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The Ruins

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  27,115 ratings  ·  3,154 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 Alfred A. Knopf (first published 2006)
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A.I. Sajib I finished reading this and I had the same disappointment in my review of the book. I think he's working on some sort of TV series (from his IMDb…moreI finished reading this and I had the same disappointment in my review of the book. I think he's working on some sort of TV series (from his IMDb page). I don't know what that is about. But I really wish he'd written more movies, maybe a sequel to this one telling us what happened to the Greeks.. (less)

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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,115 ratings  ·  3,154 reviews

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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
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
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.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I’ve always had this conception that the horror genre, be it books or movies, are meant to be scary. So that’s how I’ve judged various entries in the field. Did this [book or movie] scare me? Mostly, the answer is no. Real life itself is so terrifying that fictional fears really don’t do anything for me. After all, no monster springing from an author’s imagination is quite so terrifying as my student debt load.

While reading Scott Smith’s The Ruins, it occurred to me that my concept of horror is
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.
***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
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
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.
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.
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
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/
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 sh
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
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
Bark (Has Atrocious Taste)
I just listened to this on unabridged audio. Having seen the movie a few years ago, I was expecting it to be a decent body horror tale of survival and I wasn’t disappointed on those two counts. But I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the book more than the movie. The movie was suspenseful and to the point and brutal and it was only 90 minutes long so there wasn’t a lot of time spent with the characters. The audio though was nearly 11+ hours long and I had to spend way too much time with these chara ...more
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
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the tension in this one!

**Re-read** CD S/L version: I think I picked up a lot more on the "environmental" elements in the beginning of the story this time around. :) This remains on the favorites shelf!
Ellen Gail

I intended to read a little bit before bed. Instead I read the last 300 pages of this.

I'm definitely going to regret it in the morning, but right now I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Update from the next morning: I overslept by a good bit and was almost late. I had to violate some speed limits. But it was still worth it.

The Ruins made me want to A) torch all the plants around my porch, and B) hoard water, just absurd amounts of water. Also, that I probably should not drink tequila. But col
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,
Aug 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
I always suspected plants were evil and my recent reading has proved that.

Plus this gives me something to look forward to on my trip to Mexico this year.
Oct 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: someone who might purchase my copy
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
This was excellent. Brutal and bloody in parts with a building tension that nearly erupts on the pages as you get close to the finish line. Top notch writing and action paced perfectly for the story. And very, very dark, which you know I dig. All the stars for this one, no doubt about it, a classic!

“Am I still me?”
Alex findingmontauk1
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
OHMYLANTA, YES!!! 5 stars and everyone should read this! Full review to come
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Play Book Tag: The Ruins / Scott B Smith - 3.5*** 1 8 Nov 01, 2018 06:48PM  
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Horror Reading Ch...: June 2016 Group Read: The Ruins 2 8 Jun 05, 2016 05:14AM  
Different 39 158 Sep 07, 2014 07:29AM  
What DID make the vines talk and come to life? 11 149 May 30, 2014 04:58AM  
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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)
“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.” 2 likes
“That was what they were so clearly doing here: they were waiting. And not in any suspense, either, not in any anxiety as to the outcome of their vigil. They were waiting with no apparent emotion at all, as one might sit over the course of an evening, watching a candle methodically burn itself into darkness, never less than certain of the outcome, confident that the only thing standing between now and the end of waiting was time itself.” 1 likes
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