'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins is a disturbing and brilliant book. It is set in the future and involves children chosen by weighted lottery killing each other on television, the winner being the last one left alive. Like all good children's books it's essential reading for adults, and like all good dystopias there's enough of today in it to make it plausible. In no order and among other things, it shines light on celebrity culture, reality TV, the sexualisation of children and the infantilisation of adults, trust and deceit, relationships between the generations and the colonisation of the inner soul by external technologies of thought and deed. Above all, it reminds us that what we today hold unconscionable can all too easily be made banal and everyday, and even a matter of celebration and solidarity; and that there, but for the grace of whatever has replaced God, we may go too.