Item description for Birthday by Koji Suzuki & Glynne Walley...
Basis of the Hit Movie Ring 0: Birthday!
Birthday is Ring-master Koji Suzuki's return to the Ring universe, a collection of short stories focusing on the female characters with a theme of birth. An exploration of extraordinary circumstances from the perspective of memorable women, this expansion of the Ring, Spiral, and Loop world was adapted into a hit movie less than a year after the book's publication.
Thirty years before the tragic events of Ring, Sadako Yamamura was an aspiring stage actress on the verge of her theatrical debut. The beautiful and ravishing Sadako was the object of every male's desire involved with the company including n the director. There was one thespian she was interested in, but…
Fast forward past the events of Ring, Ryuji Takayama's distraught lover, Mai Takano is struggling in the wake of the professor's mysterious demise. Mai visits Ryuji's parents' house to find the missing pages of his soon-to-be published article. There she is drawn to a curious videotape and a fate more terrifying than Ryuji or Kazuyuki Asakawa's.
Reiko Sugiura questioned the purpose of bringing a child into a world where there was only death. She already lost one son, and the father of her unborn child, Kaoru Futami, had disappeared in search of a cure to the deadly disease that threatened all life. Despite Kaoru's to meet again in two months, he has not returned. Despondent but driven for answers Reiko is led to the Loop project, where she will discover the final truths of the Ring virus.
“If the “interpretation of dreams are the royal road to the unconscious,” as Sigmund Freud once said, Birthday by Koji Suzuki is a highway to the horrors of human evil.” — Foreword Magazine 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.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Dec 12, 2006
ISBN 1932234292 ISBN13 9781932234299
Recently, I worked my way through Koji Suzuki's "Ring" series and by the time I made it to "Birthday", the fourth and final book in the series, I had pretty much run out of steam. "Birthday" is made up of three short (50-100 page) stories that take place before, during and after the events of the "Ring" trilogy. The first story, "Floating Coffin", tells of what happened to Mai Takano after she went missing in the middle of "Spiral", the second book in the trilogy. The second story, "Lemon Heart" tells of Sadako's time with the theatre troupe she joined at age 18. These events are alluded to in "Ring", although this story is told as a flashback occuring in the middle of "Spiral". The final story, "Happy Birthday", is set after the events of "Loop" and provides the conclusion to the series.
After reading the entire "Ring" trilogy, I found these stories to be unnecessary. They didn't add anything to my understanding of the "Ring" universe, and they felt like scenes that had been deleted from the first three novels. In my opinion, this book is essentially just a grab for cash on the part of the author and has only minimal merit. I would only recommend it to people who feel the need to read everything that has ever been written about the "Ring", and even then, it will probably disappoint.
unputtable read through and through............. Oct 19, 2007
Excellent finish to an terrific series. Must for all ring fans... This book has collection of 3 stories spaced at different time period in the ring universe. These stories fill the gaps and answers which previous books left out. Once again koji suzuki re-defines horror by taking you into depths of unkown...
Great way to finish off the series Jan 16, 2007
It's almost pointless to even mention the Ring films at this point, as they bare almost no resemblance to the story anymore by just book 2 (unless you count Rasen, but by the end of that it doesn't count anymore at all in the film universe). Ring 0: Birthday was loosely based on the second story in this book, Lemon Heart. The rest of the book is new.
This is an anthology based around three central characters in the trilogy (all female) and themes of birth relating to the storyline.
1. Floating Coffin Plot: This, the first story, takes place in the middle of book 2, Spiral. We get a glimpse of Mai Takano, and what exactly happens when she gives birth to Sadako and dies.
Review: Of the three stories, this was by far my least favorite. It has no real relevance to progressing the story or showing anything. This one was a little bit of a bore. However, the next stories made me completely forget about this one's lack of interest.
2. Lemon Heart Plot: Toyama, a middle-aged man, is approached by a detective that is looking for information on Yamamura Sadako. Toyama is one of the only survivors from a theater troupe that Sadako was in shortly before she disappeared. Toyama recounts being in love with her, and in the end of the story gets a surprise visit from a familiar face.
Review: My favorite of the three. Great story that sheds some more light on how Sadako was in life, and introduces some foreshadowing and dramatic irony that we know will lead to events that take place in "Ring" and "Spiral".
3. Happy Birthday Plot: Reiko, still pregnant, is brought to New Mexico and informed of what exactly happened to Kaoru. She takes a look into the Loop world to see how he manages to get rid of Sadako and save the world, leading up to the birth of his child.
Review: Another great story. I sort of hoped it would be longer, as it was the conclusion to the entire series and I felt at first that it was much too short to be the ending. However, looking back, I see how the entire anthology was the ending. Although only one has a story that ends it, the others sort of bring the legend and story of Sadako to a full circle.
All in all, great anthology that is a must-read for fans of the first three books.