I have recently read (and loved) Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, a highly violent and addictive adventure which can be read by young (or not) adults. It was a book I literally couldn’t put down before I finished it – I took it to friends’ houses, the beach, even to a restaurant! And all this in a couple of days time. The story goes as follows:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Now, the author said she was inspired to write this book while watching TV – there was the war on Iraq on one channel and a reality show. I kind of “stumbled” upon this 2000 Japanese film, based on a novel by Takami Koushun which has more than the odd resemblances in plot and more:

Battle Royale

The movie was one of the most successful (box-office-wise) in Japan but was never shown in the USA as it didn’t manage to get an official distribution agency due to its many violent scenes esp. among teenagers.

It seems though that teenage violent has been accepted in american/european television (and reality) and has managed to get even more media time lately, judging by the huge success of books like the Hunger Games and the great buzz around their movie adaptations.

It is interesting how something that was once banned or ignored by mainstream media, is now a popular product which is indeed, selling very very well.