In my continued efforts to read as mazy works of dystopian fiction as possible, next on my list was Battle Royale. On a side note, are there many works of purely utopian fiction? Or would that not sell? Back to the east Asian republic. Set in the non-too-distant future, a large Asian empire now rules over an undefined area, full of social control, aggression and suppression. Once a term a class of school children are chosen to compete in a battle to the death on an abandoned island with no hope of escape and only one survivor. It's never completely clear why this happens and what the government gets out of it, but that doesn't matter too much.
Initially the book is slightly hard to read, firstly due to it being translated and secondly due to the littering of cultural references you're unsure if you're missing due to being lost in translation or if they are intentionally misleading. The violence is sometimes grim, but its bearable, only crossing the line a handful of times. That said, I found it far easier to read during the day than before going to bed.
Eventually you settle into the style and it becomes a riveting read, especially the last section of the book as it draws to a conclusion.
There are several twists I didn't see coming and plenty of exploration of the human psyche and the pointlessness of totalitarianism to keep you hooked if you are not a lover of the violent aspects.
All in all, worth pushing through some of the odd language for a highly focussed work of dystopian shlock.