Book 7: Ring by Koji Suzuki

A month or so ago I watched the new Ring sequel, Rings and I really enjoyed its new slant on the reworked story. Afterwards I was googling the story and I came across the book ‘Ring’ by Koji Suzuki, I found myself eager to read it and see how the original story had been changed to fit the big screen.

There’s always a strange relationship between books and movies. As a rule, if I know the movie is based on a book I’ll read the book first. I find then that if the movie misses bits out I sort of secretly know what’s missing. Take Harry Potter for example, I’ve read all the main books and watched the movies, I’ve read the Beedle the Bard and the Cursed Child screen play, but I haven’t read the books on Quidditch, oh and I’ve visited the WB tour in London. Hubby on the other hand has seen all the movies and been on the tour, but has only managed to read a few pages of Philosophers Stone that he has on his kindle. He only downloaded it because I kept telling him how much more there was in the books, but genuinely he was quite happy with the movie version of the story.

Reading the book after the movie is a whole new experience, a stilted one if I’m honest. When I re-read HP I imagined the characters as they were in the movie, they overrode my own imagination.

So back to the Ring. My hubby was working nights and I wanted something to read, but once I got into it I realised that starting it while I was home alone was a silly move. I love scary movies and books, but your brain still registers the fear and it doesn’t necessarily understand that you’re enjoying it, so it’ll still try and process it through dreams and nightmares. What a rookie mistake for someone who has night terrors on a regular basis, this is why I read the book within a few hours over single day / night / early hours of the next morning!

In a bit of a twist, I didn’t find the novel scary, it almost felt emotionless which was weird. When I thought about it afterwards I wondered if maybe the story had been lost in translation or maybe I’d been tainted by the movies? I’ve seen the originals and the American remakes and the Ring movies are all very visual, playing upon your own reaction to certain images, maybe this was the problem – had the story been developed for the film and left the slightly less descriptive book behind?

The book is still a good read, we have our leading villain, Sadoko, although I don’t feel that this is quite the right term for her, she was the victim and now she’s the entity causing other people harm, but Google tells me that a villain is “a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot.”, so I guess I’m wrong.

There is something about Sadako that I don’t want to reveal, but I’m pretty sure isn’t in the movies and for good reason, I’ll let you discover it for yourself though! I loved discovering Sadako’s original story again and learning more about her power, I wish this had been part of the movies a bit more, it was pretty cool.

What I found most interesting was from the lead male, he felt that the only way he could get his head around the supernatural problem he was facing and totally didn’t understand, was to call it a virus. Over and over again. At first I felt that this was a ridiculous analogy, but actually it’s pretty clever, fear can spread uncontrollably, like a virus and when something is a psychological problem trying to logically understand and “cure” the problem is really tough – ask anyone with anxiety!

Conclusion – this book is cool, even if it doesn’t have the fear factor the movies produce and the sequel sounds pretty interesting too! I feel a Ring movie marathon looming in my future!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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