The Ruins
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The Ruins

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  16,537 ratings  ·  2,055 reviews
Craving an adventure to wake them from their lethargic Mexican holiday before they return home, four friends set off in search of one of their own who has travelled to the interior to investigate an archaeological dig in the Mayan ruins.

After a long journey into the jungle, the group come across a partly camouflaged trail and a captivating hillside covered with red flowers...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Corgi (first published 2006)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 26, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dan by: Kemper, Trudi
Shelves: 2014, horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Smith’s wrote one of my favorite crime novels with A Simple Plan that released in 1993. Thirteen years later came his second book, The Ruins, which instantly became one of my favorite horror novels. I’ve got my fingers crossed that sometime later this decade he’ll write another one and maybe it’ll turn out to be the greatest sci-fi epic I’ve ever read.

The concept here is dirt simple. Idiots go somewhere they shouldn’t and bad shit happens. In this particular case four American college stu...more
Aug 30, 2007 Aaron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: horror fans
Stephen King has a short story (that I believe may have been entitled "The Raft") in which four college students head out to an old rock quarry. They swim out to a raft in the middle of the lake. As the afternoon progresses, they notice what appears to be a patch of oil skimming the surface of the water. One of the students dives into the lake for a post-coital swim and is mysteriously and grotesquely devoured by the oil patch, his skin pretty much being stripped right from its bones. Now horrif...more
Scott Smith's The Ruins is one of the best horror novels I've read in some time. It would be really easy for me to rip into it. The premise is, frankly, ridiculous, and its plot is nothing but doom and gloom. So why did I love it so much? Simply because it was completely convincing, engrossing, and terrifying. I don't think I have ever found myself squirming as much while reading as I was for this book's last 20 pages or so.

I think The Ruins works as well as it does because of Smith's writing an...more
Mar 30, 2008 Campbell rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: no one.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
***Please indulge me while I float this older review for a horror novel that remains near and dear to my heart. If you are looking for some genuine thrills and chills this Halloween season, this may be the book for you. Happy All Hallow's Read!

I just don't get the storm of criticism aimed at Scott Smith's second novel, The Ruins. Why do people love to hate this book? I found the story to be brutally convincing and the characters believable (if not always very likable). These are college-age kid...more
I just finished reading The Ruins by Scott Smith. If you plan to read it, stop here, because I'm about to take a stroll through it.

Reading The Ruins as a writer, got through the first 75 pages and asked myself how this writer managed to get me to follow these people into the jungle when I didn't particularly like any of them.

The Ruins is about four recent college grads on vacation in Cancun, who go off on an adventure to help an acquaintance find his brother. The college grads are comprised of t...more
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 27, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Jzhunagev
Shelves: horror
This is my Halloween read for this year and it is very apt because it is really, really scary. While reading that part when the killer vine is going inside the body of its prey, I thought I could feel my limbs or my abdominal cavity constricting as if I could feel something slithering under my skin and putting pressure on my muscles. I thought I could feel the cool misty feel of the forest, smell the musky trees, hear the crowning cocks and chirping birds and see the sun going down and darkness...more
I am always amazed at the low ratings this book gets. I thoroughly enjoyed it and even listened to the book on CD, which made the story even more intriguing.

Four young Americans about to enter graduate school or begin new jobs back home are relaxing in Cancun, Mexico, soaking up too much sun and tequila. At their hotel they befriend a group of Greek men and a German. The German’s brother has gone missing after becoming smitten with a woman and following her to a Mayan archaeological dig in the j...more
Dec 01, 2010 Delroy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: no one
This may be the worst book that I have ever read in much the same way that I feel Mission to Mars is the worst movie I have ever seen. There is plenty of crap out there, but sometimes a piece of crap manages to find itself in the shoe-shine pile and gets lots of money thrown at it and gets splashy reviews and buys out the front rack at the distribution center for the arts and you are in a hurry to get your culture on so you don't see that the polish this turd has been given barely managed to mak...more
Mar 29, 2013 Joey-Joey-Jo-Jo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: someone who might purchase my copy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2008 Regina rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: nobody
This review contains no spoilers, no specifics, just generalities.

I have nothing good at all to say about this book, one of the worst stinkeroos I've ever had the misfortune to stumble across. I can't believe it was ever even published. It's junk like this that make me feel that no matter how bad my writing is, if drivel like this can earn money, than there is no reason why anything I slap together can't make money.

Horror story? Nope. Didn't scare me one bit. Didn't even make me uneasy. Extended...more
While reading Scott Smith's new novel, "The Ruins," a discerning reader will probably pick up on any number of influences. Novels and short stories, such as "Heart of Darkness," "Lord of the Flies," and "The Willows," come instantly to mind, but also other media offerings, such as the movies "Cabin Fever," and, wildly, "Little Shop of Horrors." Still, it's unfair to suggest that "The Ruins" is a cut and paste effort pulling in all these (real and imagined) influences. No, Smith has fashioned his...more
Let's start with the good. Or the less bad. The idea of the story is interesting. Being in another country is scary and this capitalizes that idea. I wish the metaphor of language barrier and communication had been played out more fully.

