Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan - where it became a runaway best seller - Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.
What an ending! I kind of saw it coming, and then I didn't, and then I was completely blindsided!
This book is incredible. Brutal, but incredible. I loved the detail it went into with each death; it truly added to the horror.
Introducing so many characters right off the bat can often cause confusion for readers, especially with such similar names, but Takami handled it perfectly. We spent enough time with each person or group, in their own unique set of circumstances, to be able to easily discern them from their fellow classmates. This made it really easy to follow.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. I just hope you have a strong stomach because mine did churn once or twice.