On the back cover of Suzanne Collin's book are these words: "In the ruins of a place once known as North America . . . ."
One doesn't have to be a prophet to see the frightening vision of what the future holds, not only for North America but for the world. This book is explores the absence of God and the consequences of his absence in our individual lives and in the collective life of the state. And yet, the image of God still resides in us, offering hope.
First, Ken Gire looks back at the first hunger games with the rise of the godless emperor, Nero, and the games he hosted in Rome, where he offered free food and entertainment to the populace. At first the games were gladiatorial contests, then the slaughter of Christians became the entertainment of the day. Part Two examines the present hunger games and how they speak to the gnawing hunger within us, both individually and collectively. It shows how that hunger has expressed itself in our culture with the rise of a vicious competitive spirit that pervades politics, entertainment, and business. Part Three of the book looks ahead to future hunger games. This glimpse into the future is based on Jesus' Olivet Discourse and his view of how society will deteriorate to a form of barbarism and totalitarianism in the end times.
The book ends with a call to be alert to what is taking place in the world and to stand resolute against the forces that appeal to our baser instincts, looking forward to the glorious return of Jesus Christ.
- Helpful Christian and pop culture perspective
This book can, I believe, inspire anyone from youth to Vhristians working with youth, to those like myself who were fans of the books and movies in high school or college. The author's writing style is both humble and pastoral.
- This is NOT about the Hunger Games
You know the Philosophy of… books? Like the Philosophy of the Simpsons where the authors break down the actions taken by the characters in that show to decompress the philosophies behind the actions? I love those kinds of books. I love when someone looks behind the show, book, movie to draw conclusions about what the characters believed or espoused or why they acted in such and such ways. This is not a book like that.
This is an ultra short book, with tons of unnecessary information that I came to believe was included to get the page count to publication length, that doesn’t AT ALL go into anything to do with the Hunger Games and God. In fact, the author early on states that there is NO connection between the Hunger Games and God. (He tries to make the parallel between the book of Esther that also doesn’t mention God, but God is in every part of the story, like Shakespeare is not in his works as a character, but is in his works in every word and page. But that doesn’t work at all here. God is not here and the author never intended to put Him in and none of the characters act like there is even such a thing as a god.)
So if God is not in the Hunger Games and the book isn’t about that what is the book about? Let me give you an example of what you can connect in short form: Panem, where the story in the Hunger Games takes place, means “bread” in Latin, which is the language of the Romans, which persecuted Christians and had the circus, which is where Christians died, which reminds us that we will all die, which brings up the End Times, which makes me scratch my head about what the heck is going on! This isn’t a stretch or a fabrication. Each of those topics are covered in depth but nothing at all about God in the Hunger Games.
As a Christian and a teacher I would have expected a tact bout how a soulless world where God was conspicuously absent would be like this hopeless, vile place where decadence and selfishness are pervasive and then move towards how the Hunger Games is a great starting point in apologetic conversations about what it would really mean to have a world without God. But the author doesn’t even go here; the most obvious connection.
(There, I just wrote a better book than the author did about God in the Hunger Games.)
This book, or pamphlet, is a mess of ideas that aren’t terrible but aren’t about the Hunger Games. This isn’t exegesis (finding God in the Hunger Games,) or even eisegesis (writing God into the Hunger Games). This is Proof Texting and then Tangent (finding a word in the Hunger Games that reminds you about what you wanted to talk about.)
Shame on Christian publishers for capitalizing on the success of the Hunger Games and rushing a sub-par book to print.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.
- Interesting but Meaningless
Finding God in the Hunger Games by Ken Gire is an attempt to gain something other than entertainment out of the blockbuster book and film, The Hunger Games. It is evident early on in this short book that there are very few Christian aspects to be gleaned from the film but the author does raise some interesting social commentaries based on the content of the film.
I have seen many of this type of book before and I always wondered what obscure insights they had on films that are clearly not Christian influenced at all. I understand writing books on series like Narnia and to some extend The Lord of the Rings but books on other films just seem like a waste of time to me.
I really enjoyed the film when I saw it several months ago but at no stage did I think there were any Christian morals to come out of it, which is why I was surprised when I saw this book. The author does summarise parts of the film quite well and his social commentary of the world today was thought-provoking but it is not a book I will probably read again as it is a bit lacking in substance.
The narration was good and the story segments followed very nicely. It was easy to listen to and I could follow it without any problems.
Although this book does have some fascinating comments in it about the world today, it is not a book I would recommend to my friends unless they were really involved in The Hunger Games.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
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- Great tool for Contemporary Culture
I was very skeptical when it came to listening to this book, as I have watched The Hunger Games, and couldn’t find any spiritual parallels, as this is our families habit after watching a movie together – but we had nothing!
It was good then to know that Ken also had trouble initially, until he remembered the book of Esther, where God is not anywhere in that book, but at the same time God is everywhere in that book.
If you are looking for a shadow of Jesus in this book you might have trouble, but if you look for ways that it speaks to the state of our contemporary culture in contrast to the redeemed culture of those who are in Christ – then you will see a lot. I particularly found chapter 5 to be enlightening I this way.
