The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Thoughts on the Audio

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, narrated by Carolyn McCormick
Published in print by Scholastic Press
Published in audio by Scholastic Audio

This is just going to be a commentary on the audio editions. I have previously reviewed the print versions of both “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire.” The following thoughts are completely spoiler-free.

When I first started listening to audio versions of “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire,” I was very disconcerted. There is pretty much no way at all that Carolyn McCormick’s voice could pass for that of a teenage girl. Don’t get me wrong, she has a gorgeous voice and I would love to listen to her read literary fiction, but it seemed very odd in the first person narrative of a teenager (incidentally, this is the second Scholastic Audio casting in a row in which I thought at least one narrator sounded far too old for their character – perhaps there is a dearth of narrators who can pass for teens?).

Although I had a hard time with such a mature voice narrating Katniss’s inner-most thoughts and giving voice to her words, McCormick did a fabulous job with the voices of other characters. Between “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire,” McCormick appears to have been given direction to actually do a voice for Katniss, instead of narrating in her own voice. Although it was still odd to hear Katniss’s thoughts in McCormick’s voice, it did help me believe her words as those of the teenager a bit better.

McCormick did a fabulous job with most of the voices, and imbued “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” audios with the danger and drama of the books, so over all I would say these are highly recommended, even if her Katniss really had to grow on me. I can’t wait to get the audio of “Mockingjay” for a reread.

I borrowed both of these audiobooks from the library.

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6 comments to The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Thoughts on the Audio

  • I listened to the first chapter of Mockingjay on Facebook last week before the book release and I thought the same thing about the narrator. She sounded far too old to be Katniss and it was extremely disconcerting. I’m sure I’d get used to it over a bit of time and I do have both Hunger Games and Catching Fire on audio so I imagine I’ll do re-reads in that format at some point.

  • I, too, thought it was strange that McCormick narrated a story written for a teenage protagonist, but I found her voice so beautiful and soothing that it didn’t matter to me. I thought the crispness of her voice was extremely compatible with the vividness of the writing.

  • Lisa

    I enjoyed the audio productions, but found McCormick unsettling at times in her interpretation of some of the Capitol voices (older men often sounded like goofy caricatures to my ear). Also, I’m finishing Mockingjay now and there were moments where she seemed to lose track of consistency in voice at spots, particularly with Haymitch. I don’t know if it’s because I listened to all 3 very close together and she didn’t have a chance to refer to what she had done before when a character suddenly re-entered the script, but it stuck out at times. All tha aside, I think I would really like her as a narrator for another piece.

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