The Ring by Koji Suzuki

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They always tell you to watch the movie then read the book. Movies can’t go into the details that books do and watching the movie first gives those who have trouble visualising text a starting point. The Ring, either the original Japanese trilogy or the later US remakes were some of my favourite movies. The understated horror of a child wanted too much that her presence destroys her family was so well done that you carried the story, much like the video virus, with you after watching. Unfortunately I didn’t feel the book conveyed the same horror. Maybe it’s because the female protagonist is an unsympathetic male character. Maybe the cultural divide is just to wide that at some points seem ridiculous to my western eyes. Mind you these same plot devises are missing from the Japanese movie so maybe it’s not cultural, just ridiculous. I didn’t feel the atmosphere of dread that the movies conveyed. I don’t think this is because I’ve watched the movie previously as that same dread still exists with every viewing. No, this book falls flat emotionally and I’m so pleased that screenwriters and directors could get past all the words and find the story beneath. Characters (besides the enigmatic Ryuji) are flat and uninteresting (probably another reason why I didn’t enjoy book). This book is firmly in the mystery lover’s story appeal characteristic. They will love the twists and frustrations the characters as they struggle to uncover the charm that will save their lives from promised death.

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