Dystopia Is The New Vampire, Ctd

Tom Carson offers up a couple more explanations for The Hunger Games hoopla. Andrew O'Hehir cites Collins' many inspirations, from the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur to coverage of the Iraq war, but thinks the appeal is much simpler:

The Hunger Games taps into a vibrant current of pop culture and indeed of Western civilization in general, one that never really runs dry. It’s the idea that our species remains cruel and barbarous at heart, that the strong will always rule the weak by whatever means necessary, and that our collective obsession with sports and games and other forms of manufactured entertainment is a flimsy mask for sadism and voyeurism. 

Abigail Miller compares Katniss' story to the Book of Esther and Purim, while Yglesias goes into the weeds on the economic system of the tyrannical Capitol.