Synopses & Reviews
, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence, is one of Japan's best-selling and most controversial novels.
As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television.
A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world. The first novel by small-town journalist Koushun Takami, it went on to become an even more notorious film by 70-year-old gangster director Kinji Fukusaku.
"[F]ascinatingly entertaining and a powerful study in the inner workings of human nature....Reminiscent of the William Golding classic Lord of the Flies
, Battle Royale
revels in the paranoia created by the situation itself." David Hannon, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
This classic yet controversial Japanese novel is available for the first time in English a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence that is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world.
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 bestseller 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 for the first time in the English language.
About the Author
Koushun Takami's first novel, Battle Royale, was a finalist for the Kadokawa Mystery Novel Prize and was then published in 1999. Takami went on to pen the manga of the same name, collaborating with artist Masayuki Taguchi for over 8 volumes. The book and manga have been adapted into a movie by director Kinji Fukasaku which has spawned a legion of fans.