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The Hunger Games

Written by: Suzanne Collins
Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The Hunger Games: Special Edition, narrated by Emmy Award winner Tatiana Maslany, is available here

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

©2008 Suzanne Collins (P)2008 Scholastic Inc.

What the critics say

"[The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense... I couldn't stop reading." (Stephen King, Entertainment Tonight)

"I was so obsessed with this book that I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading... The Hunger Games is amazing." (Stephanie Meyer)

"Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." John Green, (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, but could've had a better narrator

This is my second time "reading" The Hunger Games, and I enjoyed every second of the story.

Despite the rather grim premise, I found myself once again captivated by the intense world of Panem and its inhabitants; each character developed in such a way that allows the reader to connect to them, and feel for the situations that they experience.

However, with that in mind, I felt that the choice of narrator was wrong for this particular novel; she was more monotone than I would've liked and didn't bring much in the way of added dimension to the story.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my evenings with this book, and can't wait to read the next in the installment, "Catching Fire."

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The first one!

This was the first audio book that I ever got. It’s done a great job so far and I think it always will.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable

My family and I listened to this during the summer on a long road trip. I had seen the films but never read the books, my wife had read the books and seen the films, and my child had neither read the books nor seen the films and we all really enjoyed this. It helped pass the time while we drive and gave the family something to do.

I really recommend this for the family as long as your children are mature enough as there is some violent content.

#Audible1

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen/read

This was my first audiobook. Loved it, will be getting the rest of the series. I'm addicted to audio books now. App is super easy to use! #Audible1

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Awesome

awesome book to read I love how the movie stayed parallel to what I just read

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My Daughter and I loved it.

I have listened to this book before through an online library and loved it. My 9 year old wanted a new book to listen to while we drive and it is still awesome.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a surprise... and so engaging

I bought The Hunger Games not knowing what to expect, but encouraged by the reviews. I don't often read fantasy, so it's not a category I usually consider, but there was a special, so it was a good time to try something new. Right from the beginning, I enjoyed the characters and the narration was good. I forgot that I was reading/listening, and just disappeared into the book. The premise was so far from anything I could imagine, there wasn't much opportunity to think about what things meant, or what might happen next. The story clipped along, and what happened next was always a surprise. I did like how the advanced technology and capabilities of the powers to be were slowly revealed, and I liked the juxtaposition of almost primitive conditions played off the surreal. I accomplished nothing on my weekend, except drawing while I listened, until I was finished. Total escape, but not so good if you have things to do! I gather this was #1 in a series (it ended with many unanswered questions), so I'm sure I'll partake of the series. Though will save the next one until I can afford to listen non-stop.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My Go-To Comfort Audiobook

I've listened to this audiobook so many times. The narrator's voice is strong, and it's what I imagine Katniss' inner monologue would sound like. A joy and a comfort to listen to. #Audible1

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tcp100
  • Flemington, NJ United States
  • 2011-12-27

Great story. Absolutely grating narrator.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Hunger Games to be better than the print version?

Not at all. The narrator would define the noun

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunger Games?

Almost every part except hearing it read out loud.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her false accent, if you want to call it that, is way too distracting. She gets a little too weird describing the food, too (I know that's an integral theme in the book, but it shouldn't sound... sexual.) She does the forceful parts no justice, almost making a caricature of them.

Any additional comments?

Sad to see the whole series is narrated by the same person. I'm hoping she got some tips after the first and improved it - we'll see.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • Kingston, Jamaica
  • 2012-03-27

The Book Deserves The Hype

I listened all 11 hours and 14 minutes of this book in one sitting! Seriously.... Onnneee SIITTTIIINNGGGG!!!!!! I have never done that to an audiobook before. Heck I have had audiobooks that are 3 - 5 hours long that took me a week! This book took me one day and I bet if I had the actual paperback I would have finished this book in about half the time. Why? It was downright addictive!

My only drawback, as almost everyone else has stated, is the narration. It wasn't horrible by any chance, it was done very well actually. It is obvious that Carolyn McCormick who voiced Katniss does know how to deliver a great performance. With that being said though, a better choice could have been made to voice her. Someone younger or at least sounded younger could probably have done a better job. Carolyn McCormick did though did a very good job irrespectively.

The story, the story is where this book shine! Any book that can bring me back to a 15/16 year old me spending all day/evening/night engrossed in one book deserves my utmost praise. In fact when I was watching the sun rise as I finished the closing minutes of the book (I stayed up all night listening to the book) I couldn't help but chuckle wondering what my mother would say if she knew I was still sacrificing sleep for the sake of a good book, lol. It was action packed with a fair amount of surprises. Had some gut-wrenching moments and you just plain get to start loving and bonding with each character. The ending of the book leaves you downright begging for more though and I literally am just gearing myself up for another assault on Book 2 in this series. I can see another all nighter looming ever so closer in my future...

