Wednesday, 20 June 2012

RING & SPIRAL ... two little book reviews

During this year's A-Z challenge, I posted a list of books from my GoodReads TBR shelf. I have only read one of those on the list so far, and I'm here to post a little review of it. The book is RING by Koji Suzuki, and I also read its sequel SPIRAL, which I will review further down.

This book had been on my physical TBR shelf for the whole year, and on my GoodReads shelf for a lot longer. I only picked it up in May after the A-Z challenge. I saw the Hollywood version of the movie at the cinemas back when it came out, and got the super heebie jeebies from that - in a good way, thought it was just the right kind of creepy! I haven't seen the Japanese version of the film but would love to someday.

As for the book, it was an easily digestible read. Not so high brow that your brain starts hurting, but written in strong and pleasant-to-read language. Suzuki's descriptions at times had me feeling almost what the characters were feeling (thankfully not quite what they were feeling, in the cases of those who died!). I admired the creep factor of Sadako's story. I can't say that any one moment in the book was QUITE as scary as a particular scene from the Hollywood film (you know, that scene). I did see some other reviewers mention that maybe having seen a film adaptation, the book was no longer quite as scary (lacking in the shock factor). This could be the case with me too. But I think Suzuki's a bit of a genius. What an imagination!

I didn't know what to expect from this one, after reading RING. From the very beginning I was surprised by things that happened. For instance, the way Asakawa's story went. I distinctly recall my jaw dropping. While this book's protagonist Ando was reading the Ring report, I did wonder if he was going to regret it later, the way other people had regretted watching the video tape from book #1. And then, the Sadako story kicking off again! What a trip.

The sheer wackiness of the plot that unravels in this book is what entertains me most. I can't really say too much without spoiling things, but let's just say that not only did I bow down to the twists and turns of Suzuki's plot, but I laughed out loud at the strangeness of it, even while I marvelled at the notion of such events actually taking place in our world. And that's the thing - Suzuki's plots are somewhat grounded in science, at least if you're willing to think outside the box. I don't have book 3 to read yet, but I will acquire and read it soon!

In other news, I have actually begun to read another book from my A-Z "to-read" featured list, and that book is OSCAR AND LUCINDA by Australian author Peter Carey. I'm enjoying it so far, and also wondering when I should watch the movie. ;)


  1. Okay, you've got me intrigued; I'll have to add these to my summer reading queue.

  2. I'm intrigued and need to read more Japanese writers. Haruki Murakami was the first I delved into, and I really liked it.

    1. Murakami strikes me as being a bit more 'literary', but I can't really say as I have not ready any of his stuff! I fully intend to remedy that though.

  3. I never even knew the Ring movie was based on a book. Silly me. I don't do scary movies... but I like scary books. May have to check this out. Thanks for the review!

  4. Supposedly, the Japanese version of the movie is much more depressing than the American version.

    1. Hmm, interesting. I'm curious if the movie follows the book's storyline, or delves into any part of book #2.

  5. I saw the Japanese version of Ring and I think I liked it, but as usual I don't really remember it.
    Spiral sounds pretty good from your description. I'll have to keep that one in mind.

    Wrote By Rote


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