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The Ritual

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  17,733 ratings  ·  2,502 reviews
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
Paperback, 418 pages
Published May 28th 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 2011)
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Veronica Shields The problem with the novel is that it's two books slapped together into one story that ultimately isn't cohesive. Part One is more horror-suspense, an…moreThe problem with the novel is that it's two books slapped together into one story that ultimately isn't cohesive. Part One is more horror-suspense, and the Part Two is more horror-fantasy. (IMO, the real failure here is on the part of Nevill's editor - a good one would've caught that genre shift right away and curbed it before it reached the later stages of drafting.)

I think the movie actually improves upon it in the sense that it dumps the Blood Frenzy plotline and changes the character of the village Luke stumbles upon. Instead of the overarching theme of the search for meaning and purpose in a world where human life is small and devalued, it turns into a reflection on death and loss as an inevitable and natural of human experience and how we come to terms with that. I think this was a wise shift for the movie, and the second part (which I won't spoil) more naturally progresses that theme in terms of the relationship of the villagers to the creature. Pretty decent horror movie all around, and honestly, the creature design alone is worth a watch.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Lisa Wintler-cox I thought this was to show how the Mother and her children were manifested into the world. I didn't think the "how" of the process was explained thoug…moreI thought this was to show how the Mother and her children were manifested into the world. I didn't think the "how" of the process was explained though. I was thinking more along the lines of The Dunwich Horror as I think this was partly an homage.(less)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
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Sep 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
[Spoilers.] Every now and then you come across a book that causes you to examine your life: the good you've done in the world, the ill. What sin did I commit to have deserved a book as god awful as The Ritual?

Here it is in brief: The Ritual is a derivative, shallow, insidiously sexist novel from an author whose ideas far exceed his technical skill.

In the foreword, Nevill credits a number of other authors for inspiring him, among them Cormac McCarthy. Within the first chapter of The Ritual, it wa
May 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i’d say that adam nevill should have quit while he was ahead with this one, but then no book would exist (although maybe it’d be better that way)
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I first saw this movie on Netflix & then I found out on GR that is was a book. I went right to Amazon to buy it! I loved it! I love both the book and the movie although I'm glad they left out the first part of the movie in the book. I didn't care for it.

And on the second 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 reco

Wow. This one came soooo very close to getting five stars from me. I am a horror buff and I LOVE to be scared ...really, truly freaked out. Not grossed out (I'll take a bit of that in good fun) but creeped out. My ideal physiological response to horror is when I get the heebie-jeebies (pardon my use of technical terms here) -- you know, the tingling spine, sweaty palms, paranoia, pounding pulse. I'm addicted to dread, and if you can make me want to sleep with the light on I will love you forever
May 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The Netflix movie by the same title whet my appetite for this book and I wasn't disappointed. The novel was even better! Four friends alienating from each other over the years have a hiking trip in Sweden. Soon they are hunted by a mysterious entity in the woods (It). Will they get out of the woods alive? Then we encounter a black metal band (Bloody Frenzy) who plan to summon a God of old. They are satanic and talk about wild hunts. Is there any real magic with them? They stay with an old uncann ...more
megs_bookrack ((is on vacation))
Luke, Dom, Phil and Hutch have been friends since college. Over the years since, however, they have begun to drift apart. Particularly Luke, who is the only one still single and without a stable career.

The men decide to travel from their homes in the UK, to the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle for a backpacking adventure; a reunion of sorts.

Unfortunately, the camaraderie of the group isn't as strong as you would hope. In fact, it's slightly hostile. Dom and Phil are condescending to
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Adam Nevill never fails to thrill me 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 ten
3 - 3.5★

Hmm. I enjoyed this novel, for the most part; until it went in a direction I wasn't expecting. The 'South of Heaven' chapters, didn't really work for me, much - though it did redeem itself, slightly, with the attic scene, and the seemingly, harmless, little old woman (who I would've despatched first).

Four friends: Luke, Hutch, Dom and Phil, reunite, to go on a hiking-trip through the Scandinavian wilderness, and get more than they bargained for, after taking a shortcut, into unknown ter
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dizzy with exhaustion, weary like the dying, you hang between the bindings of vine and the scaffolding of sticks. And wait...

Wait for it.

I read this novel over a year back, and I recently watched the movie adaptation of the story which brought me back to the sinister uncharted woods of Scandinavian forests, where the unspeakable thing lurks in the shadows, cunningly stalking its prey.

