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The Crimson Labyrinth [Paperback]

By Yusuke Kishi & Camellia Nieh (Translator)
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Item description for The Crimson Labyrinth by Yusuke Kishi & Camellia Nieh...

Twelve strangers are kidnapped and spirited away to Australia where they discover they have been recruited into a savage reality show that makes Survivor look like an episode of MTV Cribs.

Publishers Description
From a rising new star of horror comes a killer read that will make you lose track of time and reality. The Crimson Labyrinth is a wicked satire on extremist reality TV in the tradition of The Running Man-if that indeed is what it is. Welcome to THE MARS LABYRINTH where things aren't what they seem. Welcome to the world of Kishi, where the plot is as gnarly as the humor is twisted.
When an unemployed former math major wakes up one day, he wonders if he's somehow ended up on the red planet. The good-looking young woman with aid-she says her name is Ai and that she draws erotic comics for a living-seems to have no clue either as to their whereabouts. Their only leads are cryptic instructions beamed to a portable device. Has the game begun?
There is no reset button, no saving and no continue-make the wrong move and it's really GAME OVER. In the cruel world of THE MARS LABYRINTH, mercy and compassion are only for the weak or the very, very strong. The stakes are nothing less than your life-and apparently a lot of money.
If you're a fan of Lost or Battle Royale, don't miss this one.
Yusuke Kishi was born in 1959 in Osaka. He graduated from Kyoto University with a degree in Economics. After working for a life insurance company for several years, Kishi started his writing career as a freelancer. He has twice won the Japan Horror Association Award, and boasts bestselling status in Japan with multiple works adapted to the screen. The Crimson Labyrinth marks his American debut.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2006
Publisher   Vertical
ISBN  193223411X  
ISBN13  9781932234114  

Availability  0 units.

More About Yusuke Kishi & Camellia Nieh

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Yusuke Kishi was born in 1959 in Osaka. He graduated from Kyoto University with a degree in Economics. After working for a life insurance company for several years, Kishi started his writing career as a freelancer. He has twice won the Japan Horror Association Award, and boasts bestselling status in Japan with multiple works adapted to the screen. The Crimson Labyrinth marks his American debut.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Horror Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Crimson Labyrinth?

Derivative but still worth looking at.  Jan 7, 2008
From just looking at the back cover of this book, it is clear that "The Crimson Labyrinth" is highly derivative, a fact which is confirmed by reading the first chapter. While reading this book I noticed ideas borrowed from Battle Royale Directors Cut, Saw - Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition), Cube and Ravenous, and I'm certain there were other such "references" that I just happened to miss. However, the fact that this book is unoriginal does not mean that it is a bad book. I actually enjoyed reading this book a lot. I found myself really wanting to know what was going to happen to the main characters (an unemployed Japanese economist and an pornographic comic book artist who one day wake up in the middle of a stone labyrinth in the Australian desert) and keeping on reading after I had intended to stop. Unfortunately, the ending of this book is a major let down. The ending is very abrupt and felt to me as though the author really didn't know what to do, so just stop writing. Still, there are plenty of good book out there with bad endings (just look at most of Stephen King's novels), so I guess it's not too big a deal. If you enjoyed any of the movies that I mentioned above then you will probably enjoy this book.
Loved it!  Jan 29, 2007
I too have read Battle Royale, and several other Japanese books that were translated into English - Parasite Eve, Ring, and Dark Waters. Of all of these, I feel that The Crimson Labyrinth was the best. It kept my attention completely, I read it quickly over a few hours and could not put it down. I did enjoy Battle Royale a lot too. Another reviewer wrote that it seemed like a rip-off of BR, but I don't agree at all. Of course the themes are very similar, but I think the writing is actually much better in Labyrinth and the mystery throughout the book of what's behind the game is what really gives this the punch. The motivation for the game to me was far more realitic than that of the one in BR.

Anyway, this is a fun, creepy, quick read. I will definitely read anything else translated into English by this author.
loved it  Dec 12, 2006
i absoulutly loved this book my bf bought this for me and i read it i a day it was really easy to read i had fun reading it and i will buy yusuke kishi's next book if they translate more of his work.i felt like i learned something everything about this book is exciting who doesn't love watching/reading about fighting for survial.its so sad.
Battle Royale - Part Deux!  Nov 25, 2006
Japanese 'weird fiction' is almost redundant: my only forays into it have consisted, thus far, of K. Takami's Battle Royale and the novel, Crimson Labyrinth (at hand). In one sitting, I gulped down Takami's gorey, emotional free-for-all, while on a transatlantic flight. When I finally closed the sixhundred page tome, I was impressed, amazed, and - despite the simple writing style, terse prose, and endless killing - I was disturbed and, even, moved. At a certain point, there is only a number of ways that school children's death can be played out, so Battle Royale did become a bit lengthy; it was entirely worth it. Without a doubt, Battle Royale is an oft-recommended book from my end.

But this isn't a review of Battle Royale; The Crimson Labyrinth is the focus of my laser-guided intellect. Unfortunately, though, anyone who has read Battle Royale will be unable to draw particular distinctions between the two (much like how Battle Royale reminded me of Stephen King's The Long Walk).

The premise of all of the above are simple: In some dystopian, futuristic (but not too futuristic, as that would essentially defeat the purpose) society, there are 'matches' where individuals are left to their own devices, to kill the others in some twisted 'game.' Kishi's novel is no different: ten individuals find themselves awakened, amensic, in (what is revealed to be) the Australian outback. The individual's objectives are to proceed from checkpoint to checkpoint, where they receive various items and information. As the book progresses, it becomes increasingly eviden that in order to be 'freed' from the 'game,' the individuals must resort to slaughtering one another. The 'winner,' then, is who remains living at the end.

What Yishi lacks in originality, he seemingly attempts to make up in commentary: The Crimson Labyrinth delves into thinly-veiled social commentary throughout. There are clear allusions to society's perverse fascination with reality television, as, ultimately, the deaths and killings are perpetuated by society's salacious appetite for violence. Indeed, as the quote goes, "the ultimate game show would be where someone dies." There are some science fiction twists, through the creation of man-made zombies, but this book tends to stay mostly in a contemporary mindset. It is unfortunate, then, that the attempts at social commentary seem to read more as if Yishi is attempting, in a futile effort, to create some sort of deeper relevance to his work.

The book is wrought with overplayed existential angst. The main character, Fujiki, is constantly consumed with regret over his 'fall from grace': a successful Japanese businessman one day, a homeless street urchin the next. There tends to be a 'loss in translation' from Japense to English: Fujiki's preoccupation is notable, but not as culturally relevant in America (and thusly, seems to get out of touch with the average English reader).

The ending is not predictable, per se, but is not the sort-of 'twist' that renders a book magical or fantastic. Rather than ending with a bang, it seems to peter out into an ending that is almost too believable. Such a hum-drum ending, then, can be seen to serve dual purposes: either Kishi did not know, really, how to end the novel. Or, more likely, Kishi again utilizes the ending as commentary, a proverbial elbow-to-the-ribs and a "what is the world coming to?".

Ultimately, and unfortunately, Kishi's novel plays out like a cheap rip-off of Battle Royale. With the plot forged by Takami in Battle Royale, an extensive collected methodology of death and destruction was open for authors to expand upon. However, the plotline itself is so familiar that I was disappointed with the lack of acute creativity. Yishi is, without a doubt, a good thinker - but in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but feel as if he had been secretly flipping through Battle Royale to get different ideas. It is difficult to read Crimson Labyrinth without inwardly speculating as to whether it was simply an alternate form of Battle Royale, written but stashed away.

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