels at $9.99, Amazon’s ceiling for the highest percentage of sales being returned to publisher as profit (though it is very unlikely that Ms. Rowling isn’t taking home almost everything she makes there…).

In a remarkable case of serendipity, all three of Unlocking Press’ companion books that open up the world’s best selling novels in unexpected ways, to profound depth, with no little humor became available on Amazon Kindle on the same day as Ms. Rowling’s work! Check out Harry Potter Smart Talk ($4.99), God and Harry Potter at Yale ($6.99), and Harry Potter for Nerds ($8.99), all three of which, an Unlocking House-elf tells me, will be available on B&N Nook in the next few days.

So, if you’re an e-reader as well as a serious reader and you’ve been waiting for years to download Harry’s adventures and revisit them one by one on your preferred device, or if Grandmom with myopia has Kindle Fire and can now find out ‘what all the fuss is about,’ get ye to PotterMore or Amazon and have a great day. If you’ve been looking for the electronic versions of these commentaries from some of the best and brightest Potter Pundits in and out of Harry Potter fandom, today is your first chance to get them at e-low-prices!

And for Hunger Games friends who think Harry Potter is “so yesterday,” your older sibling’s or youngest child’s thang, then the Kindle store special has just what you need, too. All three of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy are $.99 each today, 28 March, and you want to read these books, believe me. Horror meets dystopia on a Sci Fi planet nightmare — with a boy, a girl, and his dog chased by men made mad by universal mind reading… Almost as much fun as a Reaping and Hunger Games!

Have a great Kindle day whatever you’re downloading and reading!

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Gamesmakers Hijack Story: Capitol Wins Hunger Games Again

Welcome to those new readers who are checking out this “bookish” site after reading about it in the LA Times this morning!

Taking a tally of those who love and those who loathe the film adaptation of the first novel in Suzanne Collins’ Panem Trilogy, the folks who are voting in the negative are a decided minority, and, frankly, rather apologetic to the Bolsheviks (Russian for “the majority”) who are as often as not enthusiastic, even evangelical, about their feelings. HogwartsProfessor, of course, is something of a contrarian site and much more about books than film. I know serious readers around the world check in here for the view-in-opposition to the critical mass and memes.

So I will oblige them today with two ideas I’m guessing they won’t read anywhere else, ideas many of you probably won’t like, especially if you’re as enthusiastic about the film as a fictional Capitol stylist discussing the real Hunger Games. [Read more…]

Lionsgate Hunger Games Film A Satisfactory Movie Experience; Cinema Treatment Leaves Serious Readers Hungry for More

Two years ago, I read The Hunger Games for the first time and decided I would start using the novel as part of my Expository Writing courses at Mayland Community College. On March 23, I had the great pleasure of seeing the film adaptation of the novel on opening day in the company of my students and colleagues at a special showing at the great old Yancey Theater in Burnsville, NC, just up the road from where large portions of the movie were filmed. Though I took notes the whole time, much to the amusement of my students (who laughed at the dandelions in my braid, too), I won’t share all of my many thoughts on the movie, though there will be spoilers for non-readers (Not many of those here, anyway, I imagine!). Join me after the jump to see what aspects of the film I (and my fellow MCC readers) found most satisfactory, and what left us feeling unsatisfied. [Read more…]