Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

battle royaleBattle Royale is a controversial story about 44 ninth-grade Japanese students. They’re taken to a small isolated island, left individually with some survival items, one random weapon, and forced to kill each other until one winner remains.

It’s an allegory of what it means to survive in today’s “kill or be killed” world. If you could set apart the gory scenes, and concentrate on the characters and their interpersonal relationships, you would find that the book is much more than just a scary violent novel (said by a person that doesn’t like action, violence, and gore :).

I’ve watched the movie before reading the book, and in my opinion the book is far refined, detailed, and emotionally engaging. I’m drawn to the each character and feel for even the most “evil” ones.

I finished the book in 2 weeks. It is truly a page-turner. Even I had known who would die and live from the movie, I still read chapter by chapter anxiously, counting alive classmates, and couldn’t wait about what happened next.

~ Finished it on 21 September 2005

4 stars
1999 (Japanese), 2003 (English), 616 pp

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