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Summary

Eerie, terrifying, and unputdownable, The Ruins is Scott Smith's first novel since his acclaimed debut A Simple Plan earned rave reviews and stormed best seller lists.

The Ruins follows two American couples enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico. On an impulse, they go off with newfound friends in search of one of their group, the young German who, in pursuit of a girl, has headed for the remote Mayan ruins, site of a fabled archeological dig.

This is what happens from the moment the searchers, moving into the wild interior, begin to suspect that there is an insidious, horrific "other" among them.

©2006 Scott Smith. All rights reserved (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"A stunning horror thriller." ( Publishers Weekly
"The book of the summer....Smith intends to scare the bejabbers out of you, and succeeds." (Stephen King)
"If you love ABC's Lost and the novels of King and Thomas Harris, you'll love this book." ( USA Today)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow to start but becomes a very gripping book

Really enjoyed this book. It starts off a little slow, setting up the setting and the characters but it's still an interesting read. Then when the action starts it had me hooked. Can be quite gory and can be a difficult listen if you're squeamish! Excellent story and a fantastic ending, highly recommended. Competently read but you can tell it takes him a bit of time to get into it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

OK, but don't believe the glowing endorsements

OK, they say never judge a book by it's cover, but I was somewhat swayed by the glowing endorsements (eg Stephen King) for this book. It's in the 'teenagers/twentysomethings' in peril genre and as far as it goes, it's ok. However, without giving too much of the plot away - the reasons underlying the peril are never adequately explained. I like my science fiction / horror to have at least a semi-tangible explanation (a la Michael Crichton for example). There are many aspects here that are just not explained, such as where the peril comes from and why the villagers behave as they do (don't think that gives too much away!). However, there is reasonably good tension developed between the characters, and it's not a bad listen - just not quite as great as the blurb would have you believe.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fredrick J.
  • 07-03-17

Singularly Harsh

It cannot be understated how bleak this novel is. I see "user" reviews are generally more negative than industry reviews and I think that's a lot to do with how little hope there is to be found here. This is not a fun read, even less so on a second go. The characters are tragically human, in an impossible situation, made worse by the otherworldly element. There will be characters you outright hate but they are never unrealistic. I know people like each of them. You may be like one or more of them and that may not help you like the character more! But this is a story about being doomed, and if there's another piece of writing as good at that feeling, I haven't read it. Patrick Wilson does ~aight as a narrator but I swear he recorded this with a sinus infection. If you consider yourself brave, please give this one a chance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne Denn
  • 04-02-07

Boring

This book was a waste of my time and credit. You wanted to scream - get to the point.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LB
  • 04-01-16

Survival Meets Supernatural

Where does The Ruins rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Oh, I can't really rank that. The book holds a special place for me.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Of course. Constant suspense plus the evolution of the antagonist is increasingly terrifying.

Which scene was your favorite?

No specific scene is my favorite. But if I had to choose anything I'd like to point out is that Mathias is a main character unlike the movie's interpretation of the novel. He is my favorite character, a touchstone for sanity.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book in two days since I can listen to them at work. So I followed the story very closely. In my opinion it felt too short. But I guess you could only survive on a hilltop for so long.

Any additional comments?

The whole execution of survival meeting supernatural is expertly done. I cannot imagine any other story that could pull off a similar setup without copying from this. Truly original in a dying genre. (Horror)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-06

Brutal

Like many reviewers of this book, this is the first book I've gotten from Audible in 4 years that was bad enough to compell me to write a review.

It could have been a short story, but through repetition and monotony it is a novel.

If I heard one more time the inner dialogue of one of the characters, as they do or say something stupid and unnecessary, describing how they knew they shouldn't but couldn't help themselves....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Marilyn
  • 14-10-06

Strange Indeed

I had high hopes when I started this book, but soon realized that the author had devised such an impossible plot line that there was no way out. The characters were real and well written, but I soon found their problems increasingly difficult to listen to - particularly Eric and Pablo. When I got about halfway through I could see no way out and was correct. A long and very uncomfortable read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Denys
  • 07-10-06

The Ruins

Do not listen to the UNabridged version. It is verbose and terribly boring. The story line is barely okay!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa A. Hayes
  • 20-09-06

Stay away

What a waste of time - if not for a compulsion to finish what I start, I'd have turned it off half way through part one. What passes for a plot seems only to serve as a platform for the author to be gratuitously grotesque. If you want to read a book that lives up to this title, read Kate Mosse's "Labyrinth"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Pamela Harvey
  • 03-08-06

I boringly read this book

I can't believe Stephen King's hearty endorsement of this tome. One of the few "don'ts" in King's book "On Writing" is the use of sloppy adverbs, adverbs that appear in abundance in the The Ruins, like 'wetly", clumsily", "sleepily" and horror of all horrors "sexily". Just lazy writing.

However I thought the anthropormorphic vine and all its parodies of the pathetic human conversations it was in on, was a touch of genius and several times I found myself laughing out loud at its wit. I am not familiar with this genre, so a natural monster with a sense of humor and irony was quite a trip. So I'll give this one a three out of five, just for concept. I think of it every time I water my ivy plants or wisrteria.

I also thought the cold, calculating narration was an added bonus.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • T. Webb
  • 29-10-06

waste

If you want to throw your money away buy this book, otherwise keep looking. The names misleading-I thought the book would be fun from the discription but found the only thing in ruin was my time. Boring, drawn out and inane. I drive truck for a living and listen to alot of books on tape and this was one of the worst I have listened to. No ruined citys or temples, no ghosts demons or even monsters. I wont give away the storyline but buy this at your own risk.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Richard A. Bamberg
  • 06-10-06

Turn Back Is RIGHT!!!!

This book is not only boring, but the author couldn't even come up with an out once he got his characters into deep dodo. I listened to the first 8 hours and then scanned the rest. The weakest audible book I've come across in 4 yeaers of listening to audible.com and probably the weakest in nearly 20 years of listening to novels on audio.

Please Stop, Turn Back Before It's Too Late.

You'll be sooorrrryyyyy.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful