I first heard of Battle Royale when reading reviews of The Hunger Games, when it was suggested that Ms. Collins’ inspiration must have come from this...moreI first heard of Battle Royale when reading reviews of The Hunger Games, when it was suggested that Ms. Collins’ inspiration must have come from this book. It took me a while, but after seeing a few more recommendations, I purchased a copy and sat it on my shelf. Where it sat for several months until last Saturday I decided I felt like reading a paperback book and it was the first one I picked up.
To be honest, at first I was a little wary – sure the storyline sounds amazing, but how could I possibly keep 42 (!) characters (with Japanese names which also confuse me) straight in my head? I have trouble with half a dozen sometimes….so it was with a little trepidation that I opened the book to the first page...
I was immediately hooked – keeping the characters straight was made easier by a list of names in the front of the book, and when characters that had been previously mentioned reappeared, the link back through the writing was strong enough that I was fully aware of who was who, their story, their actions and their fates.
This is not a book for the faint hearted – Takami holds nothing back in his imagination, and some scenes are jaw-dropping in their intensity and detail, but the story itself stops Battle Royale from spiraling into a mindless bloodbath. There are twists and turns I never saw coming and the ending is breathtaking (and unexpected!).
Three days and more than 600 pages later I finished reading (I put off the final 20-odd pages off because I didn’t want it to end!), put down the book, turned to my boyfriend and said just one word “Wow!”.
I wish I could tell you more about this book, but it is a difficult book to review without giving away key parts of the story. If you can get a copy, you should definitely invest in this book – I’ll definitely be going back to this one again!