A haunting collection of short stories from Koji Suzuki, author of the smash thriller, Ring, which spawned the hit film and sequels. The first story in this collection has been adapted to film (Dark Water, Walter Salles), and another, "Adrift" is currently in production with Dimension Films.
"An excellent short story collection... The stories are not easily classifiable, verring between fantasy, horror, and mystery, but I can guarantee the level of suspense will give your heart a good workout." - The New York Sun
"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
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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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 4.75" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jun 6, 2006
ISBN 1932234225 ISBN13 9781932234220
Reviews - What do customers think about Dark Water?
Master Architect of Suspense Jan 8, 2007
All of the stories in this collection except perhaps one ("Solitary Isle") are firmly submerged in watery locales and metaphors. While not all are cleanly molded by the horror genre, they each ooze with a masterful concoction of dread and psychological malaise. I've not read any of Suzuki's books, nor have I seen the movie adapted from the lead story, "Floating Water," but Suzuki proves in these stories alone that he is an exceptional writer of the macabre.
That said, I would have given the collection five stars except that some of the stories were seriously truncated: a few of the endings are abrupt and unsatisfying, like "Dream Cruise" and "Adrift." The former story had some truly incredible suspense and imagery, yet the sudden ending left too many questions. The latter ended like a campfire horror story, with bad things lurking and nothing resolved. The ending of "Watercolors" made absolutely no sense at all -- an extraordinarily creepy tale concluding with a jarring shift of perspective that seemed to come from nothing that had gone before.
My rating, therefore, is four stars, with some tales like "Floating Water" and "The Hold" getting five stars, while others such as "Dream Cruise," "Watercolors" and "Adrift" getting three. "Solitary Isle," which is not particularly horrific, had some absorbing characterizations and enough mystery to hold me until the end. And "Forest Under the Sea," which didn't have an especially satisfying ending, offered some of the most tense, claustrophobic moments I've ever encountered in print. Four stars for those last two, for sure.
(I should note that, in "Dream Cruise" in particular, there are what appear to be translation problems with the nautical terms. While a novice like myself didn't have any problems, I read the story outloud to my boyfriend, who is an avid sailor, and he reported some inaccuracies. They weren't too serious, but enough to detract from the tale and confuse a more savvy reader.)
Cultural Differences? Nov 10, 2006
I enjoyed reading Ring and Spiral (and have not read Loop yet), so I had some high expectations for this collection of short stories. They are written fine, but I was expecting to find them a bit more creepy. Usually, I was able to figure out the story shortly into reading it. Maybe this type of story was new enough in Japan that it still seemed fresh, but they seemed a bit formulaic to me and not overly creative.
Thought Provoking Mar 23, 2006
Water, it has a stong effect on our subconscious, whether it be a stream, lake, pond, or ocean. It bring us back to our primordial past, back to the womb, therefore it is full of mystery and sometimes unsettling feelings. All the tales in Dark Water relate to water in one manner or another. The first story is chilling enough to make one never want to drink tap water ever again. I can see why this was made into a movie, an everyday thing in our lives has been transformed into something completely vile. Although Koji Suzuki is more known for his stories that relate to horror/supernatural, not every story in this book has a supernatural slant, some are just plain though provoking and strange. Solitary Isle and Forest Under the Sea aren't as supernatural and rely more on those primal, subconcious feelings. For fans of the supernatural there are chilling stories like The Hold, and Dream Cruise, one speaks of a man's descent into madness after the disappearance of his wife, and the other tells of a man's wish to sail in a yacht when the crew on his fishing boat find an abandoned one on the ocean. I can see why some people see Koji Suzuki as the Japanese Stephen King, his writings are able to capture the imagination in fantastic ways that can leave one feeling unsettled for hours after reading.
Very good Jul 28, 2005
This book was very interesting. It was subtle in it's "scariness" and din't come right out there with everything like the movies do. I enjoyed it very much.
Watery graves Apr 5, 2005
Water. It gives life, but can take it away. We need it, but it can also kill us in countless ways. And it's the center of "Dark Water," Koji Suzuki's collection of short stories. While the now-legendary "Ring" author has a knack for visceral horror, he just isn't in his element when writing shorts.
The most prominent story is "Floating Water," which has already been made into the film "Honogurai mizu no soko kara" and is being remade for American audiences, starring Jennifer Connelly. Newly-divorced Yoshimi and her daughter Ikuko move into a run-down apartment building, where a little girl vanished two years before.
But Suzuki doesn't descend to cheap ghosts here. Ikuko finds a "Hello Kitty" bag, which Yoshimi forces her to get rid of. But the bag keeps reappearing on the roof, and Ikuko has started talking with an imaginary playmate. Yoshimi starts to wonder -- what happened to that little girl, and where is she now, if she is haunting the building?
The other short stories continue the "water" theme: a young teacher discovers a cruel friend left something on an abandoned island. An abusive fisherman finds that he did something terrible while he was drunk -- and his victim takes her revenge. Spelunkers, boats and sailors take parts in the other stories... always near water.
Koji Suzuki is rightly called Japan's answer to Stephen King. In fact, he may well be better than King is. Where other horror authors use cheap chills and gore, Suzuki's stark storytelling keeps it clean. He frightens us with cruelty, with delusions, with looming curses, and with ghosts that the lead characters never actually see.
Unfortunately, "Dark Water's" short stories just don't gel. Suzuki doesn't get any time to build up suspense or character development, making the stories feel hollow. And most of them -- most glaringly the first -- ends abruptly. It's like walking down a sidewalk, only to suddenly fall into a pit. Perhaps only "The Hold," one of the most unpleasant stories, has a satisfying finale.
However, Suzuki's excellent style makes it worth reading. Everything and everyone is muted and understated, except for the sense of impending disaster and/or suspense hanging over each story. If fans of Suzuki read it solely for his style, then this is definitely a winner.
Unfortunately, "Dark Water" is not up to the standards of Suzuki's full-length novels. However, it's still a creepy, watery experience.