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Ring by Koji Suzuki
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Ring (1991)

by Koji Suzuki

Series: Ring (1)

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English (25)  Danish (2)  German (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I love stories, especially science fiction, fantasy and horror, but I don't really care for movies. They are almost never as good as the book, and I'm always easily distracted when watching movies (or TV). So, I actually pick up books when I've heard the movie is pretty good. The same happened here. I actually have the DVD of the Japanese movie of Ring, but never watched it. I couldn't wait to read the book though, because I've heard many times that Koji Suzuki is a good writer, because I like Japanese novels (or at least, the ones I've read), and who can resist a nice supernatural horror tale?
Four teenager die unexpectedly, all at the same time. Reporter Kazuyuki Asakawa figures this out, and is intrigued. He starts investigating how this could have happened, expecting something like a virus that has infected all four of them. He finds out they spent a night together in a cabin in a resort, and when he spends the night in the same cabin, he finds a message from one of the teenagers not to watch a certain tape. Of course Asakawa does anyway, and that starts the supernatural race to figure out what the tape is about and how it could have caused four young healthy people to die.
This book was very good. The story (I read an English translation) is translated well, but keeps its Japanese style (in the way people act around each other, and descriptions of landscapes and houses). It made me feel like not only was I watching a story unfold, it happened in a different culture. I don't think this book would work as well in a different setting, because of the way people accept supernatural events. It is a very good horror story, one that doesn't have a nice ending with closure. I hope to come across other parts in the series in the future. Four out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Nov 25, 2013 |
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Liked to read it, it was quite a quick read.
I'm not very sure about the Haruki Murakami part in this book tough, I did not really recognize a lot of really surreal things that I found there. If I did compare to another writer, it was Stephen King, but then Japanese style.
Very nice to read, but it didn't give me the shivers or had me reading, reading, reading without thinking of anything else.
I'm looking forward to start in the next book of the trilogy, although I won't do that right away. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
I've seen the movie inspired by this book (both the American and Japanese versions), and while they were decidedly creepy, the scares were mostly visual so I figured I'd be okay with the book. And I have to say that the films are much more engaging. For one thing, the iconic stringy-haired girl who crawls out of the television doesn't even make an appearance here. The characters are either superfluous or kind of awful, and many of the details are so silly as to feel forced. The story of VHS tape that kills you a week after watching it is a neat idea, and I like the general storyline, but it's simply told far better by the films. ( )
1 vote melydia | Nov 21, 2012 |
I have not seen the movie, and found this story of video watchers condemned to death to have the same unabashed twisty reader-yanking catchiness of Harlan Coben. The journalist investigator and his buddies unravel a life/death riddle found on a videotape, while the wife and the kids stay at home. Tho' Ryuji is comic, the rest of the pack of supporting characters are dull, dull, dull.

The glossing over of rape by the main character, and the devil-made-me do it excusing of rape by another character made me wonder if excusing rape is some obnoxious, unspoken, sanctioned view of men's sexual privilege among japanese men. I hope not. Othewise, the end was not really the end, which is always fun. The discovery of which video watchers die and which do not is a hoot, and leads to and ending which presents a moral dilemma that leaves the story quite unfinished.

I do expect to watch the movie, and I will take a shot at the sequel, The Spiral. ( )
  grheault | Jul 28, 2012 |
I saw The Ring (U.S.) four times when it first came out in theaters in 2002. I was fourteen, and the first three times I saw it, I sometimes had to peek through my fingers at the screen. After the very first time, I slept with the light on the next three nights. It's the only movie to have ever creeped the bejeepers out of me. So I've always been curious about the novel that inspired it.

Unfortunately, this book was a pretty big letdown. In my opinion, there's no aspect of the story that the movie does not improve. Perhaps the book's worst problem is that its main character, Asakawa, is a complete jerk. He knows his best friend has raped three different women for the thrill of it, and he doesn't turn him in to the police. It's not surprising that Asakawa treats his own wife and child horribly, as well. Since any urgency in the novel depends on the reader caring that Asakawa will die in 7 days, the fact that he's so unsympathetic doomed the book for me. I only read on because I wanted to know the story of the tape, and even that mystery has a pretty stupid resolution in the book.

The genius of the movie is that it does for televisions what Jaws did for the ocean and Psycho did for the shower. It's the most iconic and disturbing part of the story (I think), and it's not in the book.

So while the book was a creative and original idea when it was first written, the big-screen adaptations have pretty much ruined the novel by improving the story. ( )
1 vote edenic | Apr 29, 2012 |
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A row of condominium buildings, each fourteen stories high, ran along the northern edge of the housing development next to the Sankeien garden.
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"A mysterious video has been linked to a number of deaths, and when an inquisitive journalist finds the tape and views it herself, she sets in motion a chain of events that puts her own life in danger"--Container.

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