Monday, 31 March 2014

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 617
Publisher: Gollancz
Released: May 2007 (first published 1999)

A class of 42 junior high school students are taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided with weapons and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing.

What I Have To Say

I have to admit that I was interested in this book because of the Hunger Games being compared to it so much. And I also have to admit that I saw the film before I read the book. I can definitely see how much this book influenced the Hunger Games. But I like them both. They have similarities and they have differences and I think they're both good in their own ways.

Battle Royale is a lot more violent than the Hunger Games. And there are a lot more people in the Game. I was a little worried that it might be hard to keep track of (and it was pretty hard in the film) but it actually worked pretty well, especially since there were maybe seven main players to keep track of and most of it was centred around the main three.

It is definitely much more chilling than the Hunger Games. Especially since the children are killing their own friends and classmates rather than strangers from other districts. And some of the scenes can get quite gory (especially in the movie!) So this is not for the young faint of heart, but something I do really recommend, especially for those who enjoyed the Hunger Games.

A word of warning about the movie though. It is great, but harrowing. Have chocolate nearby and be prepared to feel a bit hollow for an hour or so! The book is less hard-hitting, but probably best not to read it all in one go.

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