137 of 158 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Holly Helscher
  • Cincinnati
  • 2010-01-08

One of the Best in Fiction

It is not unusual these days to find a book written for the young adult that has appeal to an older audience. Some of the best fiction these days is in the young adult genre. The Hunger Games falls into this category. Katniss and Peeta are District 12 children, aged 16, who are selected to participate in Panem's annual hunger games. 22 other tributes/contestants are also drawn - 12 boys and 12 girls between the ages of 12 and 18. The objective for the tributes is to be the last one standing. The objective of Panem is to remind all districts that they may not rebel against the Capitol. The book is about the games themselves. If the reader is looking for a fast paced, action driven, gory, bloody plot, this is not the book. The violence of the games is not masked by Collins, but she treats it in a PG13 way, alluding at certain events that cause the deaths of the tributes. After all, it is written for the PG13 audience, not for the mature adult. But certainly a young adult sees and hears far worse on the evening news. The action of the book is far more about strategy, problem solving, critical thinking, relationship building, and the wisdom, or not, of rebelling and why. These are the common themes that young adults face in the teenage years. But they are couched in a plot that contemporaries can relate to. This cleverly created book is well written with good character development. It is respectably read by McCormick and easy to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone and have purchased it and the sequel (the final book in the trilogy will be available in print 8/2010) for two young adults I know. I have also recommended it to my adult friends, who were quite puzzled by my droopy eyes all week as I stayed up until 2:30 or later in the mornings reading the book. Although they know I am a voracious reader, they recognized this as a highly unusual book that fully engaged my attention.

189 of 222 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • LINDENHURST, NY, United States
  • 2013-03-08

Performance ruined it

This is a great story that the reader absolutely destroyed. She sounds like she's skipping through a field of daisies with a whimsical smile on her face during every scene. Wrong book for that, dear. This book is for young adults, not challenged 5 year olds. Boo. I want my credit back.

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JenniSews
  • ELKINS PARK, PA, United States
  • 2013-12-14

WOW!!

Where does The Hunger Games rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Hunger Games is definitely in my all-time top 10!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Loved Katniss (of course) but Ru definitely caught my heart.

What does Carolyn McCormick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She treated each character as distinctly different and very human, including those that could very easily have been turn cartoonish but didn't in her more-than-capable performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Ru's death

Any additional comments?

Dystopian novels are not my favorite genre but I LOVED THIS BOOK!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Reveurs
  • District 12
  • 2011-10-28

Katniss Everdeen read by an old lady, epic fail

As a huge fan of this series I was excited to pick it up on audio book. I should have listened to the sample. They had no business casting her to read this. I can hear her reading Jane Austen but not this. They really needed a younger, fresher sounding voice to read this book.

122 of 149 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • 2013-02-22

Could Not Stand this Narrator

First I'd like to say that I have now read all 3 Hunger Games novels and loved them all. I had to read them on my kindle because I simply couldn't stand this narrator. Her voice absolutely grated on my nerves. I was only able to make it through 1 chapter before her babyish rendition of Katniss turned me off completely.

51 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ross
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 2011-10-26

Carolyn McCormick's voice just doesn't work

I loved the story, but Carolyn McCormick's voice nearly ruined it for me. When she tried to do a little girl's voice, it sounded cartoonish and it grated my nerves. It was awful. When she tried to make the characters' voices sound surprised, she over played it and startled me each time. It sounds like she should be doing children's books.

If she is the voice for the rest of these books, I'll buy the paperbacks instead.

171 of 210 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Melody
  • Campbell, CA, USA
  • 2009-12-14

Good Book - Narrator not so much

This is a good story but I wish I would have read it instead of listened to it. The narrator uses such a whiny voice throughout the book that it gets annoying. I've listened to so many great narrators, it can make a huge difference in the entertainment quality of the book.

123 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2009-08-12

Annoying narrator

A great story ruined by the narrator. She speaks with an annoying affectation, and sounds as if she were reading to children. Perhaps she was trying to imitate the speech of the heroine -- but this doesn't explain why her delivery was so devoid of emotion. In all, very distracting. I'll avoid this narrator in the future.

101 of 126 people found this review helpful

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  • Henri
  • 2018-11-11

Excellent !

Les voix sont parfaites et correspondent aux personnages, la lectrice parle distinctement ce qui permet a ceux qui seraient intéressés mais qui doutent de leur niveau d'anglais de comprendre sans problème

1 of 1 people found this review helpful