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The Ruins

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  34,592 ratings  ·  3,975 reviews
Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine. Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation–sun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a f ...more
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published July 18th 2006 by Knopf (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  34,592 ratings  ·  3,975 reviews

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Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
“The vines covered everything but the path and the tent’s orange fabric. In some places, they grew thinly enough that Eric could glimpse the soil underneath – rockier than he would’ve expected, dry, almost desertlike – but in others, they seemed to fold back upon themselves, piling layer upon layer, forming waist-high mounds, tangled knoll-like profusions of green. And everywhere, hanging like bells from the vines, were those brilliant bloodred flowers…”
- Scott Smith, The Ruins

I’ve always had t
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 stud
David Putnam
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Horror is my least favorite genre but real read horror if it's well written and The Ruins is wonderful. I loved it. I read The Simple Plan and loved the prose and the characterization between the two brothers. I thought Simple Plan would be a one and out and then The Ruins came out. I bought because of how much I loved Simple Plan and was not disappointed. I wish he would write them faster. The Ruins is more about the relationship between friends when put under extreme stress. So if you like wel ...more
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sadie Hartmann
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start this review off with a quote from a fellow Goodreads buddy, Edward
"That's one of the things I loved about this book. All the characters were either assholes or idiots."

And this is the truth.

What would happen if a bunch of idiots/assholes vacationed in Cancun and stupidly went into the jungle looking for a stranger's lost brother without proper attire, supplies or even at the very BASIC LEVEL, a way to get back home?
You can read all about one author's imaginative tale of just that very
Dan Schwent
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dan by: Kemper, Trudi
Shelves: 2014, horror
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
Johann (jobis89)
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Best book I’ve read so far this year? Yep. One of the best horror books I’ve ever read? Yep.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
✨Bean's Books✨
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG it's finally over...
I don't say that because this book was bad. To the contrary, I say that because I have spent the last week trapped on a hilltop with these 6 characters as they slowly deteriorate. It was maddening!
So the premise of the story is that these 6 characters go off looking for a Mayan temple in an effort to find Mathias's wayward brother who had left days before with some girl he had just met. She is said to have been a part of an archaeological dig in a ruined Mayan temple. Whe
May 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Horace Derwent
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The power of syntax and lexico

And it's just a mindfuck, hail!

the hardcover edition received, HELLYEAH

life is ephemeral, many books in ours just can't get the chance of being read twice, but absolutely not for this book \m/

the author's next book, how much longer shall we wait?
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Requires a decent suspension of disbelief, but it's absolutely propulsive. No one plots better than Scott Smith when it comes to events spiraling out of control, and the writing is clean and full of drive. Very well-done. ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Decent read, had some redeeming qualities, but in my humble opinion, could have explored so much more (jungle, abandoned mines, Mayan culture / curses, strangers banding together for survival). If you like body horror, you’ll enjoy this book. Will watch the movie as well for comparison.
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It'd been a while since I read a book that horrified, sickened, and amazed me in equal measure; The Ruins did all those things with ease. I was shocked at just how much I loved this novel. I did not expect it to totally blow me away. The characters are mostly unlikable and infuriating, and I must admit I had trouble reading about them at first, but that's the point — being trapped in the jungle and fighting for one's life brings out the very worst in a person.

This is a brutal, agonizing read. Th
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hold my hand...cover my eyes..don't leave buddy-read- Some books are tooooooo scaaaaaary to read alone. ...more
Ashley Daviau
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How have I gone this long without reading this book?! I’m legit kicking myself for not reading it sooner because it is BEYOND brilliant. I was instantly sucked in and kept compulsively turning the pages to find out what would happen next. I knew disaster was just waiting to strike and I was THERE for it! A big factor in my enjoyment of this book was the characters. They were either assholes or idiots or a stunning combination of both and their incredibly stupid decision making is what led to the ...more
Tom Mathews
The buzz is that this is an extremely graphic novel so I have put off reading it for several years. Now that I have read it, or listened to it actually, I'm not going to disagree with the buzz but I am going to say that this was easily one of the best horror novels I've ever read. I wouldn't change a thing about it. ...more
Catch-up Review 4 of 4:
This book has been on Mt. Vine Covered Hill TBR for 9 years, 10 months, 1 week, and 5 days as of today. I added it on October 16, 2009. Obama was still in his first year. There were still only four Song of Ice and Fire books out, and the fifth was nearly 2 years away. There were only TWO MCU movies in existence. TWO. There are 23 out now. THAT is how long this book sat on my shelf. I don't know why any of that matters, but when I saw how close it was to being a full damn d
May 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-2016
This is one of the books set aside for the Horror Aficionados May reads. Up until now I had heard that this book was fantastic, scary, and thought provoking. Remind me to never trust people again when they mention a book is scary, my idea of scary is apparently different. This book had a lot of gross situations that tried my stomach, but that was about it.

