[This is the second essay comparing the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games trilogy. Part 1 was posted on January 30, 2013.]
In the first entry of this series, we examined Harry Potter’s and Katniss Everdeen’s journeys along the “Hero’s Path”, what Joseph Campbell called the great human “monomyth”. This time, let’s look briefly at ways in which both series tap into another literary tradition: the Dystopia. Continue reading
We’re just days away from Halloween, and have a few good links well suited to the holiday. First, Fantasy Faction has quite the aggregation of SFF links and v
ideos, including information on how to zombie-proof your house and dress as a famous work of art for your Halloween party. Kirkus Reviews has a piece up on H.P. Lovecraft, Off the Mark imagines out a soft drink for werewolves, and all the Top [n.] lists of the week seem to be horror-related: 10 massively awesome giant movie monsters, 10 stereotypical horror movie victims, 8 things Hollywood can no longer make creepy, the 15 greatest mad doctors of nerddom, and–in a nicely meta twist–the top 10 lists about horror movies.
Excellent non-Halloween news for Tolkien fans: Mythgard Institute has announced Mythmoot, a Tolkien/The Hobbit conference in Maryland, running December 15 and 16 with a private screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. From the site:
Today being the 75th anniversary of the release of The Hobbit, and tomorrow being Hobbit Day, you’ll want to have Second Breakfast–and there’s a site dedicated to helping you do just that at 11 AM today. (Reading this a few hours late? It’s eleven o’clock somewhere. Go for it!)
If you’re hosting, you might want to check out Jana Riess’ delightful piece titled “Everything I Needed to Know about Hospitality, I Learned from Molly Weasley.” The rest of us will want to check it out just because it’s about Molly Weasley; who could stand to miss an article on every wizard and witch’s favorite mum?
Once you’ve read about Mrs. Weasley, if you’re hungry for more posts on Potter, you might try yours truly’s little “Harry Potter and the Writer of Fairy Tales,” guest posted over at the lovely fairy tale blog Spinning Straw into Gold.
And one more for the Harry Potter department: a little Voldy humor.
In other news:
Before we dive too deeply into the Potter, fantasy, sci-fi, and other geek links of the week, don’t forget to watch for Doctor Who posts from Travis, or to comment on Kris’ series on numerology! I’m headed for Three myself after I get this post up.
In all things Potter:
Our last Common Room post having been nearly a month ago, we’ve aggregated quite a number of links, so prepare yourselves for a full and (hopefully) satisfying websurfing experience.
We all know the Internet world has exploded with Hunger Games movie reviews. Along with those have come various spinoff posts, including Slate.com’s fascinating “How Will They Make a Movie out of Mockingjay?” and FilmCritic.com’s “How YA Like ‘The Hunger Games’ Came to Rule Fantasy and Scifi Films“. For those who read The Hunger Games and want more books along the same lines, Tor.com offers “Hunger No More: YA Fiction to Fill the Hunger Games Void“, and Flavorwire gives us a similar post starring mostly different books, titled “Required Reading: Dystopic Books where Kids Meet Tragic Fates“.
As we all know, one bestseller induces an onslaught of similar books. When Harry Potter got popular, wizards appeared everywhere. Post-Twilight, paranormal romance still dominates the YA shelves. After The Hunger Games, dystopia began taking over the world.
As a general rule, the original bestseller is vastly better, or at least more interesting, than the swarm that comes after. But in dystopia, that trend seems less stable. Ally Condie’s Matched is a good book, and Roth’s Divergent is even better. Comparison between The Hunger Games, despite its clearer and more shocking concept, and Divergent, which has held a spot on the NYT bestseller list for eight weeks with its still-harsh but more bearable storyline, could potentially be almost on an even level.