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Spiral [Hardcover]

Koji Suzuki , Glynne Walley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 2004
Dr. Ando who has yet to recover from his son's death at sea, conducts an autopsy on an old friend who has died under unusual circumstances. The corpse, that of cynical philosophy professor Ryuji Takayama, has something to tell him. And Ryuji isn't the only one who chooses to make a reappearance in this story.

You don't know what the RING is yet. The terms of the curse of the videotape undergo a jaw-dropping reconfiguration in this novel, the horror master's stunning reinvention of his own bestselling tale. Spiral is written as a stand-alone work; for Rinbg fans, its' a sequel that redefines the word.

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Review

"Suzuki is called the Stephen King of his country, but that's not really accurate; King isn't nearly as adept at creating complex characters, explaining scientific principles or writing the kind of dialogue that might actually be spoken by humans." - Las Vegas Mercury

"...Suzuki is plowing a path that nobody else has traveled, ..." - Agony Columns

"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

About the Author

Koji Suzuki was born in 1957 in Hamamatsu, southwest of Tokyo. He attended Keio University where he majored in French. After graduating he held numerous odd jobs, including a stint as a cram school teacher. Also a self-described jock, he holds a first-class yachting license and crossed the U.S., from Key West to Los Angeles, on his motorcycle.

The father of two daughters, Suzuki is a respected authority on childrearing and has written numerous works on the subject. He acquired his expertise when he was a struggling writer and househusband. Suzuki also has translated a children's book into Japanese, The Little Sod Diaries by the crime novelist Simon Brett.

In 1990, Suzuki's first full-length work, Paradise won the Japanese Fantasy Novel Award and launched his career as a fiction writer. Ring, written with a baby on his lap, catapulted him to fame, and the multi-million selling sequels Spiral and Loop cemented his reputation as a world-class talent. Often called the "Stephen King of Japan," Suzuki has played a crucial role in establishing mainstream credentials for horror novels in his country. He is based in Tokyo but loves to travel, often in the United States. Birthday is his sixth novel to appear in English.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Spiral March 4 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Koji Suzuku's "The Ring" chilled countless readers, with its story of a cursed videotape which kills whoever sees it. But he wasn't quite able to capture lightning in a bottle with "Spiral," which takes away a large part of the visceral horror before giving readers a new kind.

It begins where "Ring" left off, shortly after Ryuji dies. The coroner is his pal Ando, who is deeply disturbed when he finds a bit of paper stuck in Ryuji's torso -- with the coded word "Ring." He's understandably intrigued, and begins exploring the details of the virus-like spread of the curse, and the ghostly Sadako.

He also meets Mai, Ryuji's girlfriend. But soon Mai vanishes -- and then turns up dead. Even stranger, Ando finds that Mai saw the videotape and recently gave birth, but she was not pregnant the previous week. And soon he finds out that the Ring virus has entered its most lethal mutation: the rebirth of the undead Sadako.

One of the trickiest things in horror literature is explain what makes it horrifying. Like an autopsy, Suzuki opens up the Ring virus and tells us what caused it and how it works on the body. It's fascinating. But it also saps away almost all the horror, to have the curse explained in such clinical terms.

About halfway through "Spiral," Suzuki seems to realize that he's losing the "horror" plot. So he then includes strange scurrying creatures, mind control, and the rebirth of Sadako. And as with "Ring," Suzuki gives you the feeling that the apocalypse is about to hit -- it seems that it's just a matter of time until Sadako wins.

Suzuki has both a good grasp of scientific horror and visceral creepiness. First he unravels the bizarre disease that causes the "curse," then reveals the horrific effects of certain people watching the videotape.
Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Into the spiral Feb. 24 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Koji Suzuku's "The Ring" chilled countless readers, with its story of a cursed videotape which kills whoever sees it. But he wasn't quite able to capture lightning in a bottle with "Spiral," which takes away a large part of the visceral horror before giving readers a new kind.

