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Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

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Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Old 04-26-11, 12:52 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

There was an article/semi-interview with Suzanne Collins in The New York Times Sunday Magazine a couple of weeks ago and she insisted that she'd never heard of "Battle Royale" until the first book was in galley form and that she has still not read the book or seen the movie.

Just for the record.

I was pleased, though, that the article author had heard of "Battle Royale." Not something I'd expect of too many people at the Times.
Old 04-26-11, 01:13 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
There was an article/semi-interview with Suzanne Collins in The New York Times Sunday Magazine a couple of weeks ago and she insisted that she'd never heard of "Battle Royale" until the first book was in galley form and that she has still not read the book or seen the movie.

Just for the record.

I was pleased, though, that the article author had heard of "Battle Royale." Not something I'd expect of too many people at the Times.
The comparisons are easy to make between Hunger Games and Battle Royale, but considering that even Battle Royale owes a lot to The Running Man (and even that owes The Most Dangerous Game), I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.
Old 05-20-11, 02:52 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

I read the first book after, my daughter and then my wife read it and loved it. My daughter already finished the third book, my wife is reading it now, and I'm in the second one.

I started reading the first book without doing any research, googling or anything. Of course I started reading and immediately thought it remind me of a Japanese movie I watched a long time ago. I couldn't remember the name though, so I just googled "hunger games japanese movie" and if you go and do that right now can look at the results Battle Royale fans think it's a ripp-off, they give more examples other than kids fighting, but I agree with most here, there are a few similarities, but BR is more adult, and HG is more PG-13. There's more story in HG although nothing really deep.
Old 05-21-11, 10:06 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Definitely a rip off. And Battle Royale has more significance to the culture that brewed it. I feel comparisons to Running Man are a small stretch. I see the point but i find it like comparing Forbidden Planet to Aliens because they both have spaceships and a crew.
Old 05-21-11, 10:52 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by Pizza
Definitely a rip off. And Battle Royale has more significance to the culture that brewed it. I feel comparisons to Running Man are a small stretch. I see the point but i find it like comparing Forbidden Planet to Aliens because they both have spaceships and a crew.
If you read the afterword to the English edition, Takami talks a lot about Stephen King's influence on the book (the town the kids are from is "Castle Rock" in Japanese), and he points to The Long Walk (not the Running Man, though they are of course similar) as a major inspiration for the story.
Old 08-04-11, 09:05 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

I just finished all three books. Normally I wouldn't have touched a series that the Twilight crowd is going nuts for, but the positive comments I've read from those outside that demographic convinced me to give it a try.

And I'm glad I did It's certainly fast reading. Surprisingly grim, and never seemed to overdo the teen romance stuff that I was wary of. And having read the series, I don't buy the "Battle Royale" rip-off claims either. The plot idea of death games has been around long before BR (some of them involving kids). And unlike BR, the actual games make up a minority of the story.

The biggest problem I had was that the author consistently seemed to drop the ball when it came to endings. And it wasn't the plotting ... if you just saw an outline of what happened, it should be really good. But the execution in the writing left me flat. For example:
Spoiler:
in the first book, having Katniss/Peeta square off against the remaining Careers only to finally battle the Mutts ... sounds thrilling. But that whole conflict felt flat. And the plot twist of Snow going back on his word and forcing Katniss and Peeta to fight each other, only to be thwarted by the suicide attempt ... again, sounds like it should have been a powerful ending but felt underwhelming.

The second book was even worse. Again, what was there in the story could've been thrilling ... the Tributes going from battling each other, to fighting the horrors of the Arena, to helping each other in a grand jailbreak. This time, Collins really mute the impact by having Katniss in a daze while exciting stuff is going on around her.

Similar things are going on with the third book. What should've been the most exciting things happening (final overthrow of the capital, defeat/execution of Snow, Katniss' trial) occurred off-screen.


Overall, I didn't hate the third book like many are. If you read the first two, you should certainly read the last just to see how the author concludes things. Though I understand why readers were left disappointed. I think more leeway was given the first two books, since there was still more story to come. But after the third - that's it. It probably didn't help that the third book clearly shifts the story:
Spoiler:
being a rebel war story and not a "Hunger Games" story. And I wonder how many haters are just upset because Katniss ends up with the sensitive Peeta and not the macho Gale


I'm curious to see what the film adaptations do. I could see well-made movies being improvements over the books. While the PG-13 rating is unavoidable, I wonder how much the filmmakers will be able to get away with. I wouldn't be surprised if the MPAA is more restrictive when violence is happening teens. But it would hurt the effectiveness of the movies if they have to completely neuter the violence.
Old 08-09-11, 03:23 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

