Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

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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 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.


About Koushun Takami

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Koushun Takami was born in 1969 in Amagasaki near Osaka and grew up in Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku, where he currently resides. After graduating from Osaka University with a degree in literature, he dropped out of Nihon University's liberal arts correspondence program. From 1991 to 1996, he worked for the prefectural news company Shikoku Shihnbun, reporting on various fields including politics, police reports, and economics. Although he has an English teaching certificate, he has yet to visit the United States. Battle Royale, completed after Takami left the news company, was rejected in the final round of a literary competition sponsored by a major publisher due to the critical controversy it provoked among jury members. With its publication in Japan in 1999, though, Battle Royale received widespread support, particularly from young readers, and became a bestseller. In 2000, Battle Royale was serialized as a comic and made into a feature film.Mr. Takami is currently working on his second novel.
Published April 1, 2003 by Viz Communications, Inc. 504 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Battle Royale

California Literary Review

Despite never having been officially banned in North America, Battle Royale suffered de facto censorship through non-distribution, despite its popularity in Japan and among lucky film festival crowds who caught it in rare runs abroad.

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Battle Royale

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