The novel tells the story of four long-time friends getting together for a hike in the woods, but the
Sadie Hartmann
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little personal history on my encounters with The Ritual.
First, I had seen it around on various horror book lists, so I bookmarked it long ago (it was published in 2011!)
Then, Book Outlet was having a sale on horror and I bought like a dozen titles for my Christmas present last year. So this has been on my shelf almost a year.
This summer, my son and husband watched the Netflix movie adaptation and I don't really "do" horror movies but my husband assured me I would like it. And I did! It was v
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
This year, I chose Stephen King’s Pet Sematary as my Halloween-season book. I’m not much of a horror junkie, so I generally don’t read more than one scary book in a year. In one respect, Pet Sematary turned out to be a great pick. It is a work of absolute genius. But in other respects, Pet Sematary failed. Or maybe it’s better said that it succeeded too well. Anyway, I’m trying to say that Pet Sematary filled me with the kind of oppressive existential dread that I usually only feel on my birthda ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first part of this book was so scary. I loved it!! Then the second part- I never saw coming! Overall I enjoyed the book & read. I read it a lot faster than I thought I would.

2nd reading: just as great this time around as the first. The first part is just scary AF. The second part is so full of tension and anticipation. I liked it more in this reading than the first.
The first half of this book was genuinely terrifying -- it's as harrowing as "The Descent," and in very similar ways. Luke and his three friends meet to go hiking and camping together, but Phil and Dom's less-than-stellar physical condition forces Hutch, the leader of the group, to propose a shortcut through a section of national forest. This shortcut turns frightening very quickly: not only is the forest much more dense and difficult to navigate than anyone anticipated, but early on they discov ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, bought-own
I just finished this book and I am utterly exhausted emotionally and physically. What a harrowing journey through the Scandinavian wilderness this turned out to be. Mr. Neville has such a beautiful and descriptive voice. Some of the passages are so lyrical yet horrifying. I honestly felt the fatigue, agony, and utter hopelessness these characters felt. While some readers didn't care for what some are calling the second half of the book, South of Heaven, I found it just as frightening as the firs ...more
Apr 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Underwhelming. I struggled with the main characters, and lost interest in the ridiculous aspect of the latter part of the story. Maybe the movie is better?
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ha-100-2014
The Ritual was a stunning book to get lost in. The beginning with the four University friends trying to hike out through some ruthless Scandinavian forests ravages more than their clothes, they all have personal issues that over time have formed thorns between them and what better time to hash it out then out in the wild where tempers flare. So it's a double lost in the bushes story, physically and mentally, it's a grueling non hold barrel of a good time, for the reader who is safe on the couch ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-shelf, horror
Survival Horror!

Just in time for October. Wanna dive into some very nicely creepy atmospherics and get reacquainted with your old buddies on a camping trip, just getting away from the old world, finding out what the big deal about Scandinavia is?

Welcome home.

Of course, these four men are a bunch of ponces. They eventually grow on me after some of the real festering shit comes out, but before then, there's very little positive I can say about it other than the fact that the atmospherics are pret
"There are some things worse than death."

I don't know what possessed me to bypass my next intended read for THE RITUAL....probably the wonderfully creepy cover? All I know is that once it showed on my GR feed, I was being drawn to it, and once I started, I couldn't stop the need to find out what IT was and how it would all end.

This story is about four university mates who get together for a hiking reunion in the wilderness of Sweden. If you're a horror reader, you know that often times character

Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

Four university friends reunite a decade later for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness. Relations, moods, and the weather quickly turn sour and what promised to be an adventurous retreat from their daily lives soon turns into a miserable and soggy trek. Blisters and wet socks soon become the least of their problems however and an isolated house found in the middle of virgin terrain is only the start of the nightmare they find themselves inside of...

I initially
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Evil was, he decided, inevitable, relentless and predictable. Imaginative, he'd give it that much, but soulless."

This one is a truly maddening, horror filled reading experience. The situation these four friends have to face is unimaginable and it pushes Luke, our main character to the very brink of sanity and beyond. I highly recommend this one for anyone who appreciates a good scary page turner!
Creepy Camping Vibes!


Four friends (Hutch, Phil, Dom, and Luke) all decide to go on a hiking/camping trip in the mountain hills of Scandinavia for a reunion get together as they haven't seen each other since college days.

Though once they end up in the Scandinavian wilds the friends come across something weird in the forest that is hanging up in the trees which cannot be explained which really unnerves them but they keep hiking as they try to figure out what they have seen. From that po
Jun 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I feel like this could have been so much better. The horror aspects, the creature itself, the twist all are very well done. Unfortunately, the horror gets very much bogged down in internal moralizing/dialogue. I feel like this book could have been half as short and been that much better for it. This would have made an excellent novella/short story, as it is; it gets much too bogged down in its own internal preaching to make the horror as punchy and spine-tingling as it could have been. A shame, ...more
Paul Nelson
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it
'And then the nearest part of the shadow, that defined itself by the thinnest light of the torch that brushed that place, moved. Raised itself no more than a few inches, in the way a stalking cat will engage in the next step towards its prey.'

