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Monumental horror from a true master of terror. It is so difficult to put into words just how incredible this book was. Adam Nevill is a story teller. His characterizations are superb, and there are few writers out there who set a scene so detailed and real. Again the end of this book signalled a type of loss. Like the other books i have read from Adam, he creates a world you'll find yourself sucked into. When the journey is over you are returned to real life.
The Ritual has done for camping, what Jaws did for swimming in the sea. Terrifying, suspenseful, and brilliantly original.
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on 22 July 2017
Pick this one up from pinterest
Absolutely brilliant couldn't put down
Recommend to anyone in need of a absorbing read
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on 26 August 2017
Inside this novel is a rather good novella. A supernatural tale, not unlike that of the film Deliverance, without canoes, but with an angry great goat. Unfortunately the book is bloated by excessive narrative and ultimately rather tedious and frustrating, by exemplifying the idiom 'less is more'. Hopefully the film derived from the book will be better edited and, hence, both more exciting and frightening.
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The Ritual is a unique horror romp with a massively complex plot that wanders so far into the realms of the surreal you need to suspend a lot of belief to stay with it. There are times when the story is seriously disjointed and jumps too fast from one scene to the next which spoils the flow but; I enjoyed each and every wacky twist and turn. What Adam Neville does, and he's incredibly good at it, is ramp up the tension. Some parts of this plot are really horrible, in the best possible way, and the building atmosphere throughout made me really uncomfortable.

The Ritual is the tale of four friends who go on a trekking holiday to the remote forests of Sweden. After they take a wrong turn they're not on their own for long. The plot spins out to become a tale of stalking, murder and mayhem as the four try to escape a series of inexplicable situations, set against an almost alien landscape, and the inclusion of supernatural/surreal/ritualistic themes gives a terrifying edge.

The inclusion of a particularly vile predator along with human sacrifice and worship of the ' The Old Ones' gives the plot a lot of texture and darkness though I'm not sure about the 'heavy metal' music elements which seem completely at odds with everything else going on.

I couldn't put this book down until I'd finished reading it and even with it's eccentricities and quirks it's possibly better than Apartment 16. Comment | Permalink
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on 15 May 2014
This book is fantastic, riveting, harrowing, frightening, mixing tragedy so closely on the heels of terror you can barely get your breath.. It's one of the best reads I've had in a long time.
The author describes each character so completely and with such depth that you feel you know them well, which for this story of a group of lads on a trekking holiday together that turns into a total nightmare, is crucial.
As you read the story it brings out every emotion in you, you feel like you're taking every step with these lads, for me there's no better endorsement of a story than that.
An excellent book!!
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on 27 April 2015
Oh Mr Nevill, you scare me so! Love your anthropological background, familiarity with the grating of making it, and the general unease you manage to inject so insidiously!
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on 30 October 2011
I bought this on the strength of Adam Nevill's previous novel `Apartment 16', which I found extremely disturbing, and a great horror read. I wasn't disappointed with `The Ritual'.

The book is in two parts. In the first part 4 friends hiking in the Swedish wilderness get hopelessly lost. The sense of menace as they trudge through the damp, densely forested landscape is almost palpable. With a rising sense of panic amongst the four men it seems the harder they try to get out of the forest, the more it wants to keep them there. It made me want to keep looking over my shoulder so I ended up only reading the book in the daytime! What they find along the way and the events that follow set the scene for the second part of the book, which is equally menacing and edge of the seat reading.

Adam Nevill has a way of drawing the reader into the story and assaulting their senses with such vivid and disturbing imagery - what's not to like?!
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on 17 January 2015
...won't be my last.

A masterful horror, with genuine scares, thoroughly enjoyable throughout.

You could split the book in to 2 halves, both delivering a different style of horror. But enjoyable throughout.
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on 14 February 2014
"And on the third day things did not get better. The rain fell hard and cold, the white sun never broke through the low grey cloud, and they were lost. But it was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition.”

I have always been a fan of Adam Neville since the Banquet of the Dammed and believe he is firmly as the forefront of the British horror revival of recent years which this gripping and disturbing novel confirms.

Four old university friends go on a walking holiday in the wildness of sub-Arctic Sweden. However they are not the men they were once, mentally and physically, people change over time and soon tensions rise between the characters. When it is clear that, due to their lack of fitness, two of the party cannot continue, a shortcut rather than the intended route, invariably , proves a disaster.

Hungry, thirsty and injured they struggle through one of the last great, ancient forests in Europe. Things couldn’t get any worse…but they do… much worse.
As they make their way, hopelessly lost, through the forest it becomes clear that they are being hunted by some primordial beast/being that begins to pick them off one by one……

If ever there was a book of two halves this is it… the first half is breathless, panicky and shot though incredulity. The second section…is drawn out and painful with the one surviving character almost resigned to his fate.

This is superb storytelling. It is atmospheric and imaginative with a compulsive writing style that keeps the reader turning those pages although feeling exhausted by the horror and despair experienced by the four friends.
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on 16 February 2016
Adam Nevill never fails to let me down as a fan and a reader. I am working my way through all of his books and The Ritual perked my interest late at night on a cold February evening here in England. I was sucked in from very early pages and picked this book back up at every opportunity I got eager to know what was coming next in the journey of four friends who have found themselves in a terrifying and horrific situation deep in the dense woods of Scandinavia.

Nevill is brilliant at building up tension and creating atmosphere. I always feel tangible fear when reading one of his books and this was no exception, hairs standing up on the back of my neck, my breathing out of whack and a frenzied need to keep going, wanting more, but terrified it might be worse than what had gone before.

Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect. Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their lives.

Lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, they stumble across an isolated old house. Inside, they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones. A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest, and now they’re the prey.

The plot is really interesting in this book, it went nowhere where I expected it to and cleverly combines the intense analysis of friendships under pressure along with some very dark themes of pagan practices, ancient Scandinavian lore and evil rituals. It's not a book you can predict in anyway. The plot can be broken up into three distinct "stages" and unlike some other reviewers I liked all of them and found all had their purpose in the overall bigger storytelling picture.

There are some scenes in this book that when you picture them in your head you can see so clearly, this is where Nevill's descriptive writing really stands out and I could see this book as a movie no problem at all, and a good one at that. Some reviewers have said that parts of the book are too longwinded, and I get what they are saying but from my perspective this is where Nevill uses detail to really build a powerful picture of either a character or event and not for one second did it lose it's hold on me. It just flowed.

One of the strengths of this novel is the character building, watching what happens to these four men in this highly stressful, terrifying situation is just spectacular. It's not all easy to digest, but there is a lot of realism I feel included in how it's done. As for the evil thing that is hunting them I was desperate to know what it was and why, and when truth came to light it was just so dark that I was hoping and praying this was truly just fiction. Some of the human characters in this book truly are from the dark side themselves and dysfunctional is an understatement.

It's got all that I wanted, it was creepy, interesting, scary, shocking at times and as usual with all of Nevill's books I could really almost feel, smell and taste everything that was going on in the book. You are going to hope you don't also as it's not a nice experience. I will never, ever go walking in the woods in Scandinavia or go camping there after reading this book. It would be interesting to know where the author drew his research from around the ancient rites and beliefs that are a feature of this creepy novel.

Do not, I repeat, do not read this book on a hiking or camping trip. You have been warned.
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