Search Results for: Hunger Games

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Three Notes on Hunger Games Prequel

I have written a great deal here about the work of Suzanne Collins, from her much neglected Gregor the Underlander novels and When Charlie McButton Lost Power, to her Hunger Games trilogy and even the children’s picture book she wrote post fame and fortune, Year of the Jungle. My exegesis of the Katniss Everdeen books in various HogwartsProfessor posts ran to close to 60,000 words and I regret never turning the three principle Mockingjay posts — The Spiritual Allegory, The Literary Alchemy, and Katniss’ Apotheosis — into a proper book. I think so much about her that this week last year I wrote about ‘Whatever Happened to Suzanne Collins?’

No surprise, then, that I read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on the day of release. You may be surprised that I have not shared my thoughts on the subject until now, in great contrast with the weeks following publication of Mockingjay, the trilogy finale. I plead “full-time job in ‘essential business,’ being overdue on a thesis chapter, and, most important, perhaps, that I have not reviewed the Hunger Games series and re-read Songbirds and Snakes in light of that review.” I have scandalized Potter fans in the past by saying that I think Collins’ achievement with Mockingjay was at least on par and perhaps greater than Deathly Hallows; her work deserves better than a flip newspaper review.

Having said all that, I do want to share three spoiler-free points about the prequel just released to encourage those on the fence about reading it to purchase a copy immediately. Elizabeth Baird (!) Hardy has already posted her first thoughts and I hope point by point discussion of the book and its relationship to Collins’ oeuvre can begin here, if not next week then next month. I’m hoping that Elizabeth and Prof Lana Whited, editor of Critical Insights: The Hunger Games Trilogy, will join Katy McDaniel and myself for a podcast discussion, too, at Reading, Writing, Rowling.

My three points are (1) the most important paragraph to read is the opening of Collins’ acknowledgements at the back of the book, (2) the departure from Collins’ heretofore locked in story structure in this novel, and (3) some thoughts about the title and Collins’ signature presentation of front-and-back.

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Blizzard Warning: Excerpt from Hunger Games Prequel Posted.

Barely three months from the publication of the Hunger Games prequel: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, readers have been treated to a sneak preview. The excerpt is short: less than 1000 words, but has already created a sensation. If you haven’t read it, go here before reading further.  Spoilers, ho!

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Hunger Games Prequel Title Announced

I’m playing frantic catch-up on my non-Harry Potter life after a wonderful but busy build-up to Queen City Mischief and Magic, highlighted by a visit and multiple talks by our own John Granger. But, I had to make a brief post to announce that the Hunger Games prequel now has a title:  The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.  The cover has also been released.

We know the book will feature the Reaping for the 10th annual Games, and speculation is that we will see Mags chosen as District 4 tribute. The “Snake” in the title also suggests that a young Cornelius Snow will play a role.

Collins appears to be sticking with at least some elements that worked well in the first series books and movies, particularly the use of ballad motifs, a la The Hanging Tree and the Meadow Song. And the familiar bird-in-a circle is back, albeit a less mature-looking one, firmly encased in multiple rings and perching on a nest of thorns, in contrast to the gradual break-out of the series. 


Now would be a great time to look back on previous comments and speculate some more, while we wait for May.

Hat-tip to Mike G. 

Hunger Games: The Pillar Post

The One Stop location for Hunger Games posts at HogwartsProfessor is now up. You can find it by scrolling down the ‘Pillar Posts’ listing in the left margin of the site’s home page and clicking on ‘Authors Not J. K. Rowling (Hunger Games, Etc.)’ and then ‘Suzanne Collins — Hunger Games’ on that page. Or just head straight there via this link! (For more on the purpose of and how to use ‘Pillar Posts’ see “The ‘Why’ and ‘How To’ of HogwartsProfessor Pillar Posts.”)

The timing of this post is no coincidence, of course, but due to the news that Collins is writing a prequel to the best-selling trilogy. (See ‘Let the Hunger Games Begin — Again!’ for that story.) There are close to one hundred Hunger Games articles listed in this Pillar Post so settle in for a fun catch-up of the best discussion available anywhere on the books and film adaptations.

Here is a taste of the very best to encourage you to check out the whole listing:

Enjoy!

Let the Hunger Games Begin, Again!

Image result for new hunger games novelJust last month, we were wondering what Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games Trilogy (among other achievements) might be up to these days. ‘Whatever Happened to Suzanne Collins?’ It turns out, she’s not just been playing sudoku or puttering in the yard (or imitating her creations to tramp through the woods or bake).  We have been hoping that she was writing. Earlier this week, the formal announcement came that confirmed our hopes but which also confirmed some of the fascinating metatextual concerns that have always run under the trilogy: concerns about artistry, yes, but also concerns about control and gamesmanship. Collins is set to roll out a new addition to the story of Panem, a prequel, since, of course, the Games Trilogy is just that, a trilogy, three books, no more, no less, emphasizing the triptych focus so central to the story. Set 64 years before the Games that Katniss and Peeta “win,” this new offering will doubtless cover the Dark Days, renew and continue interest in Collins’s work, and make Hollywood Gamemakers giddy with delight. [Read more…]