Battle Royale

Battle Royale Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
My review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I inadvertently picked yet another dystopian novel with this choice. No matter, as it was another good one.
This dystopia is one less focused on the machinery of the regime than it is on the kids living in it. The kids in this fictional version of Japan (aka the Republic of Greater East Asia) are randomly selected to participate in “The Program,” a winner-kills-all contest to see who is the strongest. The rationale behind it doesn’t come out until very late in the book, but it doesn’t really matter. You don’t need to know much about the regime to root for these kids to stop fighting each other, and start fighting the government. What ends up happening to them is not pretty, like a cross of a Quentin Tarentino movie and a Stephen King novel (or rather, Richard Bachman, King’s pseudonym, under which he wrote “The Long Walk” and “The Running Man”). I enjoyed it, but it’s definitely not for everyone, particularly those who don’t like gore and violence and such.
I have a whole list of books I’m going to grab at the library tonight, since I know they are all in: Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven, The Ax by Donald Westlake, Red Thunder by John Varley, and Children of God by Mary Doria Russell (the sequel to previously reviewed The Sparrow). I also have Case Histories by Kate Atkinson on hold, so I should be busy for a while. Check the right side of the site to see which one I decide on.