Author: Junji Ito
Page Length: 208 pages
Synopsis: Shortly after Shuichi Saito’s father becomes obsessed with spirals — snail shells, whirlpools, and man-made patterns — he dies mysteriously, his body positioned in the shape of a twisted coil. Soon, the entire town is afflicted with a snail-like disease.
“Come join me… Shuichi.” ― Junji Ito, Uzumaki
Why did I chose this book?
Bit of culture and learning for ya today!
To start with, we have the word uzumaki which means spiral in Japanese.
That alone should rule this book as a NOPE book.
Continuing on with our lesson, a NOPE book is a book that you read and instantly know this will be the ruin of you. (Either because it is so BAD you feel you’ve killed brain cells, or it is so SCARY you might never sleep again, or it was SO GOOOOOD you wish you could make sweet love it but that might be a bit creepy… or any other strong and assertive emotion you can think of which brings you to your immediate reaction of “NOPE” and subsequently place the book back down.)
For SO MANY REASONS — Uzumaki shouldn’t even BE part of the horror section, in ANY part of the world, or in ANY conceivable train of thought.
But this is the Japanese we’re talking about here. These people live and BREATHE horror.
(I would know. I’m part Japanese, myself. :P)
And this book? This book falls into the NOPE category.
(Any manga fans out there? For those that are — I’m sure a good many of you will read this post and either remember Uzumaki quite clearly from your own reading experience. For those who are just discovering it, I’m sure you’ll take one look at the description or the illustrations below, and wholeheartedly agree that this is one to go RIGHT BACK ON THE SHELVES CUZ WE ARE MOVIN’ ALONG lol~)
So back to the lesson and why I chose Uzumaki for the day.
We have this book, right? About spirals. Like… this should NOT in ANY WAY be scary. Or subject to nightmares and squirming in your seat. Or causing you to become paranoid about making sure your feet aren’t dangling off the bed because, “WHAT IF SOMETHING’S ACTUALLY under there?”
No, no. They’re… they’re SPIRALS for goodness sake –
— and this book makes sure you know why they’re… fucking… TERRIFYING.
More specifically the graphics make sure of it. They are terrifying. (In a good way. <3) Talk about giving a person some INSANELY VISUAL NIGHTMARES, man. That’s what the art in this manga series does, and THAT is why it’s a must read for you horror lovers out there on this fun October morn.
What I love/like about it:
- All things illustrated aka THE VISUALS. I think without the style of art used in this book, I wouldn’t have even blinked or given this series a second thought.
- The idea of making something so… innocuous… TERRIFYING. I have a firm belief that anything can be made horrific if you know what to do, how to push people’s buttons, and exactly what needs to be done to bring out the disturbing in the everyday. This book most certainly messes with everything you thought you knew.
- That it was a series. Because, y’see… though I honestly could not properly be in my house alone or be anywhere with the lights off for any given period of time after reading this, I also really, REALLY badly wanted MORE. And MORE I GOT. (To one satisfying ending no less. All is well in my world because of it.)
Warnings or Triggers
(highlight below to see)
There are so many things WRONG with this book. (In a good and horrifyingly disturbing, “Why did I read this? I’ll never be the same” sort of way.) Think of it this way, if you love Lovecraftian type books, you’ll ADORE this. If you love weird fiction? You’ll love this. If you like books that just break out of the norm and somehow still seem relateable to you (yet you honestly don’t know HOW)… you will LOVE this book.
However, if you think those kinds of books are beyond WTF, then please… don’t. Classify this book as a NOPE and move along by. It’s for your own good. xD
ALTERNATIVE TITLES FOR THE DAY
Other books in the series (+Omnibus):