So, this tale begins in Mexico (Yucatan peninsula). We have four Americans who are on vacation before they go off and start school. There is E
Dirk Grobbelaar

Are you lost?

Jeepers – this novel was hard to read! Not because it was bad by any means, but because of the harrowing situation the author creates for his characters.

The Ruins features some pretty explicit descriptive imagery. I’m not sure whether I would describe it as an overly “gory” novel though. The blood and guts sequences are treated with the clinical detachment of a surgeon: that’s to say, it’s pretty bloody but isn’t all that messy. Except, of course, when it is…

What really got to me
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddy-reads, horror

Always be prepared—the motto drilled into ever Boy Scout’s head from day one—never much crossed the minds of the group of twentysomethings heading out into the jungles of Mexico. A group of friends and recent acquaintances gathered together early one morning on a mission to track down a kid brother who’s runoff after a girl.

They’ve got to get a move on if they want to catch that bus to Coba, but their tails are dragging after a late night of drinking. From Coba, it’s another eleven grueli
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is horror at its finest. It's hard to believe all the negative reviews this book gets. I have 7 to 10 books that I always keep extra copies of, so when I meet a horror fan who hasn't read one of my favorites, all I have to do is grab an extra from my bookshelves and say, here, give this one a shot. I've given away 2 copies of this book in the 10 years that it's been out, and so far everyone has loved it. Even my husband liked it, and he only reads thrillers. I have no review for this book, ...more
Rachel Bea
loved it! I remember the movie but not well, so I went into the book almost fresh. Gruesome and well-written read. the characters were all kind of annoying, but I also think they were realistic. And as someone who went on a Mayan archaeological dig as part of her curriculum in college I had an extra connection to the plot, lol.
Okay, after thinking about this book, though it was last year that I read it, I’m writing another review to replace the one that vanished.
When I finished the book I was pretty angry. But I think that might have been the point. Without exactly giving anything away, you are led through this entire trip with some kids on vacation. Post- high school or college age kids... wandering around in Mexico somewhere or on an island; they get big ideas. And do you think any of them spoke Spanish or decided
3.5 ⭐️This book started out in an odd way and with what felt like, to me was a rocky tone. It just starts telling you random bits of things, spitting them at you and in random order. Maybe we were supposed to feel like (stereotypical) disorganized and ignorant college kids that had gotten drunk on the beach the night before ? Maybe. If so, that was effective.

I kept telling myself, okay, it will settle eventually into an individual’s point of view; or become at least somewhat more coherent and s
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller

Not as enjoyable as his other book, “A Simple Plan” but still an interesting read overall. Why won’t this guy write a little quicker? Two books in over a decade isn’t prolific enough for my liking, especially when they're this good!!! Do what I demand and write more!

This is a complete change in style to his other book, this is more horror of the human vs. nature type but also the horrors of being a human and the choices we have to make in certain situations. The characters are flawed and
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-horror, horror
Well. That was weird.

I like horror as a genre. It’s weird to say this but it feels like home. I like the dark things. The nitty gritty things. The things that strip away all the luxuries and comforts of modern life and force characters to make difficult decisions. The internal struggle of survival versus our emotionally charged human minds.

This was an excellent example of that. Four friends take a summer trip to Mexico before they go off to new jobs or grad school. They meet some friends along t
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jzhunagev
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Letras Macabras: JUNIO 2021: Las ruinas, de Scott Smith 10 34 Jun 05, 2021 02:40PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Cover missing 2 11 Dec 21, 2020 08:37PM  
My Theory About the Vines *spoiler* 10 302 Oct 01, 2020 02:34PM  
Anyone know a fan email or address for Scott Smith? 1 4 Feb 23, 2020 05:40PM  
Anyone know an address for this author? 1 2 Feb 23, 2020 03:06PM  
Play Book Tag: The Ruins / Scott B Smith - 3.5*** 1 14 Nov 01, 2018 06:48PM  

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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)

Articles featuring this book

For as long as people have been telling stories, we’ve spun tales of the monsters and nightmares that lurk in the shadows of our imaginations....
188 likes · 63 comments
“Stacy wasn't certain; she'd never bothered to pay attention to details like that, and was always regretting it, the half knowing, which felt worse than not knowing at all, the constant sense that she had things partly right, but not right enough to make a difference.” 4 likes
“Trying to remember things.” It was what people did, Amy had decided, as they waited for death; they lay there struggling to remember the details of their lives, all the events that had seemed so impossible to forget while they were being suffered through, the things tasted and smelled and heard, the thoughts that had felt like revelations, and now Jeff was doing this, too. He’d given up. They weren’t going to survive this place; they were going to end just like Henrich, shot full of arrows, the vines coiling and flowering around their bones.” 1 likes
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