Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Morecambe and Wise, Sooty(!), Charles Bronson, Laura Dern, Johnny Rotten, Iggy Pop, Clive Barker… Apart from all being huge stars across various mediums (especially Sooty), they all share one specific thing in common… Barbie Wilde.
The first in a trilogy of novels by Australian author Phil Hore, The Order of the Dragon introduces us to two very different characters: the learned, dryly humorous Amun Galeus, and his hulking friend Sebastian Vulk. While this might sound like standard bickering buddies fare, the novel doesn’t descend into cliché: it’s a fun, pulp horror piece that starts off slow, but once it hits its stride, rockets like a freight train.
“My name is Amun Galeas and it is hard for me to fathom that I now live in an age of instant communication. But then again, I’ve said similar things about many an age for as long as I can remember…”
A cult phenomena has to start somewhere, and as a longtime fan of Hideo Nakata’s horror film Ring (1998) I thought it was about time I delved into the original source material.
Written by Koji Suzuki, his second novel after releasing his debut Rakuen 楽園 (Paradise), Ringu リング, or Ring as it would become known in the west, transformed the landscape of contemporary horror in the 1990s.
“Those who have viewed these images are fated to die at this exact hour one week from now. If you do not wish to die, you must follow these instructions exactly…”
My impression on first hearing about the hugely popular [young adult] book trilogy (and now mega money-making feature-film franchise) The Hunger Games was: ‘Hey, teenage contestants forced to fight to the death in a populist amusement engineered by a manipulative, despotic master of a dystopian future world? Wow, what an interesting idea! …But wait, isn’t that just like…’