Book Reviews

Spiral (Book 2, The Ring Trilogy)

spiralSpiral is written as a stand-alone work; for Ring fans, its’ a sequel that redefines the word.
Mitsuo Ando, a pathologist, lost his son in a drowning accident before the novel opens. His wife has left him. He conducts an autopsy on an old colleague and packs the corpse’s gut cavity with old newspaper, then discovers a slip of paper bearing six numbers protruding from the corpse’s belly. There follows a series of mysterious deaths, seemingly from a form of smallpox. These lead Ando to search for a videotape, the content of which kills the subject seven days after they’ve watched it, but not before infecting the victims with a mutated DNA virus. Even a transcript of the tape is able to transmit this virus. The very future of the human race as we know it hangs in the balance.

“Suzuki’s ambitious trilogy does succeed, and it’s hard not to be impressed with his aplomb in turning a straight supernatural horror mystery around into a piece of pure science fiction.” – TIMES
“…a unique, alchemical quality… he has demonstrated a miraculous power for transmuting the very common into the very frightening.” Rue Morgue“An enduring modern archetype”– SF Reader

Review: Mike, Kansas
Spiral is the 2nd in the series of Ring books. This installment takes place shortly after the first book with a pathologist performing an autopsy on one of the last victims. The story isn’t going for the creepy shocks and awes of the first book, but goes a little more into the reason behind it all. The fates of the last books characters are explained. You find out what the ring basically is and how it works in more detail as the story goes on. It has a Michael Crichton feel to it with all the scientific explanations going on over the course of the book. It’s not boring or too stuffy by any means it kept my interest enough to finish the book in a few evenings. The story does pick up towards the end and becomes more of the horror story you would expect. With a few comebacks of characters in the first book, there is enough here to keep you wanting to know more about this whole Ring thing. Can’t wait to read Loop and see how it all ends.
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About the Author

Koji Suzuki

Born: May 13, 1957
kojisuzuki_tour01Suzuki Koji, a bestselling author, is often called Japan’s answer to Stephen King. After graduating from Keio University, he worked a number of jobs, including working at a cram school, where he told scary stories to entertain his students. While taking care of his two daughters while his wife worked, he started to write.
In 1990, he won the Fantasy Novel Award with Rakuen [Paradise]. In 1991, he published the novel Ring, which was made into a successful feature film. In 1996, with Rasen (Spiral), the sequel to Ring, he won the Yoshikawa Eiji Young Writer Award. The Ring series included two more installments, Loop and Birthday. In 2002, Dreamworks SKG remade the Ring for American audiences. His most recent book, Kami kami no Promenade, (The Gods’ Promenade) was published in April 2003. Ring is the first of his novels to be translated into English.
Mr. Suzuki has also written extensively on fatherhood in Japan, criticizing traditional absent salarymen fathers. He has written a number of books on the subject (Fusei no Tanjo, Kazoku no Kizuna, and Papa-ism) and has spoken in front of the Japanese Diet on the suject. He has translated Simon Brett’s children’s book, The Little Sod Diaries, into Japanese as well as writing his own children’s book, Namida [Tears]. In addition to writing and translating, he is an avid motorcyclist and expert sailor.
A Japanese national, Mr. Suzuki resides in Tokyo. He is fluent in English.