Thursday, June 9, 2011

Listen to This: The Hunger Games Audiobook

The Hunger Games audiobook
by Suzanne Collins
read by Carolyn McCormick

The Short Story-ish
Last January my husband asked if I'd be interested in listening to some story about a bunch of starving kids who had to fight to the death, with the winner being rewarded with food. My response was no. Followed by "why would I want to hear a story about that?" Lucky for me, he got the CD's from the library anyway and I got a new thing to fangirl over. Since it's audiobook week, and I just listened to this again, it's time to review.

Come for the...
story come to life. I love The Hunger Games series, so having another way to enjoy it is a good thing. (Heck, I've even read them in Spanish;. Los Juegos del Hambre, En Llamas, which has nothing to do with the animals, and Sinsajo, if you're interested). Listening to someone act out the banter between Katniss and Peeta, or drunken, surly Haymitch just adds something for me.

But that would be true with any audiobook. The reason I think this one is so good is because of the voices. The narrator sounds like (and probably is) a middle-aged woman. The older voice works for Katniss in the same way that it works for Lisa Simpson. It makes her sound older than her years, which fits the character really well. Also, the voices for Effie, the prep team, and Haymitch are perfect. Woody Harrelson should play Haymitch exactly like he is in the audiobook.
Stay for the
creepy music that plays at the beginning of the first and end of the last CD, but thankfully nowhere else.

The Drawbacks

  • Ok, a middle-aged woman is not the best at doing voices for young men. Gale, Peeta, and Finnick (oh, Finnick) all sound basically the same.
  • As is the case with all audiobooks, the narrator reads far more slowly than you would if you were reading to yourself. But, that comes in pretty handy when you're road tripping to (undisclosed location) and have a lot of time to kill in Nevada.

Have you ever tried the audio version for a book you've liked?


  1. I'm not a huge audiobook fan but should I ever give one a try I need a good narrator. Oh, Finnick, indeed!

  2. The narrator really makes a difference! This lady does a good job, except for making the guys sound a like. I think men have an easier time trying to do a women's voice than the other way around.
    (and seriously, who didn't love Finnick?) :)

  3. She is definitely a gifted narrator, and I would love to listen to her read literary fiction, but I still wish they'd gotten someone a little younger sounding to narrate since this is first person in the point of view of a teenager. Scholastic's audios often frustrate me with narrator choice, though.

  4. Really? Nevada? That's where I live. And yes...lots of wide open spaces out there to have some long hours of audio love!

  5. I listened to this on the way to a writing conference several years ago. Though I read the second and third books, I still had the narrator's voice in my head.