Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 11, 2012

The Hunger Games Part II: Catching Fire

Air travel delays allowed me to consume this book today.   It was an eager and easy meal.  Suzanne Collins gave another bravo performance with words.  Her development of relationships – written in the first person – is excellent.  A woman is much better tuned in to relationships to write this so well.  And she built the web of relationships and conflicts beautifully.

Her second book could make as good a movie as the first.   Could.  Hope it does.  The story line grabs me.

It really moves me.  It makes me think about my second novel stuck at page 15 for so many years.

And, it makes me want to share these disparate thoughts.

First, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire have no God.  Both books lose that dimension of life.  It means so much to humankind – and especially to the descendants of any post apocalyptic America.   Because too many Americans are too devout as Christians to not have their children’s children’s children’s etc share their Christian faith.   Especially the tough people of District 12 – West Virginia – would not forget the Lord Jesus Christ.  Not in another thousand years of very hard times.

Second, Suzanne Collins has blended Rome and an Orwellian vision of Totalitarianism – as awful as the Nazi and Communist Human Secularists did it – and as terrible as so many men do evil today in too many corners of the world and always have.  It is a powerful concoction.

I think about the people who have lived just to survive under absolute power.  The tyranny that is the normal way of the world.  And the people who fought tyranny.   Like my son-in-law’s Grandmother in Ukraine.  And the many people I’ve read about.

How lucky we are to live in this bubble of Western Civilization – on our branch of American Civilization – at this time.  How fragile is this bubble.  The Rule of Law is only as good as good men and women make it, protect it, honor it.

Then I think about my GGGGG-Grandfather John Bowden, in Virginia in 1776,  talking to his 5 sons about whether or not to take up arms against their legal sovereign .  How gut-wrenching was that?

I wish I could have heard GG-Grandfathers Bowden, Maley, League, Holland, Cox and Smith – and maybe Tillman, in Tennessee and South Carolina in 1861,  when they talked to their wives and parents about what to do – now that their soveriegn state legislatures had seceeded from the United States of America.

I hope my children, grandchildren – and their progeny – do not have to have such stark conversations.   They may face danger from abroad – on overseas battlefields, but may they never have to face such threats here at home – again.

Look forward to reading the final book in the series.



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