Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

This book was fantastic. Over-the-top, gory, action-packed, non-stop adventure.

Quick synopsis – 42 Japanese students have to fight to the death on an island. Got it? K.

Inevitable Hunger Games comparison? Sure. Why not? There are similarities in the plot. This book was better. Bigger. Brighter. Gorier. Unapologetic. To me it felt a lot more like Kill Bill than the Hunger Games.

I have a thing for Japanese authors (much like I tend to abhor French authors). It’s not universal by any means, but I frequently find myself drawn to the writing style – particularly if the book has been translated. There’s a simplicity to the writing that’s super odd in the beginning – and then it feels so comfortable.

The slightly stilted writing gave me the emotional breathing room necessary for a book like this. Bc, let’s be real, 42 kids killing each other in gruesome ways is a major downer. But a plain writing style, limited emotions from the author, 70s-style action-flick battles and drama that was one-dimensional and charmingly spoofy made this book go beyond readable to stellar.

Even with it’s length this is a palatable easy read. I cannot recommend it enough for someone who loves Tarantino, MST3K, and comic books. This book reads in color.

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