The Ruins

The Ruins

A Novel

Book - 2006
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Eerie, terrifying, unputdownable--Scott Smith's first novel since his best-selling A Simple Plan ("Simply the best suspense novel of this year--hell, of the 1990s"--Stephen King). The Ruins follows two American couples, just out of college, enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico as, 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 . . . From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400043873
Branch Call Number: FICTION Smith Scott 2006
Characteristics: 319 p. ;,25 cm.


From Library Staff

"Smith’s story is deceptively simple: a group of tourists in Mexico go off in search of an archaeological site where a friend has set up camp; they find a pyramid covered in odd vines, the land around it salted and barren. Once on the pyramid, they discover the dead body of their friend, cov... Read More »

List - Fran's ideal bookshelf
JCLFranD Feb 18, 2014

I picked The Ruins by Scott Smith because of a book review in a magazine and the reviewer was right on target. I was disappointed to learn that Mr. Smith had waited ten years from his last book (A Simple Plan) to write this one because I don’t want to wait that long for another novel from him. T... Read More »

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Sep 08, 2020

It's been a while since I read this novel, but overall enjoyed it. Initially the characters did seem interchangeable, but they gained depth as the novel progressed. Perhaps draggy or slow moving in spots: Could have been shorter. The film adaption was okay, with a whack alternate ending in the DVD special features. Recently I watched a YouTube review of this film adaptation: The reviewer points out that the film feels a bit like torture porn in spots, and perhaps this would have been better as a short story? After all, the Mayan locals/villagers are shown with guns. What's the point of making the tourists spend days and days atop the pyramid thingy? Why not just shoot them when they first become infected by/exposed to the evil plants?

Nov 27, 2019

The Ruins is a formulaic suspense novel that feels like it was tailor-made for Hollywood. However, it is impressive to see characters who initially seemed wooden and interchangeable take on complexity and individuality as they become entangled in a life-threatening predicament. All of the "don't go down the rabbit hole" tropes of classic B-horror are on display, but The Ruins should satisfy your craving for a gruesome read, if you crave such things.

Mar 27, 2019

Speed read through this novel after about the 5th chapter just to find out what happens. Pretty lacklustre writing style. Not a story to maintain interest either.

Jan 14, 2019

the theme and characters were consistent. there was no cop-out to the ending. a real page-turner.

Oct 23, 2018

A decent enough horror novel that felt more like a by-the-numbers horror movie than a novel. Of course, the story has been adapted to a movie so that might have been the idea from the start.

Most of the main characters were unlikable, with the exception of Mathias. The 4 main characters made so many impossibly bad decisions early on that it was hard to maintain suspension of disbelief enough to be drawn into the story. I realize that everyone makes dumb decisions in their 20's, but long before the 'horror' part of the story set in I was hoping these tourist get done in by some kind of monster. The main characters didn't bother with the most minimal planning to trek deep into the Yucatan jungles, they willfully ignored multiple warnings (some at gunpoint), and once in their situation they resigned to bickering and self pity.

I don't want to be too rough on the story. The 'bad decisions' plot points are at the heart of most generic horror movies. It wasn't a bad story, I was just a little too generic for my tastes.

Sep 21, 2018

Effectively creepy and tense horror novel about a vacation in Mexico that goes horribly wrong. Don't read this on late at night. Scott Smith also write "A Simple Plan." Made into a film.

Sep 04, 2018

Reasonably fast paced with suspense, gore and foreboding. The movie is quite similar to the book. A pretty good exploration on what people are prepared to do to survive. A good summer read if you are interested.

Apr 12, 2017

great book!!! the movie didn't do it justice! A believable premise, blending archeological mystery, horror, and suspense that builds to the creepy climax! worth the read!!!

Dec 19, 2016

Should be in the sci-fi section so that readers can have an idea of what they will be reading. I enjoy a good story with suspense and dangers, but please make them real!!

May 01, 2012

I quite enjoyed it, different, Scott Smith wrote another called "The "Simple Plan" I believe and it was quite different again and very different from "The Ruins". Try it....

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cathyf3 Apr 05, 2016

This is a real horror story. Starts with a nice trip to the Aztec ruins in Mexico. Then it becomes a freak of nature, it becomes an ordeal to survive.
There is something in the ruins.
A flowering plant that is able to mimic sounds and smells. It seems to be able to move around, but it likes the dark.
Is it an alien presence? It grows fast and is carnivorous. Beware and don't fall asleep.


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