It begins where "Ring" left off, shortly after Ryuji dies. The coroner is his pal Ando, who is deeply disturbed when he finds a bit of paper stuck in Ryuji's torso -- with the coded word "Ring." He's understandably intrigued, and begins exploring the details of the virus-like spread of the curse, and the ghostly Sadako.

He also meets Mai, Ryuji's girlfriend. But soon Mai vanishes -- and then turns up dead. Even stranger, Ando finds that Mai saw the videotape and recently gave birth, but she was not pregnant the previous week. And soon he finds out that the Ring virus has entered its most lethal mutation: the rebirth of the undead Sadako.

One of the trickiest things in horror literature is explain what makes it horrifying. Like an autopsy, Suzuki opens up the Ring virus and tells us what caused it and how it works on the body. It's fascinating. But it also saps away almost all the horror, to have the curse explained in such clinical terms.

About halfway through "Spiral," Suzuki seems to realize that he's losing the "horror" plot. So he then includes strange scurrying creatures, mind control, and the rebirth of Sadako. And as with "Ring," Suzuki gives you the feeling that the apocalypse is about to hit -- it seems that it's just a matter of time until Sadako wins.

Suzuki has both a good grasp of scientific horror and visceral creepiness. First he unravels the bizarre disease that causes the "curse," then reveals the horrific effects of certain people watching the videotape.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars You Don't Know What Ring Is Yet Dec 23 2006
Format:Paperback
Right from the get-go, the story splits away from the memorable characters in Ring and introduces to you some very troubled ones. Dr. Ando, a doctor whose son died at sea, is having hostile conversations with his wife over the phone about their divorce. Once Ando goes to work, he discovers a new corpse ready for an autopsy...

who is none other than Ryuji Takayama! And he has something to share with the reader, something that starts a spiral of events, and something that shows that he is not who we thought he was. But Ryuji is not the only to make a re-appearance in this story. For Sadako is back, and she is not a forgiving person.

I will not reveal much more about the story, but let me say that Ando's sinister choice at the end of the novel is more sinister that Asakawa's. You do not know what the Ring really is yet. All rules about the cursed videotape are re-defined and some new side-affects are not pleasing ones. It is interesting how Koji Suzuki has been able to twist his own story from Ring into something so dramatic. I would still recommend this book to people who haven't read the first book, for it has been written in a way that you could understand everything - there is a 14 paged flashback on the events of the first book. For Ring fans, those 14 pages are really not that tedious to read.

You will not be able to forget the events in this book for a very long time. The ending is about ten times better than Ring, because it is just so shocking you probably won't believe it. It is filled with very good storytelling - I never found it to be boring - and it will lure you in to a very haunted world.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes, it's all flash, and no substance
This is an AMAZING book. It doesn't re-create Ring. Also, with my reviews, I won't ruin anything. This review wont ruin anything even if you haven't read Ring. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2006 by Movie Freak
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the Spiral
Koji Suzuku's "The Ring" chilled countless readers, with its story of a cursed videotape which kills whoever sees it. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2005 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars good mystery with a scientific twist
This book is very engaging for those who enjoyed the book "Ring", or have seen either movie made in US or Japan. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by laroja
5.0 out of 5 stars ring, spiral, loop, birthday
When I first read the plot of the book "Ringu", I knew it would make a great movie. Then I realized it had been adapted to fim five times. Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by Caleb Tizon
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it!
this was definitly one of the best books ive ever read. so many twists and turns. i personally think it was better than the first book, ring. i HIGHLY suggest reading it.
Published on June 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first "Ring"
I almost never read fiction. I'm pretty much hooked on real-life biogrophies and events that really happened. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by Phasedin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!!!!
although completly different than ring 2 this is a much more complex and scary story. after reading ring and spiral i will definatly be looking for anything else by this writer.
Published on May 4 2004 by Kenneth M. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars The true story of the ring
this story is in a league all its own.
worlds better than its film version (released the same year as Ringu), and more subtle than Ringu 2, the alternative/'official' japanese... Read more
Published on April 29 2004
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