December 27, 2015

Review ~ Battle Royale: Remastered by Koushun Takami and transalated by Nathan Collins

Battle Royale: Remastered

Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: 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 one another until only one survivor is left standing.

Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it then proceeded to become 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. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available in a new English-language translation.

Purchase links:


Just in case you're still not convinced: there's a lot of violence in this book. A lot. 

Here are the parts I liked:
a.)  The way the author described the most simple things up to the gory details. They made me visualize what was happening with lesser effort on my part. Everything is vividly flashing on my mind as my eyes scanned the pages, the reason why I cannot put the book down. This factor prevented me from being distracted. Compliments to the author and the translator. 

b.) The psychology of this book. Kids are killing each other and it was a brilliant idea that the author jumped from one mind to another. Every person had their reasons why they did what they did. Mostly, it took me to the part of the brain where paranoia kicks in, however, it was how they tried to assess a situation that interest me. They're trying to fight their reflexes by being logical. 

c.) The sense of camaraderie. This book is full of betrayal. I couldn't really blame the kids, though. It's all about survival and for those who chose to play the game, it's one of the easiest method to kill their classmates. That's why the bond between Nanahara, Kawada and Nakagawa is a nice touch. It's one of the soft touches of the book that proves there is still care, protection and honesty under violence, deception and treachery. 

There are two parts I want to point out:
a.) Having a utopian/dystopian story should have a strong world building. That is why I'm a bit disappointed when I reached the part of the book where they explained why the government is doing this.  I think the government here is still not developed. 

b.) Their names. I am really very sorry; my great weakness is remembering names. This book has 42 names to remember (at least!) and to make it more difficult, they're Japanese names that's why it's a bit confusing. 

Overall, I see why they had to produce a movie out of this book. It's just that good!



Post a Comment