5 Minutes, 5 Novels, 5 Fictional Death Games

5 Minutes, 5 Novels, 5 Fictional Death Games

Storytelling, at its core, is centered around conflict. It’s about characters that have to confront and resolve internal and external challenges to achieve their goals. They, by the end of the story, grow into someone new, being forever changed by what they experienced. And sometimes that change is having to cut off your foot to escape this dingy bathroom before the other guy does.

You don’t need a degree in literature to understand that fiction around death has always been fascinating. ‘Death games’ is a specific flavor of horror (and sometimes dystopian, so, technically, science fiction as well) where the character(s) need to follow the rules of a game created by a mastermind, with “winning” being the privilege to walk away alive. You’re probably already familiar with the genre: The Hunger Games, Squid Game, Danganronpa, Zero Escape, Heavy Rain, Saw.

One of the most difficult aspects of horror, however, is that what is terrifying is different for every person. A visual medium such as film, tv, or video games show you the scary things, but non-visual mediums such as literature allow your brain to come up with the scariest thing possible. You’re forced to visualize what’s happening, you can see the thoughts and sensations of the point of view characters; the extra work can leave a long-lasting impression. You can’t hide under the blanket during the scary parts.

Before you is a list of 5 death game novels; they are more akin to Saw, Danganronpa, or Zero Escape than “what if reality tv? But evil” such as The Hunger Games or some of “Richard Bachman”’s works. Will you find one that inspires you to continue reading? Or will you leave me on read? You have 300 seconds. The choice is yours.

(Actually, you have as much time as you want. And this blog doesn’t have read receipts. Just enjoy this post!)

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