By Junji Ito,

Book cover of Uzumaki

Book description

Kurozu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Uzumaki as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Junji Ito is the master of the unsettling.

His storytelling and artwork combined create books which even the strongest stomached would find uncomfortable. And yet, we are drawn to them, unable to look away. And he understands that the most terrifying thing is not an invasion by something outside of our world but the realisation that the everyday world around us might turn against us. 

Uzumaki is a story about incomprehensible obsession and how it can take over a society to the point of destruction. One by one, the people of a small Japanese town become obsessed with spirals. Not…

From Thomas' list on leaving you spooked and unsettled.

“This town is contaminated by spirals.”

From such an innocuous beginning, from the first snail shell to the horrifying corruption of an entire town, Ito’s nightmarish black-and-white images are something I can never unsee. Set in a small Japanese fishing village, this story of one person’s obsession spiraling over into infectious madness is gorily beautiful on every page. We all have our little manias, and the degree to which this one defiles led me to some deep introspections. As the insanity spreads, the visuals are stunningly imaginative, the plot insane and unrelenting. Ito never lets the reader look away, and…

From Roland's list on body horror to rot your mind.

Is it cheating to put a manga novel on my list? It shouldn’t be. Not when the storyline is this mesmerizing and original. Drawing influence from H.P. Lovecraft, Junji Ito created a masterwork about a small Japanese town overtaken by mysterious cosmic spirals. Spirals in all forms—everything from snail shells to swirling birthmarks—plague the town and disrupt reality. Ito’s mind-bending artwork enhances the horror as the story explores some of the most imaginative concepts in the genre.

From Brandon's list on small town horror.

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