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Reviews of Battle Royale (1999)

Review by g3n0v4h (2009-09-21)
A great enthralling read by a contemporary japanese author, his very first book and sci-fi novel as well. Now I'm not planning to present any spoilers in this fictional story though, but to begin it's a satire on the authoritarian government running in Japan with an extreme fascist perspective on it's laboring citizens. Anyways the primary concept is a bunch a junior high school students approximately the age of 15 participate in a dog eat dog elimination until only a single being is left alive. Finally, a GREAT! read and recommend to anybody who can stomach a violent exploitive pulp riff, 8.5/10

Review by Jago360 (2004-02-28)
If it wasn't for the often awkward translation I'd regard "Battle Royale" more highly. Also, I have to say that the claims that the book is a "high-octane thriller" seems to me rather inaccurate, as often there are fairly long stretches with little happening in the story. However, for all that, the book is still worth reading. Yes, it's often very violent (though there was only one scene that I thought was truly grotesque), but the premise, as the back of the book says, is irresistible...there are also some neat plot twists that you may not see coming.

Review by nzilla (2004-02-23)
Whoa! That's all I can say: "Whoa!" This book's amazing. Six hundred pages of tension and gore. Yep, lots o' gore. Oh, and there's a message in here somewhere. But the gore. I couldn't believe how quickly it went by. It's like Lord of the Flies meets A Clockwork Orange with a dash of 1984. OK, it's not in the same league as 1984, and the "down with the government!" battle-cry can be a little trite and clichéd at times, but it barely shows. It doesn't have nearly as much dark humor as the movie version, though it's hardly lacking, but it definitely has better fleshed-out themes than the movie managed to convey. I also like how the author managed to develop every single student before mercilessly slaughtering them; pretty impressive for a first-time writer. The English translation isn't absolutely perfect, though. There are two or three places in the book where the translator left out a word or two, characters' thoughts aren't italicized or otherwise marked, and some of the dialogue is a little on the stale side. Still, I definitely recommend it for anybody with a strong stomach. And remember, no whispering! 8/10




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