Whether you're contending with a brutal commute and need something thrilling to listen to or want to read the original novel without having to actually read it, Viz tweeted some good news. Koushun Takami's influential and controversial Battle Royale novel is now available to be purchased via download on Simon & Schuster Audio.
Iron Chef America's (and the live-action Crying Freeman manga adaptation) Mark Dacascos reads the unabridged record, which has an SRP of $29.95.
Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence in a dystopian world, it is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world. The first novel by small-town journalist Koushun Takami, it went on to become an even more notorious film by 70-year-old director Kinji Fukusaku.
The audio book can be purchased, and an excerpt can be heard, here.
Viz is offering Battle Royale in print through its Haikasoru sci-fi prose line. Tokyopop released the manga adaptation, while the cult movie officially came to North America through Anchor Bay.