Sunday, February 26, 2012

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Shuya, star of the baseball team, is part of a middle school class that gets chosen for the Program.  In the Program, they are all pitted against each other on a small island in a fight to the death.  Shuya almost instantly teams up with Shogo, who seems to know an awful lot about everything, and the injured Noriko. 

Every single death is shown.  There are dozens of students, and I don't think it would be a spoiler to say that due to the nature of the Program, almost all of them die.  You get to read about each one, and except for a couple of them at the very beginning, each one becomes a well-developed character.

If you have enough spare time to read through 600 pages, Battle Royale is an excellent choice.  There are moments to make you laugh, but they are few and far between.  There are moments to make you cry.  These are a bit more common, but not so much as you would think.  Most of the moments, however, are there to make you marvel at the incredible depth of this incredible book.

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