09 January 2019

Book Review: Ring by Koji Suzuki

Oh boy, this was amazing. Gripping. I was kept to the edge of my seat, and so I devoured this book in three days.

I remember back in Japan when the movie which was based of this book was all the rage. I am not really a fan of horror, so I didn't watch the movie. And I don't really read horror fiction, so this is definitely an exception. I don't remember why I put it in my reading list, but in any case, I must say I actually liked it.

See, there's this video. If you watch it, one week later you will die. Unless you do something to prevent it. Unless you make a copy and have someone else watch the video. Of course, that isn't revealed in the book until the very end, so the suspense is kept to a healthy level, kept enough to make you turn the page. And yes, I turned the page quite fast in this one.

The thing is, there's only one thing you have to suspend disbelief on. That is, once you buy the idea that Sadako Yamamura had superpowers allowing her to project her thoughts into video, then everything makes sense. You are taken for a ride, following the reporter Asakusa and his friend Ryuji on a chase to figure out how to stay alive after a week. So they end up researching the history of the video, eventually figuring out that the contents of the video are essentially the thoughts of Sadako Yamamura, someone who had a bleak and tragic past, and who died several years ago.

I don't have plenty of points of comparison when it comes to horror, but this is more psychological supernatural thriller than gory horror. There aren't many scenes that are meant to scare the reader. Rather, what makes it gripping is the fast-paced movement of the plot. I must say, for a horror newbie like me, I definitely enjoyed this.

Oh, and the book ends in a cliffhanger. Because at the very end of the book, the protagonist finally figures out the key to survival, but he realises that his wife and child are at risk, since they also watched the video at some point. So the book ends with him racing to meet his family for them to survive.

Like I said, I enjoyed this a lot. It's not high brow literature, but it will keep your heartbeat go fast. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

See my other book reviews here.

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