The Ruins The Ruins discussion


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Kathie This book scared me. I still think I have plants trying to grow inside me ... and when I hear a cell phone chirp?! wahoo! I sure didn't expect it to end the way it did.


Melissa I agree, the ending didn't really leave much closure or explanation, but it was still a gripping read.


Tressa People either love this book or hate it. I loved it and thought it was one of the creepiest books I've ever read.

There was more to this book than just a plant come to life. The whole theme about language barrier was gripping. They can't communicate with the Greeks they hooked up with; they can't communicate with the driver who drove them to the ruins but also tried to warn them away; the villagers who knew what was at the ruins but who couldn't explain it; the man who rode up on his horse and got between them and the ruins.

Just thinking about this story makes me shudder.


Esther K I thought this book was perfect. Yes, it was gorey, but it is suspense/horror/ There was no sensationalism. There was no deus ex machina...it just happened the way it should ...creepy!!!!!! ugh.... Loved it!!!!


Diana yeah, I definitely agree about the language barrier issue. It was definitely a hinderance to every task. This is partially why the first part of the book was frustrating to me--you never knew what the hell was going on and were just as confused as the protagonists.

Also, I didn't understand why when Amy's foot first touched the vine that that made them all doomed. Could the plant really have "infected" everything with just that one touch? The green fuzz didn't grow on them unless they were sedentary, at night, when they were sleeping, etc. I thought it was a little rash. Whatever.


Tressa It's been a while since I read it, but I believe that once the vine touches another human being, if the human is allowed to leave it will carry spores back to civilization and an outbreak will occur. I guess it's like someone passing on the flu bug.

For me the language barrier more so than the vine was the bogeyman. Without the language barrier I doubt many fools would make the trip up there in defiance of the warnings. However, there are plenty of fools out there.

Has anyone seen the movie? How does it compare to the book? Twentysomethings are more annoying on film than on paper.


Staci Johnson I loved the book; but I've always loved a scary story.
I've just started another of his books titled, The Plan. Good, so far.


Steve Chaput It was scary and certainly depressing, at least in my opinion. Never saw the film made from it, so I don't know if changes were made to the ending.


Scott Whether the vine actually infects or contaminates anyone as soon as they touch it is really irrelevant; the locals fear it and they aren't taking any chances.


message 10: by Tressa (last edited Jul 02, 2011 07:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tressa I don't think it's irrelevant at all. (view spoiler) This IS The Ruins.


Scott We're not disagreeing. Someone asked if "one touch" would have done it. Maybe it wouldn't have, but if there is even the tiniest chance that a bit of the plant could migrate from the area, the locals cannot allow them to leave it. That's why they were doomed from that moment. It didn't matter if Amy was actually contaminated at the time.


Tressa LOL. Oh, I only scrolled up as far as message 6 and thought you were disagreeing with me. I thought we had always been on the same page with this book. I see now you were talking to Diana.

I actually think The Ruins is the only thing we've ever agreed on since we've known each other.


Scott I guess I should use quotes more often, but I usually find it makes threads harder to follow somehow.

I didn't realize her post was so old. I've only just noticed that I can have book discussions show up in my feed, so I've started adding to them. I didn't even know there could be discussions about individual books! (Most of the books I read probably don't generate discussion.)


Tressa I just noticed the individual book discussions, too. I think they even show up in the list of your groups. Seems weird to me. But I guess it's a good way to keep up with comments made later in one that you had joined in on. But wouldn't you just get the email notification anyway? I is confused.

You read a lot of obscure (to me, at least) anthologies. So I don't imagine they do generate much discussion.


Scott I have all email notifications turned off. I found them annoying.


Tressa Hmmm. Once again, I'm the opposite. I find the email notifications convenient and the update tab annoying. I don't even look there.


Steve Chaput I like the e-mail notifications myself, as I sometimes forget the discussions I'm involved in if there hasn't been a reply in a while. I wasn't aware of the 'individual' book discussions either until I got involved in one on The Hunger Games.


~ Cheryl ~ Staci wrote: "I loved the book; but I've always loved a scary story.
I've just started another of his books titled, The Plan. Good, so far."


The Ruins was the perfect creepy book. No sugar-coating here, just butterflies-in-your stomach horror. Marvelous!

Staci, do you mean A Simple Plan? That was the only other Scott Smith book I ever read. LOVED it, by the way.


Staci Johnson CC Doremi wrote: "Staci wrote: "I loved the book; but I've always loved a scary story.
I've just started another of his books titled, The Plan. Good, so far."

