b's book review

b_sinning

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Nov 22, 2004
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Well class today we will be discussing "Battle Royale" by Houshun Takami

Some of you may have already heard of this book due to the popular Japanese Movie by the same name. My version is obviously a translation and though you can notice the language issues occasionally, overall it was a very well done translation and I doubt any of the story was lost in translation.

Battle Royal is the story of a class of 42 students all around 15-16 years old, equal number of boys to girls, which are taken to a deserted island by their Totalitarian Government and given various random weapons and told to kill each other until one is left. The first question you have to ask yourself is why? It’s because they can do anything they want, and they help reinforce that idea into their people by once a year randomly selecting a class of kids to fight it out. What does the winner get besides his life? He gets a signed picture from the Grand Dictator and that’s about it.

The first few pages start off slow while you get use to their strange culture, odd school system, and hard to pronounce names. Then all of the sudden the action starts and doesn’t stop until the end. The story is expertly setup so the tension and stress stay high throughout the story. The author does this by having the kids rigged with collars that not only track their movements but can be detonated when they enter a forbidden zone. The island they are on is rapidly shrinking in size due to new forbidden zones being announced every few hours and a warning that all collars will be detonated if no one dies within a 24 hour time period. So the students have no choice to kill or be killed. At the end of every chapter the reader is informed of how many students remain alive.

The students come from almost every social class and background allowed in their society. So the reader gets to see how the characters from the various backgrounds react to the stress and paranoia. They aren’t sure if they should trust their friends enough to side with them against their enemies or if their friends are their enemies waiting for them to drop their guard. The characters are forced to face the person they really are and let others know how they feel about them because they could die at any moment.

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5. It is well written, has nonstop action, lots of twists and surprises, and it’s hard to put down. The amount of raw violence and bloodshed will ensure that there is never an American made movie of this book. So if you’re looking for something action packed book that is different from you normally read than this is the book for you.
 

Dory Berkowitz-Bukowski

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Coqui said:
Interesting story line. (seriously) I may have to go look for this.


Mortal Kombat for kids.

You've never heard of it? It's a pretty famous jap movie.

B - do you know if the second one is a book or just a movie? I haven't been to look for it. If you want a pretty gruesome book by another jap author I'll give you a review of another one I read last year about 4 japanese women who have to dismember bodies for money. :)
 

fly

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Oct 1, 2004
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Never heard of it either. Sounds :cool:, but I really only read non-fiction. If I'm ever without something to read though, I'll pick it up.
 

Coqui

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Oct 14, 2004
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Nemo said:
You've never heard of it? It's a pretty famous jap movie.

B - do you know if the second one is a book or just a movie? I haven't been to look for it. If you want a pretty gruesome book by another jap author I'll give you a review of another one I read last year about 4 japanese women who have to dismember bodies for money. :)


I'm not much into the Japanese movie scene ;)
 

bast_imret

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Oct 26, 2004
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I've been meaning to read this for quite awhile now. Good review of a great book. I"ll have to get it soon.
 

fly

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bast_imret said:
I've been meaning to read this for quite awhile now. Good review of a great book. I"ll have to get it soon.
LOL @ your sig. I CAST MAGIC MISSLE
 

b_sinning

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Nov 22, 2004
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You're right it is Koushun.

The second movie was based on his ideas and characters but not a book written by him. I haven't seen the movies yet becuase I wanted to read the book first.
 

Dory Berkowitz-Bukowski

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b_sinning said:
You're right it is Koushun.

The second movie was based on his ideas and characters but not a book written by him. I haven't seen the movies yet becuase I wanted to read the book first.

The movie has a slightly different ending and doesn't go into the past of many characters at all, I'd say it was as good as the book though. :)
 
N

Niltrog

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Saw the movie a while ago.. wouldn't mind seeing it again.. Good to know about the book though.. If I can ever get myself away from sitting around doing nothing to sitting around and reading, this would likely go on my list.

I assume there'd only be like.. one "official" translated version, right? Not a handful done by different people?
 

Dory Berkowitz-Bukowski

Dory Two Times
Oct 15, 2004
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Robin Hood Country
Niltrog said:
Saw the movie a while ago.. wouldn't mind seeing it again.. Good to know about the book though.. If I can ever get myself away from sitting around doing nothing to sitting around and reading, this would likely go on my list.

I assume there'd only be like.. one "official" translated version, right? Not a handful done by different people?
Just one afaik.