Review: The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous GameThe Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My enjoyment of this short story (or was it long enough to be a novella?) was only marred by the fact that the story is so famous that I’ve seen it referenced and parodied a million times. Of course, that’s part of what made me want to finally read it.

First, point of clarification, I always thought the “game” in the title was the hunt. But “game” refers to the animal. As in the phrase “an elephant is a game animal”

This story was written in the 1920s and so it has that “90% of this book is a philosophy discussion that might be had on a college campus” that I’m used to from reading Golden Age Science Fiction.

Nonetheless, the story is a great one (look at all the adaptations listed here:…), especially considering the notions of hunting, manliness, etc that were common in the west in the 1920s. It’s got some proper surprises and climaxes and, especially because it’s a short story – I wasn’t sure if it was going to have a happy ending or not. Generally, the further you get from Hollywood movie (Broadway -> regular play -> books -> novellas -> short stories) the more likely you are to find subversions of tropes, expectations, and social mores.

Pretty fast read – and recommended since everything references it (as long as you can get past the 1920s-1940s more dialog than action style).

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