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Battle Royale (2003)

by Koushun Takami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Battle Royale (Original Novel - All other works derive from this)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,5311002,604 (4.11)1 / 99
Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. A new translation by Nathan Collins.… (more)
  1. 112
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Kira)
    Kira: The Hunger Games is a shorter, less violent book, with a similar plotline of children forced to fight to the death.
  2. 61
    The Long Walk by Stephen King (LadyHazy)
  3. 51
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Panairjdde)
    Panairjdde: Two books that explore the survival instinct of people, even at youg age, as fueled by fear and lust for violence
  4. 41
    The Running Man by Stephen King (mniday)
  5. 21
    The Crimson Labyrinth by Yusuke Kishi (Jacey25)
  6. 01
    Hunters of the Red Moon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Konran)
  7. 01
    Kung Fu High School by Ryan Gattis (slickdpdx)
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» See also 99 mentions

English (98)  Italian (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Quick read considering the length of the book. Super violent and matter-of-fact writing; I don't know if it was the style of the book or the translation, but it certainly wasn't flowery writing. Not the best book but quite interesting. I can see why people say Hunger Games ripped it off, as they were pretty much the same story. I did like the fact that every death here was shown, and we saw each character's perspective at least once. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
I liked this better than The Hunger Games (and of course this book came first), because the psychology is so much more interesting: the 40 kids on the island are classmates, most of whom have known each other for years, so they have all kinds of interesting connections -- grudges, crushes -- that affect their actions. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
I feel like I enjoyed this book to much. It was so entertaining. ( )
  Teri_O | Nov 11, 2020 |
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami One of the dystopian classics!
 
I think this is a teen novel but being Japanese you can never tell. This is Big In Japan!---------------------Basic Scenario Without SpoilersSet in an alternative authoritarian future where a bunch of school kids get dumped on an island, get given a black bag with some kind of weapon in it and told to kill each other. There can only be one survivor.Various parts of the island become "out of bounds" as denoted by daily loud speaker announcements and a supplied map. Just to reinforce the point they all have a large collar fitted round their necks that will detonate if the happen to find themselves in the forbidden zones. Any attempt to remove the collar results in the obligatory explosion. If there is more that one survivor after 72 hours(?) all their heads will blow.---------------------An interesting exploration into solo vs collaborative attempts to survive and trust vs self interest.Sound stupid but is in fact a good read. Not quite believable, but convincing none the less. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
Whew! What an exhilarating book! This gets compared to Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games and those are fair comparisons, but it really is in a class all by itself.

More purposeful than Lord of the Flies and less political than The Hunger Games, this story is a gory romp through a nihilistic cat and mouse game forced upon a busload of students. I was surprised by the level of violence and gore, but it really added to the tension and served a purpose. There's definitely a political statement here, but it does not come off as heavy-handed and it just feels like part of the world the story exists in. I really enjoyed this read!

( )
  spaceman5000 | Jul 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Koushun Takamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Collins, NathanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oniki, YujiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
"A student is not a tangerine." - Kinpachi Sakamoto, Third Tear Class B
"But tramps like us, baby we were born to run" - Bruce Springsteen, "Born to Run"
"It's so hard to love" - Motoharu Sano, "It's so hard to love"
"During all those last weeks I spent there, there was a peculiar evil feeling in the air - an atmosphere os suspicion, fear, uncertainty, and veiled hatred. You seemed to spend all your time holding whispered conversations in corners of cafes and wondering whether that person at the next table was a police spy. I do not know if I can bring home to you how deeply that action touched me. It sounds a small thing, but it was not. You have got to realize what was the feeling of the time - the horrible atmosphere of suspicion and hatred." - George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia
Dedication
I dedicate this to everyone I love. Even though it might not be appreciated.
First words
As the bus entered the prefectural capital of Takamatsu, garden suburbs transformed into city streets of multicolored neon, headlights of oncoming cars, and checkered lights of office buildings.
Quotations
"Don't even think of raping me after beating me to a pulp. Look, little kid, you should worry more about your life than your dick." Takako Chigusa (female student NO. 13)
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This is a novel, and should not be combined with Vol. 1 of the manga adaptation: http://www.librarything.com/work/5691...
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. A new translation by Nathan Collins.

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