Pierre Boulle

Desperate Games

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Long before The Hunger Games or Battle Royale, Pierre Boulle's darkly comic and twisted imagination came up with Desperate Games. Like his most famous masterpiece, The Planet of the Apes, Desperate Games is a dystopian sci-fi classic, imagining an alternate future where humans seal their own fate. Despairing at the state of world degeneration, a group of the world's most renowned intellectuals form the new Scientific World Government, aiming to put the world to rights. Elected into power, they quickly start making changes for the better, eliminating world hunger and cancer; encouraging scientific thought and banning frivolous entertainment. But while congratulating themselves on a job well done, they fail to notice that actually, people are not happy… The suicide rate has sky-rocketed and, strangely, it turns out the public want a little risk and conflict in their lives. So to cater for the masses, the Department of Psychology forms a plan. They will stage an entertainment show the likes of which the world has never seen before. It starts with gladiatorial style battles, bloodthirsty and brutal, where the victors become celebrities of unseen proportions, and quickly escalates into entire historical battle re-enactments involving chemical warfare and mass destruction. The Scientific World Government has unleashed a monster. What has the world let itself in for…?
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220 printed pages
Original publication
2014

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