first--_Hunger Games_ is closely related to this book, though Collins cut out most of the explicit descriptions of the violence and made the ending/political themes more complex--though _Battle Royale_ is longer and more nuanced.
_Battle Royale_ is mostly preoccupied with descriptions of teenage angst and mistrust. The 'program' is an excellent setting for such a project, as it reduces every encounter to a catalyst for the students' motives and insecurities to play out in dramatic action. The political commentary that frames the whole story--'fascism and corrupted conservatism create an irresistable state of efficient oppression we can't break away from'--is also nicely described in the actions of the students.
Some of the writing (perhaps only the translation?) is a bit clunky and formulaic, and the performance of the reader here only accentuates that. A revised edition/translation and some careful direction for the voice talent would go a long way to making this a much better audiobook.
Dacascos reads with a good sense for pace and he gets the emotion of the main (male) characters just right, but it's a subtle and monotone reading and might come off as boring if you're hoping, for example, to hear the panic or fear or anguish in some of the students' words. He also steamrolls through some of the detail in complex dialog or description, which is where a little direction would have helped. The accent seems close enough to Japanese to be believable to my untrained ear, not sure if that's how Dacascos reads his other parts.
I enjoyed this book, but the graphic descriptions of murderous violence (not to mention a seduction-turned-murder) aren't easy to listen to. Caveat auditor.
This was a great book. I enjoyed it more than hunger games. The narrator was just bad though. This is a book about kids having to kill each other and he puts absolutely no emotion into the telling of the story. Still worth a read though.
Engaging, Well Written, Unapologetic.
It really got into each of the characters, you could find out what drove each one, were forced to examine how you would react in that situation.
At first I wasn't a fan, it felt very stiff. However by the end it felt like it was done in well for how the book was written.
No, but i never really want to do that with books. This is one you should take time to digest. That being said by the end "I couldn't put it down".
This is what the Hunger Games could have been. They have many similarities but the biggest difference is that one is completely first person and this one is third person written form different characters perspectives. It is a great read and I would recommend it..
I enjoy fantasy, political, and sci fiction books and I love dogs
I honestly didn't like this book very much because I'm not in to gory details but for some one who doesn't mind the story would be great...
Something science fiction with less gore
I might have preferred to read this story than listen to it because I'm not familiar with Japanese names. There are more than 42 characters in this book, and it was hard to keep track of them all. Though, I believe the author knew that it's hard to keep track of 42 characters, so they're also numbered (e.g. "so-and-so, female student number 11").
My favourite people are probably the "good guys" that we spend a fair amount of time with -- like Shuya, Shogo, Noriko, Shinji, and Hiroki -- but I also liked some of the "bad guys" like Mitsuko and Kazuo. All the characters were really fleshed out and seem like real people to me.
I decided to watch the movie because the book was so amazing, but it's one of those situations where they didn't do a very good job transferring the story. If you know anyone who likes the movie, encourage them to read the book, it's much better. And if you've read the book, maybe don't watch the movie. You'll just find yourself saying or thinking, "In the book..." throughout the movie.
It helps that the author wrote in how many kids were left as the plot goes on. The narrator is slow and methodical but the story really pulls through. Over all, the benchmarks of character throughout the piece are really stand outs. The author really plays up personalities well.
I'd recommend it to male teens.. I'd have probably liked this story more when I was younger.
The concept - the struggle for self-determination and love, within the context of a deadly blood-sport orchestrated by a facist dictatorship.
It was okay. His pronunciation of the Japanese names was on the money, but his voice didn't really embody the different characters. They mostly sounded the same.
I found some of the characters annoying and naive.. of course the characters were all 15 years old. Go figure.
Pretty interesting listen, maybe a little gory and shouldn't be given to children. The only real nick picking I can make is that I found it hard to remember the Japanese names as they were very unfamiliar, but thats to be expected in a book translated from another country.
The reader was fine, he sounded Japanese himself which I found added to the stories feel.
This book stand solely on it's excellent plot.
The writing is passable, but the depth of thought that went into planning the events that make up this book is what kept me going. Sometimes books ask questions that we often ask ourselves, and who among us hasn't wondered how they would do if forced to fight their peers to the death... Okay, that sounds a little crazy, but really, this book takes a "What if..." situation and carries it to a very satisfying conclusion.Entertaining book, great for demonstrating how a fun idea can be as important as how well you write.
I picked up this book after watching the movie and was pleased to recognize the story and characters. The author gives a convincing portrayal of mid-teens caught in a horrible situation, all reacting in different ways. The characterization helps us to understand the individuals reactions even with the large cast. I did feel that I knew most of the characters at least a little by the time they died.
The author also does an excellent job of set the stage for his tale. There is enough background to understand the society in which the events take place and he delivers it at appropriate times during the story. There is a bit of repetition in a few places, usually as we move from one chapter to another which could have used some editorial trimming, but the narrative moves along so quickly that it's soon forgotten.
The map and list of characters to print out was helpful. Like the students I was keeping track of the forbidden zones and the casualties. The Japanese names weren't an issue for me, but there were so many to keep track of!
There were a few technical issues with the recording with small skips but they were only minor annoyances. Likewise, the translation had a few odd moments and the reader, who did very well with the Japanese names, flubs coop (i.e., co-op) consistently. Again, minor issues with an otherwise excellent reading.
After watching the film and listening to the book, I doubt I'll bother with The Hunger Games.