Now I'm a huge fan of the film, and call me shallow but I actually didn't know the movie was based on a book until I accidentally found it through browsing the Amazon books section. I was shocked to learn it was a book but when considering my own opinions about the somewhat glazing over of certain characters and their personalities, it's not really surprising.
The story follows a group of students from Shiroiwa Junior High School who, under the guise of a study trip, are kidnapped by the government of the Republic of East Asia and entered into "The Program". The Program is a government run competition which pitches a class of 3rd Year Junior High School students against each other in a game of death. They must kill each other until there is only one survivor, otherwise, they all die.
I could not put this book down. I loved every minute of it. I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Japanese culture, and although this doesn't exactly delve into that culture on the traditional level, however, it does give an interesting glimpse (from the English translation) of a use of language that is Americanised in structure. The writing takes on quite a conversational tone which provides for the easy flow of the narrative and presents the characters and the situation in a much more realistic fashion.
The characters are given scope to be explored in the depth that is needed in order to truly understand their reactions to the situation. It's not just graphic and shocking, it's intelligent and insightful as it gives a psychological exploration of kids in a situation so alien. The writer presents a chilling feeling of impossibility, the struggle that the kids in this book find themselves in is frightening, almost claustrophobic with the idea that you either kill or die.
Perhaps it's a more blunt look at the every day behaviour and minds of the modern day teenager. Being unable to really trust those around you, no matter how close you are to them or no matter how much you care for them, they may not feel the same way. Perhaps I'm looking a bit too much into it, but I simply loved this and would highly recommend it.
I had "Battle Royale" on my "to read" list for quite sometime. I finally managed to get my hands on it, and it was worth the wait. "Battle Royale" is a captivating read, from start to finish. As the tile suggests, the pages fly by and after several hours, I could not believe that this tome was 600+ pages. The storyline is intriguing, like a car wreck. That timeless saying about watching a car wreck is a perfect metaphor for the children in this book. I didn't want to learn … more
Ah, "Battle Royale". 42 kids, mostly about 15 - 16 years old, stuck on a small island, fighting and killing each other in a variety of ways as gruesome as any you'd see in a "Friday the 13th" film. What's not to love? The basic story is still the same as in the other forms of this work. Some of the deaths are different. Some of the choices the characters make are different (especially Shuya, who doesn't really bloody his hands in the movie, but gets them quite red in this … more
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence, is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world. The first novel by small-town journalist Koushun Takami, it went on to become an even more notorious film by 70-year-old gangster director Kinji Fukusaku.