I picked this book up a couple of years ago at the HarperCollins Big Book Parade, which is a roadshow for booksellers where the publisher displays their titles and you can take whatever you’d like to read (yes, it’s as incredible as it sounds and they even give you bags to fill). As usual it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since. I was halfway through the Half Bad series and wanted to read something completely different before I leapt into the final books and thought this would be perfect.
I love horror and Japanese fiction, and the film The Ring reached such a level of success that I was intrigued. I’m always interested in how something visual has translated from what the novel originally put forward. If you’re not familiar with the story (where have you been?) it centres around the idea that watching a particular VHS tape will cause you to die in 7 days if you don’t follow the instructions on the tape. The problem is that some clever kid taped over the instructions. You could do that then.
My absolutely favourite thing about this book is its 90’s nostalgia. Originally published in Japan in 1991, in some ways the culture it presents hasn’t really aged, but as someone who was born in the 80’s I find anything that throws back to 90’s technology embarrassingly hilarious. For example, when the main character Asakawa says he’s staying at the cabin to work, he points out he’s bought along a “portable word processor” and that just creased me.