this is such a rich and finely woven story. Neil Gaiman's ability to entertain with the written word is nearly overwhelming at times. the characters are all multi-diminsional and fascinating and i personally had several laugh-out-loud moments. i was enjoying it so much i was a bit startled when it was over so quickly. in addition to the story being so wonderful of it's own accord, Lenny Henry narrated it perfectly. he breathed life into the characters and gave a warm ambiance to the background. i hope to find more books narrated by him in the future as he's terrific at it. i could type all day and still not be able to say enough good things about this production...so, i'll just say it was a spectacular audio experience and i would highly recommend it.
After waiting years for Scott Smith to write another book on the same superb level as 'A Simple Plan,' I was unbelievably disappointed by 'The Ruins.' The characters were simplistic, the plot repetitive and not compelling in the slightest, the book lacking completely in suspense. His depiction of the Mayan people bordered on insulting and was inaccurate, as were the descriptions of the jungle, its vegetation and animal life. It seems as if he chose a location of which he had no knowledge. His characters, particularly the women, were one-sided and unbelievable. I have known several Eagle Scouts and not one would have reacted to the situation as described nor missed opportunities to help themselves. The surgical situations were also unbelievable. Unless lacking in nerve endings, the young man's responses to the surgery were inaccurate and flat out annoying.
What all of this points to is sloppy research (or no research at all) in addition to to a lack of interest of the writer's part in the subject matter. I still hold hope that Scott Smith will write another masterpiece, but I'm not holding my breath.
i listen to a lot of audiobooks while commuting to work and while driving around in general. i try to keep an open mind when i buy an author i'm not familiar with and have purchased based on other customer reviews. this book was terrible. it really was totally predictable, boring, shallow and the only thing it had going for it was that the wonderful Scott Brick was narrating it. kudos to him for not falling asleep on the job.
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