It was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition.
When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise.
A shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, things couldn’t possibly get any worse.
But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls, and there are bones scattered upon the floors. The residue of old rites for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees.
©2011 Adam Nevill (P)2011 Macmillan Digital Audio
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"11 hours too long?"
I so wanted to like this after having received a recommendation Adam Nevill is the UK's Stephen King.
I felt the characters missed enough roundness. But most important, the author didn't play enough with the blurring between nightmare and its opposite. I wanted more ambiguity, if you see what I mean. Or maybe the opposite: blatant 'magical realism' 'a la Murakami.
Sorry: I wanted the rather inevitable ending to happen sooner than later.
"Good story and great narrator"
The pace is good, it keeps you engaged and wanting to find out what is going to happen next.
It's genuinely creepy, the first half of the book in particular. The story was unusual and interesting, the characters were engaging and you never knew quite what was going to happen until the very end.
I really loved the narrator! A good narrator can make the experience of listening to an audiobook so much better.
"This had me scared of the dark...."
I bought this audio book as it was on special offer for Halloween along with a couple of other titles. I took a punt on this one after reading some glowing reviews on Amazon and was in no way disappointed.
I stupidly started to listen to this at night, on Halloween and after an hour and a half of the story I was ridged with fear in my bed, doing everything in my power to pluck up the courage to get up and use the toilet! I eventually did and vowed not to listen to the rest of it in the dark but I had to know what happened. Over the next 48 hours devoured the rest and low and behold found myself in bed ridged with fear AGAIN unable to switch the damd Ipod off for the last hour and a half!
A perfect choice, Peter Thorpe is fast becoming one of my favourite narrators, he brings every story he reads to life brilliantly and is the perfect choice for this relentless scare fest.
This is some wonderfully creepy and intense stuff that I’d highly recommend this if you enjoy a good scare.
On the surface, every horror cliche rears its head in this tale; protagonists lost in the woods, the lonely isolated house, ancient burial mounds and suggestions of a sinister and macabre history. From Hp Lovecraft to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the horror genre has always been full to the brim of stories that tread a similar path. The Ritual however, stands head and shoulders above its peers. The storytelling is impeccable and the narration both spirited and unpretentious. After half an hour I was gripped and almost breathless. Listening to this on headphones in the dead of night was a genuinely nerve shredding experience, but in the best possible way, Highly recommended!
Just finished Adam Nevill’s amazing The Ritual. The plot is quite thin, but that’s not a fault – it’s supposed to be about the people involved in the story. Indeed, it’s testament to Adam’s skill that he carries our interest across 400 pages in what is, essentially, a two-act tale. It’s hard to talk about what happens without giving stuff away, but I’ll try my best.
The first half of the book is a hunt – an often brutal, suspenseful trail around a deep, dark wood full of seriously weird stuff: ancient churches, broken up houses, bone pits – you name it, it’s here. This steady accumulation of unsavoury details stacks up in the reader’s mind until a menacing air of doom and terror starts building.
Then, in act two, where the focus shifts from environmental terror to a very human one, it just gets worse and worse. The first appearance of the new incoming characters sets the tone for a relentless sequence of nightmarish set-pieces the equal of any snuff-like horror movie (Texas Chainsaw, etc). And this mounts to a dreamlike conclusion in which the reader is left so disoriented that s/he is unable to decide what is real or otherwise. Very powerful.
The ending of the book – the dreamlike last few pages – contains some great writing, a fitting end to a sterling example of modern horror. I loved it. I hate effusive reviews which lack critical edge, but what can I say? Read this book.
"Oh My. No stroll or camp will be the same."
From it's comencement you may think, just another story about four lads of on a jolly, get lost and bitten, or eaten or abducted.
No just a terifing story. I found myself re-tracing the story, how a bad situation can only get EVEN WORSE! No camping with the kids this summer.Or forestry walks . Poor boys etc. No more Abba or A-Ah for me
I have had this story in my library for some time now,when I first tried to listen to this story I found it so slow and nothing was happening so I gave up,then I recently went back to it and I am so glad I did it turns out to be a very good story,these four guys just out for a camping holiday and decided to take a shortcut through the woods,fatal mistake they get lost and cannot escape then the nightmare begins when the story picks up its really gripping.
Getting lost in the woods with a group of friends has never been so scary. Creepy cabins, ritualistic sacrifices. A hiking trip gone badly wrong. Extremely well read and perfect to listen to in bed.
"Not just a slasherfest, but a great horror novel"
Though I agree with the previous reviewer that this book seemed at times a bit too long, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book is in two parts, and the second part drags a bit but introduces characters and new twists that I did not see coming, at all. The character's plight is atrocious, yet there are moments of real humanity and warmth that are heart-wrenching. I had never read or heard Adam Nevill's books before and find him a truly gifted author. This is not just a slasher-fest, it has depth and meaning. The narrator does a very very good job, his voice is, at times, mesmerizing. Recommended
"Started off well"
The narration was good, the accents were smooth enough that they didn't distract from the story so would certainly listen to David again. As for Adam Nevill, I would have to give it a few years for him to mature I think.
Initially when they first come across the house I felt the scene was genuinely atmospheric and creepy.
The book starts off well, the characters are reasonably well defined and the scene descriptions are good. However, the story completely changes half way through and you are left with a cross between monsters and sociopaths and frankly after all the trouble the sociopaths cause I was devasted when their fates were quick! It was almost like Neville started the book and then thought that he couldnt do a monster story justice and would take a page out of Lionel Striver's "We need to talk about Kevin". Was quite disappointed with this really.
"Such high expectations!"
I purchased this book based on reviews and the narrator - David Thorpe, he also narrated A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland one of my favourite books on Audible.
The four friends become lost in this great forest the storey is captivating and gripping. The tensions between the men brew as they are stalked by something unseen. As we are led into the second half it is all down hill from there on. David Thorpe's Scandinavian accent is truly horrific, and easily the most frightening thing about this book. It was an ordeal to finish the book but I persevered and feel drained as a result. I do not wish to spoil the plot but he drones on endlessly and the new characters that are introduced seem one dimensional and flat. I was left disappointed with an anti-climatic ending as I hoped at least this would be the saving grace.
"a bit too long"
The narration was very good and the story was in parts unnerving but it would have benefited from some ruthless editing. A lot of the story involves an internal dialogue of the main character. His trials and tribulations are so dreadful that you end up just wanting it to be over. A writer of thrillers wants to create this feeling but it's a fine line between relentless fear and dislocation from the story. Having said this the characters are well drawn and the story is compelling but it could have been better in a shorter version
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