The third book I read from my reading list is Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. The story follows 42 third year students in an alternate Japan (where all of east Asia (expect Korea) is a whole country) as they are forced to battle each other to the death by law of a “Program”. Even though the story does follow all of the students, it focuses mainly on 3, which are Shuya Nanahara, Noriko Nakagawa, and Shodo Kawada.
I will try my best not to spoil the book too much.
The book starts out with 42 students on a bus thinking they’re going to a school field trip, only to be gassed, and taken to an undisclosed island. When they all wake up, they discover metal bands around their necks that monitor their vital signs, and also have explosives in them. After the government unleashes them onto the island, it’s a free-for-all death match.
Some students team up together (like the 3 main characters), other go about the whole game alone. There’s two characters who are playing the game hardcore though. One, you will learn, who has died inside along time ago, and one who never had feelings. The latter one will actually go almost to the end of the book surviving ridiculous amounts of situations that would obviously kill any normal person.
The book is very good though, but most people who read it don’t really get the message behind it. The book is supposed to be a long metaphor about what it’s like when a person leaves school to go into the real world. Obviously, we don’t kill each other in real life, but the killings signify us as humans competing (and often berating) each other to get on top; to be leader of the pack. There are backstabbers and cheaters and liars in real life. The character who survives an insane amount of situations signifies the person who you will eventually have to compete against; like the boss battle in a video game.
I personally love this book, and I recommend it everyone who has a high tolerance of blood and gore. I give this book 5 stars: *****