Author: Koji Suzuki
“A mysterious videotape warns that the viewer will die in one week unless a certain, unspecified act is performed. Exactly one week after watching the tape, four teenagers die one after another of heart failure. Asakawa, a hardworking journalist, is intrigued by his niece’s inexplicable death. His investigation leads him from a metropolitan tokyo teeming with modern society’s fears to a rural Japan–a mountain resort, a volcanic island, and a countryside clinic–haunted by the past. His attempt to solve the tape’s mystery before it’s too late–for everyone–assumes an increasingly deadly urgency. “
When The Ring came out in 2002 it was just an attempt to hit the trend of creepy pale kids in horror movies. I didn’t watch it, mostly because I was 6 years old then. While I had known that it had been based on the 1998 Japanese horror movie Ringu, only in the last couple of months did I find out that it was based on a book. As someone eager to read all things horror, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
Even though the concept was a bit dated (VCRs? Tapes! Nobody had a cell phone!) I still enjoyed this book. There were a lot of little things that annoyed me about the book but the plot was solid had me filled with anticipation.
The writing had a great horror atmosphere. It conveyed fear and panic vividly enough that it gave me goosebumps here and there. One thing I didn’t like about the writing, however, was some of the dialogue. Maybe it was the translation but there was massive information dumps disguised as dialogue in some chapters and it was distracting.
I also hated the main character and his gross cohort. The MC plainly says his friend confessed to raping a woman in high school but still stayed friends with him for over a decade. The MC doesn’t even like him, but we still get assaulted by his presence. The MC was massively annoying and self-centered too. As the book progresses you can see him act under pressure but at the beginning of the book it came off that he hated both his wife and child. I didn’t get it.
The twist was a little dumb, in my opinion? Like, I see how the dots connected and how the conclusion was drawn but I thought it was a dumb motive. But that’s just my opinion. But the search to find a way to break the curse was exhilarating to read.
I would recommend this book to horror aficionados. It was a quick, entertaining read.