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When Koji Suzuki wrote “Ring,” the novel behind the film that brought the J-horror genre to the world, he apparently had a baby in his lap, and he went on to write not only horror fiction but also parenting books. “Death and the Flower” brings these two sides together nicely.

The six short stories are united by themes of family and of fear. The world is full of threat when you are responsible for a child’s life, and so Suzuki’s characters — a father who learns the peril of risk when he cheats death in a road accident, a helpless husband who frets nervously over erratic hospital equipment as his pregnant wife lies comatose, a dad whose joy in his children only exacerbates the loss he feels for their dead mother — illustrate just how fragile family can feel.

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