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The Hunger Pains: A Parody (Harvard Lampoon) Paperback – February 7, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"The Hunger Pains really struck a chord with me." —Kantkiss, protagonist of The Hunger Pains

"Instead of the Bible, rooms should come with a copy of The Hunger Pains."  —Sheraton Hotel Memo

"This book makes me wish I'd never been shot."  —Abraham Lincoln

"The book always falls through my hands, but in an undeniably funny way." —A Ghost

About the Author

The Harvard Lampoon debuted in February 1876 and is the world’s longest continually published humor magazine. Lampoon alumni include comedians Conan O’Brien, Andy Borowitz, Greg Daniels, Jim Downey, Al Jean, and B.J. Novak. Other alums have written for Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Futurama, Late Night with David Letterman, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, and dozens of other shows. The Harvard Lampoon is also the author of Nightlight and The Hunger Pains. Visit

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Lampoon
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451668201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451668209
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 87 people found the following review helpful By soren121 on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
First, I'm not a diehard Hunger Games fan like some of the other reviewers here. I've read the books, and enjoyed them. I also enjoy parodies, though not this one.

There is no smart or intelligent humor in this book. Basically, what the writers did was take a piece of the plot and completely turn it inside out. Instead of being a coal mining district, District 12 does telemarketing. Instead of Katniss being smart and brave, she is as dim-witted as a sack of bricks and horrifyingly ugly. Initially, these jokes might strike you as sort of funny, and might elicit a small smile. But they often take the joke and just RUN with it, making it painfully unfunny.

I feel like very little effort was put into the book. If I were to imagine the writing process, I'd imagine that they sat in a room, threw ideas at the wall, and every single idea was written into the book. Then they went home for the day, and the book was sent to the publisher.

I would hesitate to even call The Hunger Pains a parody. It doesn't point out comedy in the real books, or do much, if any, commentary. It takes the real plot, and turns it into a mind-numbingly stupid mess.

After about 90 pages, I stopped reading and gave the book back to the friend I borrowed it from. I felt like I deserved a refund, and I didn't even pay for the book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By AJR on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If i could rate The Hunger Pains only half a star, i would. I think it was a huge waste of money. I read many reviews saying how hilarious this book is, so i bought it, but to me it was just immature. One minute it is talking about farting, and the next it is a bit inapropriate. i would not recommend this book for kids under 13.

When i read the sample of The Hunger Pains, it was a litte funny, and i got a laugh out of a couple things. But when I bought the book, it was like the writers didn't put any thought into it once they got past the first two chapters. It was like they took each sentence out of the book and replaced a few words with 'fart' or 'poop'. In the book, Kantkiss (Katniss)is so dumb and stupid, its not even funny, like trying to run strait through a fence, thinking a baby was laughing when it was actually suffocating with it's face in a pillow, and not knowing what to do with a shovel she was sent when she was trying to dig a hole with her hands. Also, the games in The Hunger Pains arent even realistic, because Kantkiss gets everything she asks for from her sponsors.

The Hunger Pains is so short, i finished it in about a day and a half. The games themselves only last about 50 or 60 pages.

So, like i said before, The Hunger Pains is immature, not funny, and not worth $10.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Bantilan on May 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well I got this book because my friend recommended it and I loved it. It is a little inappropriate, like Kantkiss talks about sleeping with Pita and doing sexual with him. So yes, a little inappropriate, but a really good book. I recommend this book who can handle thing like talking about sleeping with people, I don't recommend this for kids 12 and under.
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28 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
While this wasn't horrible it wasn't all that funny either. I got about half way through and was truly bored because it was just more of the same type of humor. I did find the modifications of names, places and events creative and humorous, some more than others and when you first start the book, it is entertaining with this approach and you will recognized the original plot which it sticks to closely. That is definitely a plus for Hunger Games fans and part of the fun of reading this as opposed to other parodies that are fart and poop type of jokes with no plot. This is never offensive in that way. However, some parts are odd and not funny at all. It may also change your way you look at Peta and Gayle. If you're a fan of Peta, you might not like this at all. The problem for me was eventually, the humor became repetitive and while it went along with the story, the jokes were predictable and I lost interest.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pirate2240 on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Yes, that's right! You've read the title correctly! The Harvard Lampoon has taken the book The Hunger Games and made a parody out of it. For those of you that love The Hunger Games and aren't afraid of some great humor along the way, then you will LOVE this book.

In this complete parody on literally everything associated with the Hunger Games, we find ourselves being introduced to District 12's Kantkiss Neverclean who is on her way to meet Carol Handsomestein for a little hunting practice to gain food since in this District ruled by the Capital, there isn't enough food. So using all their vital hunting skills, Kantkiss and Carol, dodge chain link fence, some one line jokes on their way to their first kill, a lowly cow grazing in the pasture. As they divide the Top Sirlion from the New York Strip, the face the dawn of Super Fun Day. The day in which a tribute is chosen from each district, a boy and girl, to compete in a challenge to the death in a series of games.

The parody is literally non stop as you read through each paragraph and each subtle new character is introduced, from Kantkiss's partner from District 12, Pita Malarkey to their stylist, Cinnabon, who prepares them to meet their challengers in the Hunger Games. The parody cleverly tackles the themes of morality, government control, and personal independence with the Harvard Lampoon's signature wit.

I received a copy of the Hunger Pains compliments of Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster publishers for my honest review. Being huge Hunger Pains fans, I had to read this one. I was quite literally reading this out loud to my husband and we were laughing and smirking all night long.
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