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.
Finding God in the Hunger Games
by Ken Gire
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.
Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.