...Koji Suzuki’s “Ring” novels, the English translations of which are now available in Indian bookstores: Ringu (Ring), Rasen (Spiral) and Rupu (Loop). Even if you’re familiar with the basic Ring story through the Japanese and American movie versions, these books are worth reading – very fast-paced, though they cover a much wider canvas than the films do, mixing horror, science-fiction, medical and evolutionary science with philosophical musings about the origin and nature of life on our planet, and the possible future of artificial intelligence. The first two books are particularly good and make for solid back-to-back reading, with some fine examples of the sort of horror that gradually creeps up on you and gets under your skin. (As someone put it once, a good horror film has a natural, visceral advantage over a good horror novel, because “no one ever jumped out of their chair and screamed while reading a book”. True enough, but a couple of passages in Spiral brought me closer than I’ve ever been to not wanting to turn the page to see what comes next.)
Loop has its moments but it meanders and makes what feels like a random connection with the events related in the earlier novels: it’s more like a combination of The Truman Show and The Matrix than a solid horror/suspense page-turner. But you probably won’t be able to stop yourself from reading it if you like the first two books.
Will do a detailed review of the trilogy soon.