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The Ruins

Narrated by: Patrick Wilson
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Eerie, terrifying, and unputdownable, The Ruins is Scott Smith's first novel since his acclaimed debut A Simple Plan earned rave reviews and stormed best seller lists.

The Ruins follows two American couples enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico. On an impulse, they go off with newfound friends in search of one of their group, the young German who, in pursuit of a girl, has headed for the remote Mayan ruins, site of a fabled archeological dig.

This is what happens from the moment the searchers, moving into the wild interior, begin to suspect that there is an insidious, horrific "other" among them.

©2006 Scott Smith. All rights reserved (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"A stunning horror thriller." (Publishers Weekly
"The book of the summer....Smith intends to scare the bejabbers out of you, and succeeds." (Stephen King)
"If you love ABC's Lost and the novels of King and Thomas Harris, you'll love this book." (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Standard horror fiction.

The performance is the best thing about this book. The characters are idiots and i couldn't wait for them all to die.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sachila
  • Clyde North, VIC
  • 16-01-2019

loved it

Loved the way that story went. quite sad at the end. it's a thrilling experience listening to this audiobook

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, scary, shocking!

This book was a joy to listen to. The characters were so well written and the horror/gore scenes had me genuinely feeling sick! And the narrator was brilliant too! A must for horror fans

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly compulsive dark thriller

This book absolutely hooked me in from the second chapter onwards. A gruelling page turner. I was obsessed with knowing the outcome. Great naturalistic characters in a very original and very tense scenario. An incredible read.

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  • Fredrick J.
  • 07-03-2017

Singularly Harsh

It cannot be understated how bleak this novel is. I see "user" reviews are generally more negative than industry reviews and I think that's a lot to do with how little hope there is to be found here. This is not a fun read, even less so on a second go. The characters are tragically human, in an impossible situation, made worse by the otherworldly element. There will be characters you outright hate but they are never unrealistic. I know people like each of them. You may be like one or more of them and that may not help you like the character more! But this is a story about being doomed, and if there's another piece of writing as good at that feeling, I haven't read it. Patrick Wilson does ~aight as a narrator but I swear he recorded this with a sinus infection. If you consider yourself brave, please give this one a chance.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Wolfe
  • 10-12-2006

Brutal

Like many reviewers of this book, this is the first book I've gotten from Audible in 4 years that was bad enough to compell me to write a review.

It could have been a short story, but through repetition and monotony it is a novel.

If I heard one more time the inner dialogue of one of the characters, as they do or say something stupid and unnecessary, describing how they knew they shouldn't but couldn't help themselves....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LB
  • 04-01-2016

Survival Meets Supernatural

Where does The Ruins rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Oh, I can't really rank that. The book holds a special place for me.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Of course. Constant suspense plus the evolution of the antagonist is increasingly terrifying.

Which scene was your favorite?

No specific scene is my favorite. But if I had to choose anything I'd like to point out is that Mathias is a main character unlike the movie's interpretation of the novel. He is my favorite character, a touchstone for sanity.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book in two days since I can listen to them at work. So I followed the story very closely. In my opinion it felt too short. But I guess you could only survive on a hilltop for so long.

Any additional comments?

The whole execution of survival meeting supernatural is expertly done. I cannot imagine any other story that could pull off a similar setup without copying from this. Truly original in a dying genre. (Horror)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Marilyn
  • 14-10-2006

Strange Indeed

I had high hopes when I started this book, but soon realized that the author had devised such an impossible plot line that there was no way out. The characters were real and well written, but I soon found their problems increasingly difficult to listen to - particularly Eric and Pablo. When I got about halfway through I could see no way out and was correct. A long and very uncomfortable read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Pamela Harvey
  • 03-08-2006

I boringly read this book

I can't believe Stephen King's hearty endorsement of this tome. One of the few "don'ts" in King's book "On Writing" is the use of sloppy adverbs, adverbs that appear in abundance in the The Ruins, like 'wetly", clumsily", "sleepily" and horror of all horrors "sexily". Just lazy writing.

However I thought the anthropormorphic vine and all its parodies of the pathetic human conversations it was in on, was a touch of genius and several times I found myself laughing out loud at its wit. I am not familiar with this genre, so a natural monster with a sense of humor and irony was quite a trip. So I'll give this one a three out of five, just for concept. I think of it every time I water my ivy plants or wisrteria.

I also thought the cold, calculating narration was an added bonus.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard A. Bamberg
  • 06-10-2006

Turn Back Is RIGHT!!!!

