Loop by Koji Suzuki (鈴木 光司 / Suzuki Kōji) is the concluding novel in the bestselling Ring trilogy. It was first published in Japan in 1998 as Rūpu (ループ), and then translated into English by Glynne Walley who also translated the first two books Ring & Spiral.
Check out my previous posts on the first two books in this trilogy:
→ “「Ring」 by Koji Suzuki: The Book Which Spawned the Film That Terrorized My Childhood Nights”
→“「Spiral」 by Koji Suzuki (Ring Trilogy): Combining Science & Paranormal”
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Loop by Koji Suzuki, Translated by Glynne Walley
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“LEARN THE FINAL TRUTH ABOUT THE RING!
In the novel Ring, the videotape was the vendetta of Sadako, a tragic girl who could not be sated with simple revenge. In the sequel Spiral, a mutating virus displaced the tape and came to threaten the entire diversity of life. In this much-awaited conclusion of the Ring trilogy, everything you thought you knew about the story will have to be put aside.
In Loop, the killer mimics both AIDS and cancer, in a deadly new guise. Only one person, Kaoru Futami, asks where the disease could have originated. The youth, mature beyond his years, must hope to find answers in the deserts of New Mexico and the Loop project, a virtual matrix created by scientists. The fate of more than just his loved ones depends on Kaoru’s success.
Though best enjoyed by fans of Ring and Spiral, Loop is also written as a stand-alone work. The author’s own favorite of the trilogy, this astounding finale is an emotionally resonant tale that scales conceptual heights from an angle all its own. Fiction about fiction has rarely been so gripping.”
I enjoyed the first two books, Ring and Spiral. That’s why I was looking forward to what kind of conclusion awaited me in Loop. When I finally read it, I was very confused. There aren’t any familiar characters until the end. Although the blurb already indicates that Loop is written as a stand-alone work, it’s a little disappointing that I had to wait until the last part of the book to finally connect it to the original story of Ring.
Yes, this is the conclusion of the Ring trilogy. It ends the story in the most shocking manner. I think that Loop is best enjoyed with an open mind, not expecting it to follow the same thread as in Ring and Spiral. Think about how Spiral completely turned Ring around, making it more scientific and medical, and less supernatural horror. Well, Loop does the same thing times a hundredfold. We’re talking about scientific technology so advance that the supernatural horror element is completely removed.
Learning that the events in both Ring and Spiral are just virtual reality in a matrix called the Loop is very shocking. I’m torn about how to feel. On one hand, I think that it’s a creative, fascinating, and modern spin on the original story. On another hand, I’m disappointed because it feels like the whole thing about the virtual reality is just a convenient deus ex machina to explain everything. It almost feels ironic that Suzuki-sensei says that Loop is his favourite in the trilogy. It’s like he’s saying to us readers, “Gotcha!” and then letting out an evil laugh.
I’m not saying that Loop is terrible. Not at all. It just didn’t live up to my expectations. I’m already regretting having such high expectations before even reading it. Yes, it’s interesting but lacks the oomph of the first two books, in my opinion.
I don’t want to admit this but Loop bored me. Sorry, Suzuki-sensei! I felt that the first three quarters are dragging and overall uninteresting. It’s only at the very end that I got excited. The revelation of the protagonist Kaoru’s real identity is such a major shock that I couldn’t put the book down because I had to know HOW! Honestly, I felt relieved that it ended that way. If not, I would’ve probably regretted reading the book altogether.
As you can already guess, I didn’t enjoy Loop as much as Ring and Spiral. It’s the conclusion that doesn’t really feel like a conclusion until the last few pages of the book. Nevertheless, I’m still glad that I read it. I may not have enjoyed it that much, but I still encourage you to give it a try because it’s still a book worth reading. And of course, I know that you want to know how the Ring trilogy ends, right?
That’s all for today, folks! Have a lovely day. Cheers!
/Wild Arria fled/
P.S. Since I love spoilers, Kaoru Futami is Ryuji Takayama. Find out yourself how it happens by reading Loop. 😛
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