The Ruins follows two American couples enjoying 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.
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.
©2006 Scott Smith. All rights reserved; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
"A stunning horror thriller." (Publishers Weekly
"The book of the summer....Smith intends to scare the bejabbers out of you, and succeeds." (Stephen King)
"If you love ABC's Lost and the novels of King and Thomas Harris, you'll love this book." (USA Today)
Proceed directly to "Go." Do not waste an audio book credit on this one. I downloaded "The Ruins" based on Stephen King's enthusiastic response to the print version.
By the time I finished the audio book I felt misled and disappointed. Misled because, unless I missed something, Mayan ruins had next to nothing to do with the content of the book. A more appropriate title would have been "The Plant"; however, that name probably would not have resulted in books leaping off store shelves. Or perhaps, the name could have been "The Hill" or "The Clearing" as most of the story takes place on a hill within a clearing in the jungle with no ruins in sight.
The other major flaw of the book is that it would have been better suited to a short story rather than a full-length book. There just isn't enough there to sustain your interest. I was expecting a previously undiscovered run down, jungle encrusted Mayan settlement with some mysterious malevolent presence protecting it and perhaps a treasure as well. Okay, so my plot is predictable, but with a few twists it would have worked better than what the author chose to do. The author should have had chosen a more complicated "villain" in order to sustain the suspense and crank up the fear.
As in "A Simple Plan" I thought the character development was good, even very good most of the time. I felt the characters acted the way most people of their age and background would have acted in the same situation. The character development was definitely much better than the author's attempts at creating fear and suspense. The tensions that developed between the characters as the novel progressed was credible.
Too bad because I really enjoyed the author's previous work "A Simple Plan."
I purchased this audio book based primarily on the fact that Stephen King recommended it. Until now I have been happy to listen to almost any book while driving, but I'm now at approximately the half-way point and don't think I can keep on listening all the way to the end of this one. I find it particularly annoying that whereas the men portrayed in the book are courageous, inventive and intelligent; the women always think and act like three-year-old children.
There goes 14 hours of my life I will never get back!
I don't usually write reviews but felt I should warn others not to waste their money especially since "This is Audible" radio show has been touting this book again because it was released in paperback.
Book and narrator were equally boring!
If you want to throw your money away buy this book, otherwise keep looking. The names misleading-I thought the book would be fun from the discription but found the only thing in ruin was my time. Boring, drawn out and inane. I drive truck for a living and listen to alot of books on tape and this was one of the worst I have listened to. No ruined citys or temples, no ghosts demons or even monsters. I wont give away the storyline but buy this at your own risk.
This book is not only boring, but the author couldn't even come up with an out once he got his characters into deep dodo. I listened to the first 8 hours and then scanned the rest. The weakest audible book I've come across in 4 yeaers of listening to audible.com and probably the weakest in nearly 20 years of listening to novels on audio.
Please Stop, Turn Back Before It's Too Late.
You'll be sooorrrryyyyy.
This was the worst book I have ever downloaded. It had such promise - got off to a great start. I kept on listening to the very end, hoping that something might happen. No such luck! Don't waste your time.
Wow was this a long drawn out piece of ________. I only gave it 1 star becuase that is the minimum, it deserves half a star.
It could be a good short story, but 14 hours? This was not thrilling, most of it was obvious. Nothing really happened. I don't want to go into any spoilers, but they spent hours explaining the smallest details. And ultimately the book went nowhere.
I wasted a credit and 14 hours of my life.
THERE ARE MUCH BETTER BOOKS ON AUDIBLE
I can't quite decide what the worst part of this book is - the uninteresting one-dimensional characters or their endless internal dialogue - the lack of suspense or the idiotic plot. Or maybe it was the endless repetition of certain phrases, the almost word-for-word descriptions, and the maddening sameness of each chararacter's separate musings. I was also disappointed that there was nothing much at all about ancient Mayan culture or archeological sites despite the setting of the story. The reader did a good job without anything to work with. That is the only positive comment to be made. He can have the one star for his part in this creation.
This is my first review after listening to hundreds of books at Audible. I just finished it, so maybe I am little too charged up to be objective, but I feel I have wasted a lot of time and a credit trying to give this book a chance. Not being a big fan of the Horror genre, I was intrigued by the publisher's blurb and decided to give this book a shot, even though it was too new to have any reviews written about it. A little risky, but I thought, how bad could it be? At the very least it will be entertaining and something to while away a long commute. --I was mistaken. I did finish it, hoping for a satisfying end, and was, alas, even disappointed in that.
The book started out slowly, building the characters, but seemed to lack an in depth understanding of what makes a character truly compelling. The author’s descriptive ability is rudimentary at best. I never felt attached to any of the characters even as they were dying one by one. He did do a fair job of internal dialog, giving some insight to their actions but nothing was really outstanding here either, and I grew tired of “xxxx, knew what to say, but didn’t.” The plot was nearly laughable and anything but creepy or eerie. There were some definite gaping holes in the group’s feeble attempts to figure out their dilemma, and a general lack of demonstrated terror for what these people were facing. The characters were too one dimensional and lacked any real sense of desperation. They just moved from one disaster or realization to the next without any cognitive ability, resigned to their fate nearly from the beginning. Stupid, kept coming to mind for everything, the characters, the plot, the plant, the author. Is that too harsh?? Sorry, it’s just what kept going through my mind. Even the Myans seemed stupid in the story for their feeble attempts to keep people from their secret.
Wilted in CA.
"OK, but don't believe the glowing endorsements"
OK, they say never judge a book by it's cover, but I was somewhat swayed by the glowing endorsements (eg Stephen King) for this book. It's in the 'teenagers/twentysomethings' in peril genre and as far as it goes, it's ok. However, without giving too much of the plot away - the reasons underlying the peril are never adequately explained. I like my science fiction / horror to have at least a semi-tangible explanation (a la Michael Crichton for example). There are many aspects here that are just not explained, such as where the peril comes from and why the villagers behave as they do (don't think that gives too much away!). However, there is reasonably good tension developed between the characters, and it's not a bad listen - just not quite as great as the blurb would have you believe.
"Slow to start but becomes a very gripping book"
Really enjoyed this book. It starts off a little slow, setting up the setting and the characters but it's still an interesting read. Then when the action starts it had me hooked. Can be quite gory and can be a difficult listen if you're squeamish! Excellent story and a fantastic ending, highly recommended. Competently read but you can tell it takes him a bit of time to get into it.
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