The Ruins

The Ruins

Paperback - 20070731
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Two American couples, just out of college, enjoy 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. Then the searchers--moving into the wild interior--begin to suspect that there is an insidious, horrific "other" among them...--From publisher description.
Publisher: Vintage Books USA 20070731.
ISBN: 9780307278289
030727828X
Characteristics: 509 p. ; 18 cm.

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m
moviefan01
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?

s
smatte
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.

m
Matthew412
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.

c
candlesticktroughs
Jan 14, 2019

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

i
isaachar
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.

l
lukasevansherman
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.

s
stewstealth
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.

t
travistar
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!!!

m
Memawrayne
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!!

m
missypoo66
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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