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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: Battle Royale (The Novel)

I didn't like the movie, Battle Royale much. Unfortunately, Battle Royale: The Novel wasn't a whole lot better.

The writing is terrible, and the plot is identical. (The movie was very faithful to the book) With significantly more time, the book does have a few additional nuances, and the metaphor that the author wanted to depict stands out better. In particular, you start to see that the book is also partly railing against what its author sees as an overly competitive, dog-eat-dog school system. The ending is quite a bit better, as we see that the authorities are not complete idiots. All the minor characters are also fleshed out, so we do get some insight into the dynamics of the class put into the game.

Nevertheless, the horrible writing (or maybe horrid translation) makes this book a tedious slog, with what I consider an insufficient payoff. Not recommended.

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