Friday, September 24, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 46

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

Battle Royale
by Koushun Takami

Battle RoyaleThough this novel, and the movies and graphic novels based upon it, have a following, it's too bad more people don't know about it.

The plot: It's the near future. The government secretly selects a group of junior-high aged students for a test, an experiment of sorts. This experiment has been going on for years, every year. What does this experiment consist of? Dropping the students on an island. Giving them weapons and a limited amount of time. The students must kill one another. Only one person is allowed to survive. If the students decide not to participate, or attempt to cheat in any way, they are killed through explosive collars around their neck.

Sounds twisted, doesn't it? And it is.

It's also a great tale of how a group of kids try to beat the system. Do they? I won't tell. That would be giving away the ending.

Imagine a forced Lord of the Flies with guns, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what Battle Royale contains.

It's a romp of a story, with plenty of action and adventure, and more than a little gore for you horror fans. Also, if you are the type of reader who likes substance with their fiction, this novel is also for you, because it will definitely make you think about the world in which we live, our governments, our game shows, the way we treat one another and more.

One of the most enjoyable reads I've had in the last several years.

Up next: Killer's Choice


Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, I had not heard of it but I will check for it now.

David Barron said...

This was the first (and only) book I read in Japanese. Yes, the professor actually assigned it. Then I read it in English and was like: "Whoa, what?" on account of my Japanese reading skills were/are pretty bad.

But I like it! I've heard good things about the comic book adaptation as well. And terrible things about the movie.