Stunning Japanese thriller with a chilling supernatural twist. The novel that inspired the cult Japanese movie and the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name.
Asakawa is a hardworking journalist who has climbed his way up from local-news beat reporter to writer for his newspaper’s weekly magazine. A chronic workaholic, he doesn’t take much notice when his seventeen-year-old niece dies suddenly – until a chance conversation reveals that another healthy teenager died at exactly the same time, in chillingly similar circumstances.
Sensing a story, Asakawa begins to investigate, and soon discovers that this strange simultaneous sudden-death syndrome also affected another two teenagers. Exactly one week before their mysterious deaths the four teenagers all spent the night at a leisure resort in the same log cabin.
When Asakawa visits the resort, the mystery only deepens. A comment made in the guest book by one of the teenagers leads him to a particular vidoetape with a portentous message at the end:
Those who have viewed these images are fated to die at this exact hour one week from now.
Asakawa finds himself in a race against time – he has only seven days to find the cause of the teenagers’ deaths before it finds him. The hunt puts him on the trail of an apocalytpic power that will force Asakawa to choose between saving his family and saving civilization.
‘The pace doesn't slacken for a moment … a guaranteed page-turner’ Observer
‘Suzuki builds tension brilliantly’ Guardian
‘Bristles with menace and fear’ Uncut
‘The translation is wonderful, the spare and sleek prose making for an easy read, while the dark currents of the story build up to a mind-boggling climax’ Outland
About the author
Koji Suzuki is a literary star in his native Japan, where he is also a respected writer on childcare, having brought up two daughters. Ring has sold 2.8 million copies to date and spawned a cult Japanese film that is fast becoming a classic, as well as a successful Hollywood remake. Koji Suzuki lives in Tokyo but loves to travel.
The success of the 2002 American movie The Ring, a remake of Hideo Nakata's Ringu, has excited interest both in the original film and in the novel on which it's based. The plot will be familiar to the movie's many fans: a reporter, Asakawa, connects the death of his niece to the deaths of three other high school students. During his investigation, he discovers a videotape with a terrible warning: "Those who view these images are fated to die at this exact moment one week from now." With the aid of a friend, Asakawa traces the video to an alleged psychic and her daughter, Sadako. As in a classic ghost story, fate singles out one, often innocent character as a scapegoat. But the misogynistic society that persecutes Sadako and her mother must ultimately bear witness to its sin or perish. Despite a somewhat pedestrian and unintentionally comic prose style that seems derived from manga comics ("Ryuji was right. Men could not bear children"), fans of the movie won't be disappointed. Anyone curious in how the Japanese see themselves will find this book a fascinating, and ultimately highly disturbing, experience.