Friday, September 08, 2006

#53 - The Ruins

Okay, I was so afraid while reading Scott Smith's The Ruins that I went ahead while only halfway through and read the bloody ending. I couldn't take it anymore. I was that scared. While I'm technically not quite finished (I have about 10 pages in between where I am and the ending I already read), I feel quite confident I can blog about it because I'm going to finish it this afternoon while waiting at the hospital for bloodletting.

So, the novel takes place in Mexico and the main characters are all, of course, on a lovely sunny vacation. Four Americans, Jeff and Amy, Eric and Stacy, are on one last hurrah after finishing university (or, I guess, college as they say in the States). When Mathius, a young German man, asks them to accompany him to find his missing brother who disappeared while chasing a girl in the title's ruins, they set off on what they hope will be a day-long adventure.

Armed with no other information except a crudely drawn map, the five of them, along with a Greek friend (who doesn't speak their language) they call Pablo, leave the resort early one morning after a heavy night of drinking. Nothing goes right, of course: they're dropped off in the wrong place; the taxi charges them too much money; they run into a decidedly unfriendly Mayan village, and soon they've moved past what I'd like to call the point of no return.

I don't want to give even a hint of what happens away because it would deter you from actually reading the book and being as bone-chilled scared as I was—I read the majority of the novel up at the cottage last weekend and was literally shaking in bed. Never a fan of horror movies or even scary books (mysteries, yes, but Stephen King-type novels, not so much), The Ruins is so well written and so literary that it's more of a character study in a truly horrific situation than a run of the mill blood, guts and gore book.

Oh, and there are no chapters, so you are sucked right in and carted along without even being able to take a breath. And the sun is hot, very, very, very hot.


Gallis said...

Oooohhhhh. I LOVED The Shining. Maybe I should check this out.

Kailana said...

Aw, man, now I wish I had got this book too! See, you should tell me about the ones you have read BEFORE I choose.

Sounds good though, but you are such a cheater! :p

Carrie said...

This review has gotten me psyched for the ruins... I hope it's at the library.

Also, love all your book writing and good luck with the dance class.

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