My chief complaints with this book are as follows:
- The characters were cardboard cutouts of real characters. Two dimensional and stereotypical.
- The women in this novel are useless. 100% USDA uselessness. See above.
- Honestly, why didn't the Greek speak Eng...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

You know that old saying “timing is everything”? I have a feeling this book would have received a 5-Star rating from me rather than 4 had I not ran across a little ARC called The Troop several months ago. Upon my reading (and ranting and raving and begging every horror lover and their dog to read said ARC), a plethora of my GR friends started recommending The Ruins to me. Since I’m an idiot, I immediately forgot about it. Months later,...more
Apr 17, 2008 Brandon rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Brandon by: My friend Evelyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooks Yelverton
Anybody out there ever been to Mexico? Any of you ever gotten sick of sitting around on the beach and decided to trek through the jungle to see some of the Mayan ruins? A few years back, I was in this position, but then I decided (since I'm fat and lazy) that lying around on the beach beat hiking around. After reading this thriller, I know I made the right decision.

The summary above covers about the first twenty pages of the book. The remainder is fascinating, but I don't want to risk ruining an...more
Consider this a 2.5-star rating.

I'm not exactly sure what to even say about The Ruins, but I'll give it a try.

For me, the reason this book didn't fall to a 2- or even 1-star rating is because the book was ultimately readable, and at a fairly quick pace. Unlike some reviewers, I also found the overall story creepy and disturbing.

Unfortunately, the story had several flaws that could not be overlooked. After the characters arrived at the site of the "ruins," almost all forward motion of the plot gr...more
Um livro que se apresenta como um excelente guião de filme (e de facto existe um filme que ainda não vi), em que após terminar a sua leitura só conseguia pensar: uau quero ver isto... ver a colina, o poço, as personagens tornadas reais, ver as emoções nos seus rostos: o medo, a dor,a angústia, a incredulidade...
Quanto mais me aproximava do final deste livro mais psicológico o achava, chegando ao ponto de eu mesma me sentir louca, salvo seja, com a situação que é retratada ao longo destas 336 pág...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Travis Heermann
This was an extremely problematic book for me. I enjoyed the movie, so I thought let's pick it up and see what contemporary horror looks like.

As a professional writer, I have to say that this book should give hope to all struggling writers out there. It stands as a perfect example of a book that likely never would have been published if the writer was not already under contract. It would never have made it out of the slush pile. As an editor, I might have gotten to page 5 before passing on it....more
Oct 18, 2007 Jane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who dig horror
I consider myself a fiend for horror stories, but this has to be the most challenging horror story I've ever walked myself through.

The four Americans are pretty stereotypical characters, and they are all very unlikable, but I think this works well for the story. The characters are very bland, and with their names and their relationships to each other, it was hard at first to differentiate from them. But I think this was Smith's intention, though I can't say why. It takes a page b...more
The entire time reading this book, I kept telling myself "It'll get has to get better! It can't all be this bad!" It did get better, for about the last 50 pages where everything just goes crazy and finally we get some consistent action.

The characters (a group of fairly dense 20-something-year-olds, a German, and some Greeks) journey deep into the jungles of Mexico to find an archaeological dig where the German's brother is supposed to be. Instead, they find a strange village of Mayan...more
I just rented this movie from Blockbuster a few days ago. I have had the book sitting on my shelf since it came out in hardcover. I decided to be a true nut and read the whole thing before I watched the movie and see how badly they ruined it. Or how faithful they were. Luckily, Blockbuster doesn't have their late fee's anymore.

Well, I jammed through the thing, not only because I wanted to watch the movie sooner than later, but because I couldn't put it down. To be honest, I didn't really like t...more
Linda Gosslin
Sep 11, 2007 Linda Gosslin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of horror, jungle, friendships
I was excited to read this book because "A Simple Plan", Scott Smith's previous book, is one of my all-time favorites. I have reread it many times, and always own a copy.
The Ruins also attracted me because it's set in the jungle of the southern Yucatan, not far from the Coba ruins. This happens to be where we live. We could drive to this locale in an hour. And people do disappear periodically from this area, without any solution to the disappearance ever being known. So Scott Smith's imagination...more
aPriL meows, scratches and growls
As this novel is high on the 'EEW!' Scale I skimmed the parts of of extreme gore and body ruination, which thankfully are mostly in the second half of the book. Reading through my fingers was difficult but I managed. Within a few chapters, I realized I had seen a movie based on this plot. If you are familiar with the channel Scifi and their Saturday horror movies, then you don't need to be brought up to speed on the kind of gore story this is. My husband, who presents himself as a regular guy, t...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Two American couples, fresh out of college, decide to go to Cancún for a little R&R before starting grad school in the fall. They end up venturing into the jungle, looking for some Mayan ruins and a fellow traveler's brother. They're completely unprepared for what they find there.

I really, really want to give this two stars. That doesn't seem to be quite fair though, when I seriously read most of the book in one sitting, in bed, without even thinking about getting sleepy. The short sections...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The title is a bit of a misnomer - there aren't really any ruins to speak of, just a hill with a mine shaft in it. It IS horrific, though, when a group of tourists end up on this hill and aren't allowed to leave.

These tourists aren't particularly brave, which makes this horror novel interesting. Rather than being about a group of heroes who rise up and face the terror head on, The Ruins seems to be about normal people who end up in a terrible situation. It was kind of refreshing, because as ann...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book or Movie; Yo...: March PR The Ruins 3 9 Mar 02, 2014 05:43PM  
What DID make the vines talk and come to life? 10 88 Aug 26, 2013 07:39PM  
Different 37 121 Oct 03, 2012 03:31PM  
My Theory About the Vines *spoiler* 5 114 Jul 02, 2011 08:23PM  
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Scott Bechtel Smith is an American author and screenwriter. He has published two suspense novels, A Simple Plan and The Ruins, and adapted them for the screen.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

(from wikipedia)
More about Scott B. Smith...
A Simple Plan Ruinele Ruinene Captives of Revolution: The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918�1923 The Cricket #5 (Comic Book)

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