04:52:40 PM May 8th 2012
I've tried to read "Mark Reads The Hunger Games" and found myself sort of... completely disappointed. Really, I suppose I don't understand what the point of "Mark Reads X" is. It does not seem like he offers up any sort of analysis or criticism of the text - he's not delving into characters' motivations, the book's symbolism, its social and political commentary, etc, except in an incredibly superficial manner. Thus, it seems like his reviews in general are very superficial, basically saying why he likes or dislikes something. This is not something that is necessarily bad - lots of reviews sort of work this way and they provide a service to people with similar tastes to the reviewer or if the reviewer can adequately explain why they like something - but then I'm not sure what the point of chapter by chapter reviews are. Is it going to help me decide which chapters to read? From my perspective, the point of chapter by chapter reviews are to provide an in depth, almost line by line analysis, like the sort you would get in a critical edition of a text. It seems that, given that his style is not analytical and that he is not actually doing any sort of textual criticism, he would be better served by compressing his reviews to get his point across in a timely fashion. So, am I wrong in my analysis? Is "Mark Reads The Hunger Games" something that stands out as particularly uncritical, whereas the rest of the "Mark Reads X" series more in depth? Or are all of his reviews basically him just saying what he loves, what he enjoys, what he's bored by, and what he hates?
01:56:11 AM May 9th 2012
You're correct it's less about textual analysis and criticism as it is Mark discovering something for the first time and watching him react to the plot points, twists and turns therein. It's a tradition that started with Twilight and spun off into the two websites he has today.
05:37:05 PM May 9th 2012
I figured as much. I guess I still don't get what's the point really, since it seemed like 84-96% of each review was either direct quotes from the book or him shouting either "Shit got real," "I was not prepared," or "What just happened!?" I was just sort of... hollow? Yes, hollow. I suppose it's just not my cup of tea, but I suppose I'm also wondering whose cup of tea it is. Who the audience is and what they look for in it and get out of it. I might try reading another book, just to see if maybe I can "get" it.