- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (1 Aug. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552152706
- ISBN-13: 978-0552152709
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 3.1 x 17.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Ruins Paperback – 1 Aug 2007
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More About the Author
Of course, having an excellent film adapted from a book doesn't hurt its sales. But Scott Smith's A Simple Plan was, in its own right, a remarkably assured crime novel with strongly drawn characters and plotting that many another author would kill for. The art of generating suspense with the written word is not easily acquired, but Smith is a master. And now we have The Ruins, to prove that Smith is no one-trick pony. A decade may have passed since his debut novel, but Smith has not lost an iota of his storytelling panache.
Two young American couples are enjoying a vacation in Cancun, and make friends with Mathias, a German tourist. He and his brother Heinrich had been travelling together, and the latter has disappeared while investigating Mayan ruins with a woman friend. Mathias, concerned over the disappearance of his brother, persuades his tourist friends to help him track down his brother with the aid of a hand-drawn map the latter had left behind. After a punishing journey, the group come to a Mayan village where they encounter a distinctly unfriendly welcome. Leaving the village, they stumble across a hillside festooned with beautiful red flowers. But a Mayan is following them with a gun, and soon a body is encountered, shot full of arrows. As the above might indicate, this is by no means standard thriller territory, and Smith continues to defeat any expectations that readers might bring to his books. After a deceptive start, this turns into a much darker book than A Simple Plan, and actually defies comparisons to the earlier work, so distinctive is this new one. Readers are used to being taken on terrifying journeys, but this one is a humdinger.
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Smith intends to scare the bejabbers out of you, and succeeds .... Does for Mexican vacations what Jaws did for New England beaches in 1975." (Stephen King)
"The suspense novel of the year. This is compulsive reading. Scott Smith sets out to frighten and he succeeds brilliantly with this harrowing psychological chiller." (Sunday Telegraph)
"It's been more than a decade since Smith's impressive debut, A Simple Plan. The wait has been worth it, with this tense, dense oppressive thriller taking the reader into new dimensions of fear ... Every time you think the book has hit a high in terror, it somehow gets more unbearable." (Guardian)
"A tour de force of terror, a novel that seduces, shocks and dares you to keep reading. There's a timeless fable at work here, one that prompts thoughts of Heart of Darkness" (Washington Post)
"Bloodcurdlingly horrific ... It's the contract between the familiar and the unspeakable that makes this book so harrowing." (New York Times)
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a thriller in the Silence of the Lambs mold (the blurb on the cover is misleading to the point of being false advertising as King's quote refers to ASP and not The Ruins); it is not a suspense tale either, instead it is an out and out supernatural horror novel which will appeal to fans of King, Herbert and Koontz. Is it far-fetched? Of course it is, but then so are haunted hotels and towns populated by vampires. I'll not go into the plot as others have done so already, but I will say I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to Smith's next novel, whatever genre he chooses to give us.
I'm not too sure as to why this book is getting so many negative reviews. I found it a real page turner. There was always something happening to make me want to read on further, as the groups plight becomes more and more deperate, as essentials, such as food and water start to become more scarce. I felt the characterisation could have been a bit better, but I have read books with far more 'wooden' charcaters than this one. Worth a read, if you like the suspense/horror type of novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having seen and loved the movie, I was expecting good things. I was not disappointed. Since the author also wrote the screenplay, I was surprised by how different some elements... Read morePublished 16 months ago by JennyA
If you're looking for a very different horror novel, this would be the one to read. Read more
Two American college-age couples are on holiday at a Mexican beach resort. Acquaintances they make include a young German (Mathius), who was holiday with his brother, Heinz, and a... Read morePublished on 22 July 2013 by Philtrum
When I try to explain the plot line of this book to a friend, it sounds awful! But, somehow, it is an absolutely fantastic book that is very well written. Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2013 by nic
It made squirm more than alot of horror movies I've watched, kept me riveted throughout. I was very addicted to it, could hardly put it down. Read morePublished on 29 Oct. 2012 by Hugo Melo
I bought this book after reading the cover and seeing that it was highly recommended by Stephen King.... Read morePublished on 4 Sept. 2012 by Bridgey
I read this book after watching the movie, which I also enjoyed and discovered that it was based on this novel, I enjoyed the book so much that I just bought and have mostly... Read morePublished on 14 July 2012 by Andromeda's Twin