Battle Royale

Battle Royale
Koushun Takami
3 Stars
Epub, 491 Pages

I think the little blurb aptly describes this, “a Lord of the Flies for the 21st Century”. Exploring ideas of trust, hate, free will, love, fear, etc, etc, Takami takes us for a ride into forced depravity. A look at a world where spirituality is dead and only the material matters.

in an alternate world, there are 2 main empires, the American Empire, and the Asian Empire. Each year the Asian Empire takes a class of junior high students, drops them off in a remote place and has them fight to death. 3 students stick together and make a plan to survive. 2 of them get off the island and the book ends with them running from the police. Overall, I would call this a japanese version of Lord of the Flies where the fallen humanity of humans comes to the surface. This was very violent, with every student, but the 2 escaping, dying. Explores ideas of trust, freedom, free will, the sneakiness of big government, love, hate and the lack of emotions. It was creepy, but brought the idea of people turning on each other up to date with modern times [as opposed to Lord of the Flies back in the WWII era].

That all being said, this WAS one of the most violent books I’ve read this year. And that is not a praise.