Saturday, May 07, 2005

suzuki's spiral (vol. 3)

After the 2002 release of the American movie "The Ring," a remake of Hideo Nakata’s "Ringu," fans became interested both in the original film and in the novel on which it’s based. Although "Spiral" is volume 3 in "The Ring" series, this psychological, scientific thriller can be read as a standalone book. Much of the plot is similar to the films. Doctor Mitsuo Andoh discovers an encoded message in the autopsy of his old college friend, Ryuji, a philosophy professor who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Andoh must decipher the code if he hopes to understand a strange virus that kills people after watching a video tape. Andoh discovers that there were other, similar deaths that occurred the same night, at approximately the same time. Each autopsy reveals that the cause of death was sudden heart failure. The victims were all young and healthy. What’s more, everyone that died had watched a videotape containing a message that those who watch the video will die in a week. Andoh ends up watching the video, partly out of curiosity, and partly because he knows he shouldn’t. During the course of his research, Andoh traces the video to a smallpox patient and her daughter, Sadako, both of whom died a horrible death after the mother was raped. Andoh discovers that the ring itself is a virus, the product of Sadako’s quest for revenge, with the ability to mutate and be transferred in different ways…even by simply reading about the ring. The story itself is intense and scary. "Spiral" features the masterfully smooth art of Sakura Mizuki, who translates the emotional expressions and tense moments without falling into the pitfall of in-your-face horror.


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