People get caught up in the whole kid vs. kid violence in "Battle Royale" but don't realize the book is a scathing social critique of Japan's education system and how it pits kids against each other. Does HG have a similar subtext? Because it sure looks like a BR rip off.
Old 08-09-11, 06:39 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by Traxan
People get caught up in the whole kid vs. kid violence in "Battle Royale" but don't realize the book is a scathing social critique of Japan's education system and how it pits kids against each other. Does HG have a similar subtext? Because it sure looks like a BR rip off.
The subtext of HG is an anti-war message. Hard to even call it "subtext" since the message is made very clear throughout the trilogy.
Old 08-12-11, 01:51 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Finally started reading this. I'm surprised by how many people really believe that it's a Battle Royale ripoff. It's very clearly derived from ancient Greek myth (which may have some historical roots). She pretty clearly references the original Greek myths with the use of terms like "tribute" and even absurdly out-of-place words like "apothecary." If you've never read about Theseus and King Minos, the parallels are quite strong (including the offering of an equal number of boys and girls as tribute from a surrendered region).

However, after reading just the first few chapters, I have to say that the writing is terrible. Good story... awful writing.
Old 08-12-11, 03:55 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by marginal

However, after reading just the first few chapters, I have to say that the writing is terrible. Good story... awful writing.
Bad writing? Just wait until you get to the other two books.
Old 08-17-11, 04:38 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by brainee
The subtext of HG is an anti-war message. Hard to even call it "subtext" since the message is made very clear throughout the trilogy.
Oh that's original.
Old 08-27-11, 11:22 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by Anubis2005X
Bad writing? Just wait until you get to the other two books.
I finished the first book, and... I'm out. The writing was so bad that the story couldn't possibly make up for it. I don't know if I've ever said this before, but I feel somewhat confident that, in this case, the movie will actually be better than the book. (Although Collins apparently wrote the first draft of the screenplay, I trust that Gary Ross knows how to fix that crap.)
Old 10-20-11, 11:07 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Read the first book after picking up the trilogy dirt cheap on the Kindle. Very quick read (it is, after all, a young adult novel), and as others have said poorly written.

I thought this might be only tangentially similar to Battle Royale. Turned out it was even closer than I thought! I am very skeptical of Collins' claim that she was unfamiliar with the earlier work.

That said, I checked out the IMDB page for the movie. I think the casting is spot on. Could be good (often cheesy books make for the best movies, e.g. Die Hard).
Old 12-13-11, 10:53 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by Groucho
I thought this might be only tangentially similar to Battle Royale. Turned out it was even closer than I thought! I am very skeptical of Collins' claim that she was unfamiliar with the earlier work.

If that is her claim she has to admit she's a poor researcher. The BR novel was released almost a decade before her book and I purchased the English translation in 2003.
Old 01-20-12, 09:20 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

I read Hunger Games in a day (first book I've read for pleasure since going back to school a few years ago). I thought it was compelling and not as poorly written as the Harry Potter series. It wasn't anything grand, but definitely entertaining.

I read the second book (Catching Fire) over two days and was severely disappointed. The themes have so much potential, yet the writing (editing?) was difficult to follow. It really felt as if passages and scenes were removed in order to shorten the book. Entire periods of time are glossed over; major events suddenly seem to fizzle midway through (almost as if the author lost interest in writing in the middle of a thought).

I will plug away through the final book just because I'm like that. Hopefully the movies will clean up the stories. As I said, there is potential here.

I need to watch Battle Royale again (or read it!) ...
Old 01-25-12, 06:41 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by marginal
However, after reading just the first few chapters, I have to say that the writing is terrible. Good story... awful writing.
I couldn't possibly agree with you more. I bought the first book last year but threw it into a corner and forgot about it...until I noticed a LOT of kids at school walking around with their heads buried in it (I work at an upper-elementary school).

So I fished it out of the corner and started reading. I've been up until 1 AM every night this week reading it, and I hate to put it down for the night due to its cliffhanger-y chapter breaks. The one thing the book really needed was a competent copy editor. Collins can't go more than a paragraph or two without writing a fused sentence, or a comma-spliced sentence, or a fragment. I gave up counting them before the first chapter was over. I even noticed Collins misuse a word. Normally, these would be deal-breakers for me, but her plot is so eventful that I'm almost able to ignore the poor writing. Almost.