The book is short, and easy to understand, good quality recording and narration.
As movies, DVD’s, online video, and TV shows are modern-day pulpits where the message of the culture of the world are being preached to us and those around us all the time, it is good to be able to show these things to those that we are reaching out to, from the medium that they are enjoying, and can clearly see. This book is a good tool for that purpose. For the Glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom.
I had the privilege of listening to this book as part of christianaudio's reviewer program.
- short book
I have finished listening to a book called Finding God in The Hunger Games by Ken Gire and read by David Cochran Heath. You can see the book here.
I have not read or watched The Hunger Games so on one hand it was interesting to me to hear this book and learn a little bit of the background of the popular book/movie. The author looks to find any comparisons that can be made between God and the characters of The Hunger Games. He explores why a book of this type was written, why it was so popular in today's culture, and what people are searching for. However, I thought it was odd that he wrote a book with this title after saying in the book that he couldn't find God in The Hunger Games. This was a very short book, and I wondered if some of the topics could have been examined in more depth. I don't really have anything against the book; it will not, however, be on the list of the best, most interesting books I have read.
The narrator David Cochran Heath did a good job, and I had no problem listening to him read.
This audio book was provided to me by christianaudio Reviewers Program for my honest review.
- score based off audio quality, not content quality...
<quote>I believe that film is the most powerful medium in the history of storytelling.<endquote>
It’s with that assertion that Gire opens his book, about the theology he finds in the recent movie (and book trilogy), The Hunger Games. He explicitly indicates that his book is based off the recent Hollywood blockbuster, not the popular written form. It is with this intent that the pages of this book are opened. Gire does not intend to critique investigations into the theology of this book, nor is it to create argument, but only to share how Gire views G-d in this movie, of which he’s positive it is blindingly obvious. But does one identify with Gire’s assumptions? That’s an answer that will be different for each reader, or in this case, listener.
Heath’s narration is at a faster pace, prompting the listener to “keep up” with the text. Heath’s auditory presence is booming, giving the listener an attention-demanding voice to follow by. The inflection is ever so soft, almost negligible to those not searching for it. Overall, Heath’s narration is slightly ill-fitted, not matching the conversational tone that the writer presents, but rather a fast-paced presentational tone expected at a speaker convention. Nevertheless, Heath is artful in his attempt, and many audiobook listeners will find this a fair pairing.
christian audio commissioned this review. Read reviews like this one at scriptedgenius.com.
- Quick and painless
Ok, I’ll admit it: I laughed out loud when I read the title of this book. I only listened to Ken Gire’s Finding God in The Hunger Games out of sheer morbid curiosity. And I have to tell you, it’s actually not that bad of a book, with its main redeeming feature being its short length. Despite its brevity, “short and sweet” is not really a fitting descriptor. It’s more like “quick and painless.”
Really the title of this book should have been called Finding Ourselves in The Hunger Games, because most of the book is an examination of human nature more than anything else. Suzanne Collins found her inspiration for The Hunger Games series in humanity’s historical obsession with gladiatorial combat and our current obsession with reality television. Gire digs into the “why” of those obsessions more than The Hunger Games film itself does.
I should mention that this book is focused much more on the film version than the original novel. Much of Finding God in The Hunger Games is Gire “nerding out” about how much he loves movies. I’m right there with him.
Gire readily admits that God is conspicuously missing from the whole Hunger Games world—just like the biblical book of Esther, he also points out. Did he just compare The Hunger Games to the Word of God? Thankfully he doesn’t reduce himself to attaching spiritual metaphors to all the characters and situations (i.e. Katniss is like Jesus and President Snow is Satan, etc.). I was worried about that. In fact, he takes time to call out those who do reduce themselves to such activities—usually in the blogosphere and on internet message boards.
Also, Gire does recognize one important truth: Katniss Everdeen is a truly unique heroine, in both film and literature alike. She is tough, yet tender; “a hunter, but not a killer.” She is more complex and nuanced than female characters typically are, especially those written for the young-adult fiction genre. He uses the Katniss character as a jumping-off point for discussion about God having both perfectly masculine and perfectly feminine qualities. In doing so, he fleshes out a complex theological idea in a way I was not expecting in a book like this, and it was really refreshing. Touché, Mr. Gire.
David Cochran Heath does a fine job narrating, and you could do a lot worse than giving this short book a listen. You probably won’t appreciate the “spiritual subtleties” of The Hunger Games any more or less after listening, but you just might learn something. I did.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Skip this book
I really like the Hunger Games. I have read it twice. I have watched the movie twice. I was excited to review this book for christianaudio. But this book is not really about the Hunger Games.
Like many sermon series that take a cultural meme and form a sermon series around this meme, without really dealing with it. This book uses the idea of the Hunger Games, but does not actually discuss the Hunger Games more than about 1/4.
The author is primarily interacting with the movie and even said he has not finished reading the book before watching the movie.
This is just slipshod and thrown together. Do not waste your time. The Christian content is not bad. But there is tons of good Christian content out there. We don't need to surf the tide of cultural waves and trick people into buying your book.
Christianaudio provided a copy of this book for the purposes of review. I was not required to write a positive review.