I'm almost ashamed to say that The Ritual is my first read from British supernatural horror author Adam Nevill and I was for the most part quite impressed with the characterization, tension and pace of the story.

Four old University buddies decide to relive
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
4.5/5 stars

As soon as I found out that The Ritual was based off a book, I just had to buy it.
As a horror movie buff, I was chuffed. I loved the Netflix movie adaption and boy, this book did not disappoint.

”Someone is crying. Upstairs. He looks to the indistinct ceiling and swallows the fear that is tightening his throat.”

This book is fast paced, with short chapters and is completely captivating from the very first page.
I couldn’t put the bloody thing down.
The style of writing was something n
Popsugar Challenge 2021 - A book you have seen on someone's bookshelf

Full disclosure, I'd already seen the Netflix adaptation before reading this one which I thought was pretty good so hopes were high when I went into this book.

This book is split into two parts and part one was brilliant. Even knowing what was going to happen I was jumpy, the atmosphere was intense and I fully admit that I couldn't read this before sleeping.

Part two was a drag. It felt like a totally different book and author
Montzalee Wittmann
Jul 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Ritual
by Adam Nevill

Wow, this book had the creep factor really flowing especially during the first half of the book. Plus I wondered if the guys were going to kill each other, what a bunch of griping babies! Then they turned into scared and angry babies!

The last half was not what I expected after the first half but not too bad. It still had plenty of suspense and horror to it. It was just going a different direction with the horror. (I liked the first half kind of horror best.) It was a lo
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, group-reads
This is my Book Of the Month- June 2016, with GR group- Horror Aficionados

3.5 stars

“There comes a stage at which a man would rather die cleanly by a bullet than by the unknown terror of the phantom in the forest.”
― Tahir Shah

The story is about four friends who go on a trip post 15 yrs of their college life- it's like a reunion. They decide to go on a hiking trip in Scandinavia, take a wrong shortcut and enter their nightmare. They are now being hunted by a unknown predator one by one.

The book
Ashley Daviau
Dec 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first came across this story around a year ago in the form of an absolutely stellar horror movie. I then found out the movie is actually based on this book and I immediately knew I HAD to read it. Normally movies made from books aren’t that great so I was really excited to compare the two with the movie being so good. And let me tell you, does this book ever fucking deliver! There’s such a consuming feeling of anxiousness and fear that is palpable throughout the book and it’s just absolutely d ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimately, a very creepy book. The first half was filled with very scary moments, straight out of nightmares! The ending was not what I was expecting, but was very good in its execution. If you enjoy horror, this is one well worth getting to.
11811 (Eleven)
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
**02/16 - Bumping this up a star. 3+ years later I still can't go into the woods without thinking about it and still look over my shoulder every time I hear the rustle of leaves.**

The first half of this book was excellent. The second half barely resembled the first. I was under the impression that I was reading the best horror novel of the year until it suddenly became something erratically different, resulting in the most disappointing horror novel of the year. I've never experienced anything l
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Castle Terror: The Ritual- Adam Nevill 6/6/22 62 21 Jun 26, 2022 04:59PM  
Creepy Book Club: END OF BOOK DISCUSSION 12 34 Jan 31, 2021 05:31AM  
Creepy Book Club: Chapters 29 - 48 5 15 Jan 22, 2021 02:21AM  
Creepy Book Club: Chappters 1 - 28 9 24 Jan 18, 2021 05:39AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Ritual by Adam Nevill - Starting 10th October 2020 6 7 Oct 14, 2020 02:13PM  
Contemporary Brit...: The Ritual 3 59 Mar 19, 2019 02:09AM  

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ADAM L. G. NEVILL was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is an author of horror fiction. Of his novels, The Ritual, Last Days, No One Gets Out Alive and The Reddening were all winners of The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel. He has also published three collections of short stories, with Some Will Not Sleep winning the British Fantasy Award for ...more

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  The glint of fangs in the dark, the sound of tap-tap-tapping at your window, the howling of wind (or is it just wind?) in the trees...that's...
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“Some teeth long for ripping, gleaming wet from black dog gums. So you keep your eyes closed at the end. You don't want to see such a mouth up close. before the bite, before its oblivion in the goring of your soft parts, the speckled lips will curl back in a whinny of excitement. You just know it.” 6 likes
“It’s like you said, it’s all about P.R. these days. Brand management. Social networking. The corporatization of our own experience. We’re all our very own communications directors. But what a load of bollocks it all is when you’re faced by something like this.” 5 likes
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