Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review - The Panem Companion

The Panem Companion

An Unofficial Guide to Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games, From Mellark Bakery to Mockingjays

By V.Arrow
Published by BenBella Books, Inc.
December 4th, 2012

Two of my daughters  and I have read and loved The Hunger Games books, and I was delighted to be able to review The Panem Companion. An unofficial companion to the books, it is nonetheless an extremely thoughtful and comprehensive assessment of the dystopian future world of Panem (a future USA)  and the bizarre combined culture of celebrity hero worship, reality TV and ruthless media manipulation mandated and orchestrated by those running Panem.

Pretty much every detail is given thoughtful attention - the possible timescale of Panem's setting, after some possible plausible natural and socio-economic disaster scenarios, its geography, its racial and class discrimination and the very different socio-economic make-up of each district.  Issues of race, ethnicity and culture are covered, but I found the chapter about the socio-economics of tesserae  the most fascinating of all, especially the odds of being chosen to represent the districts at the Games.All these and many more topics are considered in some detail, which is quite remarkable in a book of only 248 pages. 

Anyone who has enjoyed or found any aspect of the series of books interesting will find enormous amounts of food for thought in this absorbing companion book. Those interested in how media manipulation can be used to mislead whole populations of  countries would also find this a fascinating book to read.

Highly recommended!

To read excerpts from each chapter, visit the website:
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