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.
"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
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: 9.2" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2004
ISBN 1932234063 ISBN13 9781932234060
Strange (WARNING!!! contains Spoilers if you haven't read the whole book) Aug 20, 2008
I could not wait to start reading this series when I found out that after watching the movies that it was based on a book. Now I read "Ring" and thought it was better than the movie, although a little strange in a good way. Then I read Spiral...and it was obviously WAY different than the movie; it was kind of suspensful in certain parts...But the whole ending turned me off. I mean it wasn't bad when he said that Sadoko had [...] (it was weird) but it's just poposterous that she comes back to life only to want to take over the evolutionary chain!!! She also brings back Ryuji? Wtf? Perhapse she brings him back because she's part Mai? I don't think Koji Suzuki explained that, but that's the only answer I found plausible. Now I haven't read "Loop" yet, and it almost makes me not want to read it because the plot couldn't get any worse than this! I give it two stars because the author has a lot of suspense, but even I could have created a better storyline.
A bit gross for me Jul 29, 2008
This book is the second in the Ring Trilogy. I read the first (Ring), and enjoyed it. But I was a bit turned off from this one (Spiral) from the beginning: there is a long, gruesome autopsy scene. I can pretty much stomach anything (in writing), but after page after page of detailed descriptions of a corpse being dissected, I started feeling a bit sick. It just seemed unnecessary to go into such detail. Since the protagonist does autopsies, maybe this degree of detail seems necessary. But if he worked as a car mechanic, it wouldn't have been necessary to go into such detail about his rebuilding an engine.
But overall, it was an OK read.
Boring.. Jan 27, 2008
I started of reading this book in the series, thinking the movie "Ring" would be enough to understand what happended before "Spiral". It didn't. I'm just now reading "Ring" since "Spiral" made no sense having only seen the movie of the first book. "Spiral" is not good. It's not terrible either but it leans toward bad rather than good. Suzuki seems to try to incorperate logic thinking into the main characters but the plot is so ludicrous it's not even funny. If Suzuki wants the characters to get the hang of some mystery, he just lets them get an idea based on absolutely nothing, or make conclusions out of totally absurd circumstances, to get them on the right track. It's almost annoying.
As far as being a horror novel; this is not a horror novel. It's not scary once.
A good beginning that spirals down. Jan 9, 2008
After reading Ring (Ring Trilogy), I couldn't wait to read its sequel, "Spiral". Unfortunately, "Spiral" didn't live up to what I had come to expect after the first novel in this series. "Spiral" begins immediately after the events that took place in "Ring". This time, however, our main characters are Dr Ando and his friend rather than Asakawa and Ryuji. Essentially, these two pairs of characters are the same (even Suzuki points out the parallels between them towards the end of the book), but they seemed a lot more interesting the first time around. The story starts out well, with Ryuji sending a message from the grave that Ando, an old friend of his, must solve, but after that, very little actually happens and what does happen is quite boring and predictable.
Whereas the first "Ring" novel was a straight horror novel, in "Spiral", Suzuki turns the story down the path towards science-fiction, something which he continued in the final book, "Loop". I believe this was mistake as it actually makes events which previously seemed plausible (in the context of a horror novel), more unbelievable. I have now read "Spiral" twice and each time I have reached the end grateful that it is over. This book may be worth reading for those wondering what happened after "Ring", but in its own right, it is not a very good book.
Ever Widening Gyre Feb 18, 2006
In Spiral, the sequel to Suzuki's Ring, we are to discover that the hoped for (if uncomfortable) resolution e promised at the end of Ring is not to come to pass. Instead we discover that there is a whole layer below Sadako's efforts at vengeance and that a darker and more haunting motive drives the story - one that threatens more than just those who watched the videotape.
Dr. Mitsuo Ando is haunted by the horrible accident that killed his son and destroyed his marriage. Still unable to make sense of his own life, he is called on to perform the autopsy of his friend Ryuji Takayama, who played a vital role in Ring. What he finds is that death was caused by a coronary blockage and that there are signs of a smallpox like viral infection. Odder is that the body seems to expel a piece of the newspaper used to fill out the thoracic cavity. Ryuji and Dr. Ando used to be addicted to ciphers, and a string of numbers on the paper can be decoded to spell R I N G.
Ando is drawn to Mai, Ryuji's student and lover, who suddenly disappears. As he investigates Ando discovers for himself that all of the victims of the videotape died similarly - all deaths seemingly by a viral infection and exposure to a videotape. Spiral thus introduces another, more unnerving idea. The Spiral is DNA and the theme of the book is mutation or, in broader terms, change.
This book is every bit as solid as Ring, but it pulls the rug out from under the reader by shifting from Ring's story of curses and ghosts to hard science fiction with just a dash of mysticism. As readers, we often have trouble shifting gears like that - stories that suddenly become something else take us out of our comfort zone. The Japanese seem more adept at accepting this kind of narrative 'mutation,' since the real core of the story, the focus on individuals who must make dark choices is still constant.
I liked Spiral a good deal, once I got over the change of pace. In its way, it is as well written as Ring, although it seems to have fared worse when converted to film. That is a shame, because the book will get less attention than it should as a result.