The Ruins was the perfect creepy book. No sugar-co..."


oops - yes to A Simple Plan
I wish there was a way to erase books I've read from my mind so I could read them again for the first time. I loved The Ruins.


Tressa Me, too. The Ruins is one of those books I envy first-timer readers cracking open!


Scott I envy readers who manage to get to it without knowing anything about what happens. I made the mistake of reading reviews on Amazon and almost all of them spoiled the surprise of the vines. I loved the book but it would have had so much more impact if I hadn't known that was coming.


Tressa I was lucky, Scott. I knew hardly anything about it. I will only read a publisher's summary to see if the book's plot interests me; I stay away from reviews. I do remember skimming over a review by Stephen King on Amazon about the book. He praised it highly without spoiling it.


Scott I found out about it from his EW column. He made the mystery sound irresistible, but stupid me had to go read more about it. I learned a valuable lesson from that!


Timothy Asbury I loved The Ruins also! I'm like Tressa I stay away from reviews because they just give to damn much of the story away.


Tressa King has a way of making you dash out to get the books he recommends because he's a great reviewer. I had a huge list after reading Danse Macabre back in the '80s.

At least you learned your lesson, Scott.


**Carla** I read this a couple years ago, just grabbed it off the shelf at wal-mart cause it looked interesting and I couldn't put it down. It made it harder to put a stop point because there were no chapters to say okay I will stop at the end of this chapter, it was just a continuous read. Anyhow, loved it and I passed it along to family to read as well!!


Jessie Laurence Ah! LOVED this book! I literally read it over a two day span on vacation. Seriously couldn't put it down! A GREAT read for anyone who likes a good scare!


Tressa Glad you enjoyed it, Jessie! Spread the word. :-)


message 29: by Kirby (last edited Jun 03, 2012 01:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kirby oh, this is one of my favorites! so creepy and scary, my heart was pounding, and I loved the ending. I also loved A Simple Plan. I hope that he writes another novel soon!


Angela I loved the Ruins, but I did not see the film


Janese Jackson Diana wrote: "yeah, I definitely agree about the language barrier issue. It was definitely a hinderance to every task. This is partially why the first part of the book was frustrating to me--you never knew wha..."

Plant spores. If Amy had walked away, spores from the vine would have been deposited in the woods and spread from there. It was contained on that hill and the villagers needed to keep it that way. Hence they were ready to kill anyone who had contact with the hill.


Janese Jackson And I'm so grateful for a thread that isn't about Twilight or The Hunger Games... I was beginning to wonder if people discussed any other books on this site.


Angela Janese wrote: "And I'm so grateful for a thread that isn't about Twilight or The Hunger Games... I was beginning to wonder if people discussed any other books on this site."

LOL thank you janese for saying that!


Nora aka Diva Honestly I found the book a bit boring.


message 35: by Chris (last edited Sep 16, 2012 10:16PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Chris ** SPOILERS! **

Nora aka Diva wrote: "Honestly I found the book a bit boring."

Same, I was quite disappointed by it, and not creeped out at all. After finding all the other bodies under the vines and the realization that they weren't getting out by crossing the line, I hoped that the next step would be the mine (ruin?). I was waiting for someone to kamikaze to the bottom of it and see WTF was down there. Nope. Wasted character in the story. Overall it seemed rushed, unfinished. Guess it just wasn't for me.


message 36: by Lola (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lola I actually listened to this as an audio book. Creepy and I wanted to stop before the end, but I just couldn't!!!! It just never seemed to end and I kept hoping for things to get better. YIKES!!!!!


message 37: by Lola (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lola PS that language barrier just increased the tension beyond belief, which I think was on purpose!!!!


Tressa Lola wrote: "PS that language barrier just increased the tension beyond belief, which I think was on purpose!!!!"

Yes, this is what makes the book for me. The damage that language barriers can do to people.


Scott After finishing this book, I promptly learnt how to speak plant.


message 40: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike Previs Having not seen the movie I began reading this book having no idea what "The Presence" they encountered was going to be. Honestly I was hoping for some sort of black magic or ghost type or even Myans still practing ancient rituals but I must admit this story gripped me from the start and as it unfunfolded I was not disappointed to find what exactly was going on. I couldn't put it down and I like the way it ended though Im not sure a sequel could be as good. Funny enough I just finished this and was already planning to read Christopher Rice's "The Vines" when it's released in October so it will be interesting to compare the 2.


message 41: by Lola (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lola The language barrier created the tense atmosphere that made me abandon the book originally. I listened to it on audio in the end.


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