Books Like The Hunger Games - The Seventh Victim

The Seventh Victim

What's it about?

The Seventh Victim was written in 1953 by Robert Sheckley.

In a war-weary world people have devised a way to end all war: Reinstate the gladiatorial games of the past and turn man's innate violent tendencies into a voluntary, legal, murderous cat-and-mouse game. The Seventh Victim doesn't focus on the gladiatorial games but on the murderous cat-and-mouse game. Rechanneling Man's violence has successfully averted war, and we get a glimpse into a strange world where violence is "contained".

Here's a story excerpt:

... To stop the race from destroying itself ... rechannel Man’s violence.

Provide him with an outlet, an expression.

The first big step was the legalization of gladiatorial events, complete with blood and thunder. But more was needed. Sublimations worked only up to a point. Then people demanded the real thing.

There is no substitute for murder.

Books Like The Hunger Games - Theseus and the Minotaur Myth

Theseus and the Minotaur Myth

What's it about?

Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, had several children before the Minotaur. The eldest of these, Androgeus, set sail for Athens to take part in the Pan-Athenian games which were held there every five years. Being strong and skillful, he did very well, winning some events outright. He soon became a crowd favorite, much to the resentment of the Pallantides and they assassinated him, incurring the wrath of Minos.
When King Minos had heard of what befell his son, he ordered the Cretan fleet to set sail for Athens. Minos asked Aegeus for his son's assassins, and if they were to be handed to him, the town would be spared. However, not knowing who they were, King Aegeus surrendered the whole town to Minos' mercy. His retribution was that, at the end of every Great Year (seven solar years), the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens were to board a boat and be sent as tribute to Crete, never to be seen again.

Books Like The Hunger Games - The Long Walk

The Long Walk

What's it about?

The Long Walk is a novel by Stephen King published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman in 1979. Set in a near future, the plot revolves around the contestants of a grueling walking contest that is held annually by a despotic and totalitarian version of the United States of America.

In 2000 the American Library Association listed The Long Walk as one of the 100 best books for teenage readers published between 1966 and 2000.

How is it like The Hunger Games?

  • Contestants are chosen by lottery.
  • The game ends when one contestant is left.

Book Details

Movies Like The Hunger Games - The Condemned (2007)

The Condemned (2007)

What's it about?

Jack Conrad is awaiting the death penalty in a corrupt Central American prison. He is "purchased" by a wealthy television producer and taken to a desolate island where he must fight to the death against nine other condemned killers from all corners of the world, with freedom going to the sole survivor.

How is it like The Hunger Games?

  • Features a fight to the death game.

Movie Details

  • Rated R for pervasive strong brutal violence, and for language.
  • IMDB Page
The Condemned (2007) Trailer

Movies Like The Hunger Games - The Tournament (2009)

The Tournament (2009)

What's it about?

Every seven years, thirty of the world’s most deadly assassins face off against one another for an outrageous cash prize. There’s only one rule: kill or die. As dozens of wealthy gamblers watch via closed-circuit TV, a city is overrun by brutal assassins - all aiming to be the last one standing.

How is it like The Hunger Games?

  • Features a fight to the death game.

Movie Details

  • Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some nudity.
  • IMDB Page

Books Like The Hunger Games - The Survivor

The Survivor

What's it about?

Written in 1965 by Walter F. Moudy, The Survivor is set during the 2050 Olympic War Games between the US and Russia. The games are designed to make clear the horrors of war to the public, and are therefore televised. It's uncanny portrayal of reality TV echoes the reality TV we now know. Remember, this was written nearly half a century before our current reality TV craze.

One hundred soldiers on each side, armed to the teeth, are placed in a large camera-laced arena with battlefield terrain such as forests, hills and a lake, and must fight it out until all of one side is killed. The survivors are hailed as heroes, and the loser pays restitution to the winner.

The commentators use colorful commentary, closeups, and treat the game like a sporting event. Below is an excerpt from the story:
"Wait a minute, folks. He's been hit! He's down! The runner has been shot. You saw it here, folks. Brilliant camera work. Simply great. John, how about that?"

"Simply tremendous, Bill. A really great shot. Ed, can we back the cameras up and show the folks that action again? Here it is in slow motion, folks. Now you see him ... here he is, folks, Private Ted Krogan from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here he is coming around the last clump of bushes—now watch this, folks—he gets about half way across the clearing  —and there it is, folks, you can actually see the bullet strike his throat—a direct hit. Watch this camera close up of his face, you'll see him die in front of your eyes. And there he goes—he rolls over and not a move. He was dead before he hit the ground. Bill, did any of our cameras catch where that shot came from?"

How is it like The Hunger Games?

  • Both feature a televised fight to the death game.
  • The winner has a difficult time going back to his pre-game life.


This is much darker than The Hunger Games. I'd recommend it for high school aged kids to adults.

Read the story The Survivor by Walter F. Moudy, for free below.

Movies and Books Like The Hunger Games - Running Man

The Running Man

What's it about?

The Running Man is a novel by Stephen King that was later made into a move.

The Running Man book synopsis:
The Running Man is set within a dystopian future in which the poor are seen more by the government as worrisome rodents than actual human beings. The protagonist of The Running Man, Ben Richards, is quick to realize this as he watches his daughter, Cathy, grow more sick by the day and tread closer and closer to death. Desperate for money to pay Cathy’s medical bills, Ben enlists himself in a true reality style game show where the objective is to merely stay alive.

The Running Man movie synopsis:
A wrongly-convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a TV game show.

How is it like The Hunger Games?

  • Both feature a televised fight to the death game.

Movie Details

The Running Man Trailer