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Publisher's Summary

Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence in a dystopian world, it 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-language audio 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 director Kinji Fukusaku.
©1999 Koushun Takami; Translation copyright 2009, Yuji Oniki (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By TCL on 09-15-12

Not for those with a weak stomach!

Battle Royale is terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. It's actually given me nightmares. It's also one of my absolute favorite books ever.

I read the print version of the book several times before getting it in audio format, and I think that that made listening to it much easier than if I had listened to it without reading it. The book was translated from Japanese, and the translation's not perfect, so that takes some getting used to, as does the fact that there are 42 children all with very similar Japanese names. It takes a little more concentration to follow Battle Royale than it probably takes for most other books.

If you can get over those few problems, though, and explicit violence doesn't make you cringe, you'll realize that this story is wonderfully terrifying.

Forty-two 15-year-old classmates are thrown onto an island and told to fight until only of of them survives. (Think The Hunger Games, but for grown ups). And heed this warning very seriously - the violence in this book gets *very* graphic. If you're someone for whom that might be a problem, don't buy it. Try the print version instead.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By AJ on 04-05-13

Amazing book but Dacasos ruined it.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If it didn't sound like Mark was bored reading it. He is a pretty good actor but put absolutely no acting in. It was bad and it made me bored and not interested in the book. Good thing I read it a long time ago.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battle Royale?

Difficult to say. I suppose it would have to be after all the fluff in the beginning and they get right down to the game where the students learn what's going on and have to grab their packs and leave. I felt the author did really well putting the audience in that room.

What didn’t you like about Mark Dacascos’s performance?

Everything but above all just shocked and surprised he played it so stiff. One has to wonder why he was chosen in the first place. It seemed like it was just a paying gig for him and sadly I think the organizers figured nobody would care. Now, plenty of lazy people who would never read the book are going in and having a very bad experience with what is a very good book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

With the book, impressed. With the audio book, major disappointment.

Any additional comments?

When you don't do something right, redo it. This time without Mark. Love ya, buddy, but this was God awful.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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