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Ring (Ring Series, Book 1) Paperback – April 25, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The recent horror/suspense film called The Ring was a remake of the Japanese film Ringu, which was in turn based on a 1991 novel that is now appearing in English for the first time. The novel, which tells the story of a journalist investigating the apparently simultaneous deaths of four teenagers, begins as a traditional mystery. But it glides smoothly into horror when the journalist discovers that all four victims watched a videotape that guaranteed their deaths in one week if they did not do a certain thing (details are missing from the tape). If the journalist can't figure out what happened, he, too, the tape prophesizes, is doomed. Told with a minimum of horror cliches, the novel creates a sense of slowly mounting dread, as though something unpleasant is inevitable, and we are powerless to stop it. With the release of The Ring (and its Japanese inspiration) on video (and talk of a sequel to the American film), this novel is sure to be much in demand among both mystery and horror fans. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical (April 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932234411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932234411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By CreepyT on July 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Being a big fan of both "Ringu" and its American remake "The Ring," I was intrigued to read the book that started it all. As one might suspect, much of the plot will be very similar to those who have seen one or both of the films. However, the book does hold a few of it's own surprises.
Asakawa is a reporter who unintentionally comes across a story while taking a cab home from work. The cabdriver is explaining how a young man died on the street one day right next to his car. The day and time he notes that the event took place is the same day and time that Asakawa's niece died. Both deaths were described as sudden heart failure. Odd coincidence? Further digging reveals that two other young adults died the same night, at approximately the same time, from the same strange unknown cause. Asakawa's investigation leads him to a resort in the woods, where he discovers and watches the infamous mysterious videotape with the odd, surreal images. Asakawa enlists the aid of his friend Ryuji, a philosophy professor, to help him solve the riddle and save his life. Together they are in a race against time to survive an ill fate.
The two gradually peel away layers of a distant past, and a child named Sadako who was known to have psychic powers. What is Sadako's wish? What is the ultimate purpose of her tape? Will Ryuji and Asakawa discover the truth in time to save themselves?
Some of the differences between the book and the movies are small, such as the fact that the main character in both films was female while the reporter and main character in the book is a male. In addition, the age difference between the reporter's child in both films was slightly older than the child in the book. However, there are some major differences as well.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Koji Suzuki, Ring (Vertical, 1991)
So you've seen The Ring. Or, better yet, the Japanese film Ringu. Or both. (You should watch both. See Ringu first.) Or you haven't. It doesn't matter. You must read Ring.
The story is relatively similar, but both Nakata and Verbinski took very large liberties with the original text (for example, both made Asakawa's character female-- which allowed the world to get weak-kneed at seeing Nanako Matsushima and Naomi Watts gracing screens again, but was otherwise seemingly gratuitous), including some major messing with the backstory. So if you've seen the films, the book will be familiar, but will still end up being a whole new experience.
Asakawa is a reporter. He was disgraced a couple of years ago during a sudden, unexplained outburst of popularity of stories about the occult in Japan (though you don't find out exactly how early on). One night, on the way home, he catches a cab, and he and the driver strike up a conversation about an event that happened a month previously to the cabdriver: a kid on a motorbike died of sudden heart failure. The death is eerily similar to that of Asakawa's niece on the same night. And from that coincidence, Asakawa starts to research the connection between the two deaths, which turns out to be far more than he bargained for.
What made for a creepily effective thriller on screen actually reads more like a hardboiled detective thriller (those familiar with the premise will note the obvious similarity to certain crime films of the past, notably D. O. A.).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Koji Suzuki could easily be considered the Stephen King of Japanese horror, with several movies (and remakes) of his bestseller novels -- particularly "Ring." Yes, that one. The one where you die in a week after seeing the cursed tape. While not quite the same as either film, Suzuki's original novel is a quiet, understated horror classic.

Four teenagers watch a seemingly cursed videotape, which will kill them in one week's time. Seven days later, all four die of heart attacks, including one young man simply keeling off his motorcycle. The uncle of one girl, Kazuyuki Asakawa, also finds the videotape and watches it. Now he has seven days to figure out the mysterious instructions, which happen to be missing. If he doesn't, he's dead.

Accompanied by a less-than-pristine professor, Ryuji Takayama, Asakawa goes in search of what is going on -- he suspects a virus that causes a heart attack. As he goes hunting through the woods for the secret to the videotape, he discovers a legacy of death and terror, left behind by the malevolent Sadako Yamamura. Asakawa's time is running out -- how can he unravel the mystery of the Ring?

Don't expect a carbon copy of the "Ring" movies: No TV apparitions, the lead is a man, and despite her beautiful female appearance, Sadako is a hermaphrodite. However, the "Ring" book is far more horrifying, solidifying Suzuki's position as a classic horror writer. It's impossible not to shiver when you look at the TV, after seeing this.

Suzuki's skill is in calmly, coolly describing horrific events in simple words. It packs a more visceral punch than if he just had floods of blood and gore in detail. The scene where Takayama sees the curse working on his own body is enough to make your skin crawl.
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