I've been talking to the kids at school who are reading it and I haven't found one yet who's been even remotely traumatized by the book(s). Oddly enough, none of the ones I've talked to knew that there was a movie coming out. When I told them, they got REALLY excited. I guess Lionsgate hasn't started the tween marketing blitz yet. I find it funny that many of them, although their parents have obviously let them read the books, aren't going to be able to see the movie because their parents won't let them see PG-13-rated movies.
Old 02-03-12, 10:38 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

rbrown -- I threw it in as a passing word, but I agree with you. A good chunk of the problems come from practically incompetent editing. It gets much worse in Book 2. (Nonetheless, I recommend you keep reading if the story interests you).
Old 02-04-12, 11:07 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by rbrown498
Oddly enough, none of the ones I've talked to knew that there was a movie coming out. When I told them, they got REALLY excited. I guess Lionsgate hasn't started the tween marketing blitz yet. I find it funny that many of them, although their parents have obviously let them read the books, aren't going to be able to see the movie because their parents won't let them see PG-13-rated movies.
If my ninth grader's selections for their outside reading project are any indication, the movie is going to do huge business. About a third of each of my classes are opting to read the series (I'm asking them to read all three out of fairness to the kids who are reading Jane Eyre and some other lengthy classics). Last time I saw this much interest in a YA book was when Harry Potter was introduced. Not even Twilight -- which boys wholly ignored -- came close to the interest I'm seeing with HG.
Old 02-09-12, 10:33 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by TimeandTide
If my ninth grader's selections for their outside reading project are any indication, the movie is going to do huge business. About a third of each of my classes are opting to read the series (I'm asking them to read all three out of fairness to the kids who are reading Jane Eyre and some other lengthy classics). Last time I saw this much interest in a YA book was when Harry Potter was introduced. Not even Twilight -- which boys wholly ignored -- came close to the interest I'm seeing with HG.
It appears Hunger games has more fans than just girls.
Old 02-19-12, 12:03 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

So I recently finished the trilogy and I think the last part of the last book was a big mistake:

Spoiler:
I think killing Prim was a huge mistake. Protecting Prim is what started this entire thing. Instead, I think that Katniss should have died protecting Prim from the explosions (a nice bookend for protecting her in the beginning). Then the rest of the book should have been written from Prim's point of view. Reflect on your sister and move forward to enjoy the "new" world she helped bring about.
Old 02-19-12, 06:50 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by mewmartigan
So I recently finished the trilogy and I think the last part of the last book was a big mistake:

Spoiler:
I think killing Prim was a huge mistake. Protecting Prim is what started this entire thing. Instead, I think that Katniss should have died protecting Prim from the explosions (a nice bookend for protecting her in the beginning). Then the rest of the book should have been written from Prim's point of view. Reflect on your sister and move forward to enjoy the "new" world she helped bring about.
I agree about
Spoiler:
Prim's death. It just didn't sit well with me at all. It made everything Katness went through in the first book trivial
Old 06-22-12, 10:38 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

I finally finished this trilogy. Does anyone know of any forums where these books are discussed and analyzed? I am googling stuff, but wondered if someone knew of or participated on any.

While i do agree that the writing style left something to be desired, i knocked these out in three days and was enthralled all the way. it connected and affected me and i wanted to process and work through that with other like minded people.

I was hopefully trying to find someplace where the tween element was minimized and i didn't have to wade through "OMG i wan to be Katniss for Halloween"

thanks.
Old 06-23-12, 10:54 AM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by Ropes Pierre
I finally finished this trilogy. Does anyone know of any forums where these books are discussed and analyzed? I am googling stuff, but wondered if someone knew of or participated on any.

While i do agree that the writing style left something to be desired, i knocked these out in three days and was enthralled all the way. it connected and affected me and i wanted to process and work through that with other like minded people.

I was hopefully trying to find someplace where the tween element was minimized and i didn't have to wade through "OMG i wan to be Katniss for Halloween"

thanks.
There is a social networking site called Goodreads, I think there might be conversation there..
Old 06-24-12, 12:20 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Originally Posted by superdeluxe
There is a social networking site called Goodreads, I think there might be conversation there..
Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

in my search, these two sites seem to get into discussing the books.

http://hungergames-forums.com/hunger...uncements.html

http://mockingjay.net/2012/06/22/by-...-4/#more-14599

i also blanked out earlier , but checking on meetup.com opens up a whole bunch of book groups, not just hunger games.
Old 01-25-13, 01:05 PM
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Re: Tweens are going nuts for a "Battle Royale" rip-off

Just finished these.

There were parts I would have liked more details on, but I think the idea of Katniss not being part of every little thing going on makes sense. Remember, she's still just a 17 year old girl who's handy with a bow and arrow.

A very quick read, definitely had me coming back for more and I'm eager to watch the movie now.

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