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Recently in books: horror Category

The Summer of the Ubume
[Ubume no Natsu]

Genre: Traditional Folklore Mystery Horror
Author: Natsuhiko Kyogoku (1994)

review in one breath

After Sekiguchi runs across a strange story he intends to publish for his supernatural-fueled tabloid, he soon finds it contains more horrific truth than he can wrap his head around. With the help of his clever and well-read friend Kyogokudo, he delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, a trajectory which will have him questioning his sanity, metaphysics and the overlap of Reality with the supernatural realm. This was the first novel by one of Japan's up and coming Mystery/Horror authors, Natsuhiko Kyogoku.



Flowers From Hell: The modern Japanese horror film

Genre: Thorough Exploration of Contemporary Japanese Horror

Author: Jim Harper (2008)

review in one breath

Penned by our good friend Jim Harper, Flowers From Hell offers a highly readable and detailed exploration through the labyrinthine corridors of Japan's horror cinema. In contrast to many recent books on this topic, Harper wisely avoids the "catalog" approach and instead offers readers a thorough, engaging and often humorous discussion of J-Horror's chronological and topical developments. Fans of Japanese Horror, whether nOOb or veteran, will easily find this book both entertaining and educational.



Birthday [Baasudei]

Genre: Horror
Author: Koji Suzuki (1998)

review in one breath

This is the final of Suzuki's four books dedicated to the Ring saga. It is a collection of three stories, each involving an exploration into the situations and plights of three female characters mentioned elsewhere in the other novels. One of the three tales was the basis for the film "Ring 0: Birthday", and as a whole, the collection provides a satisfactory and reflective conclusion to the very detailed and complex world of Suzuki's Ring narrative.



Loop [Ruupu]

Genre: Sci-Fi Apocalypse
Author: Koji Suzuki (1998)

review in one breath

Loop is the third novel in author Koji Suzuki's Ring Trilogy and presents a wholly unexpected and mind-boggling conclusion to the horror tale's trajectory. It is set in a Post-Sadako era where a newly identified genetic virus which is decimating the world's population. We follow Kaoru Futami, a young medical student, as he follows a confusing set of clues which may hold the key to understanding and perhaps defeating the deadly viral pandemic. In consistent form, author Suzuki combines the intricacies of biological evolution with visionary science fiction to explore the origin and implications of the original Sadako's cursed video tape.



Spiral [Rasen]

Genre: Japanese Horror, Dark Science
Author: Koji Suzuki (1995)

review in one breath

Spiral is the second of author Koji Suzuki's four Ring-related books. It follows a relatively brief period in the life of medical examiner Mitsuo Ando, from the day he performs the autopsy on Ryuji Takayama (from the first novel) to the full-blown unleashing of the Ring Virus into the world. This is another page turner in Suzuki's highly readable and engaging storytelling. It offers a complex and riveting unveiling of the darker powers and intent behind Sadako Yamamura's video tape curse of the original novel.



J-Horror: The definitive guide to The Ring, The Grudge and beyond

Genre: J-Horror Filmography
Author: David Kalat (2007)

review in one breath

This recently published book by US author David Kalat delves deeply into the major films in the international J-Horror craze. Through a purely Western perspective, Kalat offers a very rich and thorough treatment of the history, details, trends and people behind exemplar films of this genre. I found this to be a very informative and entertaining exploration into the J-Horror phenomenon.



Ring [Ringu]

Genre: Japanese Horror
Author: Koji Suzuki (1991)

review in one breath

After having seen all the Japanese and US film adaptations of the Ring horror tale, I thought I better read the original text by author Koji Suzuki. I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I was familiar with the storyline, I couldn't put this book down once I started reading. And yes, there are some insightful portions which never made it into the movies.



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