This book is not only boring, but the author couldn't even come up with an out once he got his characters into deep dodo. I listened to the first 8 hours and then scanned the rest. The weakest audible book I've come across in 4 yeaers of listening to audible.com and probably the weakest in nearly 20 years of listening to novels on audio.

Please Stop, Turn Back Before It's Too Late.

You'll be sooorrrryyyyy.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lyssa
  • 17-09-2006

waste of a lot of time

This was the worst book I have ever downloaded. It had such promise - got off to a great start. I kept on listening to the very end, hoping that something might happen. No such luck! Don't waste your time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Judy
  • 17-11-2007

Why, Mr. King?

I purchased this audio book based primarily on the fact that Stephen King recommended it. Until now I have been happy to listen to almost any book while driving, but I'm now at approximately the half-way point and don't think I can keep on listening all the way to the end of this one. I find it particularly annoying that whereas the men portrayed in the book are courageous, inventive and intelligent; the women always think and act like three-year-old children.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle
  • 21-08-2017

Shh.....

This book was about 8 hours too long. The author seemed to be stretching out every detail beyond capacity to attempt to make the book more memorable or iconic than it could ever hope to be. The conflict between characters was consistently forced and unrealistic and often started with a phrase such as: "He/she knew he/she shouldn't be reacting this way, but...." meaning it didn't even make sense to the author but happened anyway in a failed attempt to raise tension. In addition, as soon as the horror aspects finally kicked in, the author felt compelled to make details of normal activities as disgusting and crude as possible...."the semen squirted/sprayed....his shit came out like squeezing toothpaste from a tube...." seriously??? There's a time and a place for gross detail and bodily functions that are unrelated to plot is not one of them. It was all downhill from there. The author apparently also decided that saying "Shh" to someone was the ONLY way comfort them in any situation from relationship trouble, to facing their mortality with starvation....to being in mind and soul-splitting agony from a terrible injury. One star was generous. This was in the top 10 of the worst books I've heard on audible so far. Patrick Wilson narrated well, though. That's something.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Randy
  • 29-05-2017

review

extremely well written....very detailed...definitely a great read..would definitely recommend to others to read....keeps you wanting to read more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Hunter
  • 31-05-2013

Slow to start but becomes a very gripping book

Really enjoyed this book. It starts off a little slow, setting up the setting and the characters but it's still an interesting read. Then when the action starts it had me hooked. Can be quite gory and can be a difficult listen if you're squeamish! Excellent story and a fantastic ending, highly recommended. Competently read but you can tell it takes him a bit of time to get into it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • I. Jamie
  • 07-08-2006

OK, but don't believe the glowing endorsements

OK, they say never judge a book by it's cover, but I was somewhat swayed by the glowing endorsements (eg Stephen King) for this book. It's in the 'teenagers/twentysomethings' in peril genre and as far as it goes, it's ok. However, without giving too much of the plot away - the reasons underlying the peril are never adequately explained. I like my science fiction / horror to have at least a semi-tangible explanation (a la Michael Crichton for example). There are many aspects here that are just not explained, such as where the peril comes from and why the villagers behave as they do (don't think that gives too much away!). However, there is reasonably good tension developed between the characters, and it's not a bad listen - just not quite as great as the blurb would have you believe.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • The Yellow Dart
  • 25-09-2019

Entertaining if a little unsatisfying (no spoiler)

It took a while for me to get in to, but this is an entertaining enough listen, the best thing about it is the well written characters, like in all the best horror you start to feel like you know them and therefore it raises the stakes when danger happens. It was well read by actor Patrick Wilson. I don't want to give anything away but there's one aspect of the book I found unsatisfying, but it would be a spoiler to get into that. Basically it's a decent enough horror that'll keep you entertained, but that you'll probably forget about not long after you've finished it, that said, I wasn't sorry I listened to it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • RBL
  • 09-08-2019

Pretty good listen to pass the time.

I definitely enjoyed The Ruins, the story didn't quite go in the direction I'd imagined, and it was a little slow to start, but it was a good bit of sensational horror.

I did at times find the style of narration a little slow as the author would often repeat events from another character's point of view, which made me a little impatient for the narration to move on.
My main issue was that the characters were all pretty unlikeable, with the exception of one or two, or rather idiotic so I didn't feel I cared much about their survival. As the novel progressed I expected them to reveal hidden depths but they remained shallow and slightly caricature-esque, which was frustrating and left me feeling a bit removed from their situation.

Still, it was an enjoyable listen and I would definitely give it a go if you're a fan of b-type horror movies!