Monday, June 9, 2008

The Ruins

The Ruins by Scott Smith was originally published in 2006. My hardcover copy is 319 pages. The plot is basic: tourists get lost in horrific jungle.
Jeff, Amy, Eric and Stacy, two American couples just out of college, have impulsively decided to take a beach vacation in Mexico. They befriend German tourist Mathias, as well as three Greek tourists. They decide to accompany Mathias, along with one of the Greeks (who calls himself Pablo) after they learn that Mathias is going to an archaeological dig at some Mayan ruins in search of his brother, who has headed to these ruins looking for a girl he met. The Ruins tells what happened to these tourists. There is a movie now, which I haven't seen.
I liked The Ruins and recommend it. No, it's not fine literature, but that's not exactly what I was looking for when I picked this book up. It's great escapism. It was scary enough to hold my attention. This would be a great summer vacation book, but not if you are headed to any jungles... or even any lush, verdant areas... with vines. Rating: 3.9


"They were visiting Mexico for three weeks. It was August, a foolish time to travel to the Yucatan. The weather was too hot, too humid." pg. 4

"He told her that she didn't have to go, that she could spend the day alone on the beach if she liked, and she just stared at him. They both knew who she was, how she'd rather be with the group, doing something she didn't like, than alone, doing something she enjoyed." pg. 11

"A tree on her left seemed to call her name. Stacy, it whispered, so clearly that she actually turned her head, a goose-bump feeling running up and down her back." pg. 45

"But Jeff was staring at the vines, the isolated island, knowing already what it was, knowing it deep, without quite being conscious of this knowledge." pg. 57

"That the vine could grow so quickly seemed extraordinary, an important development, and yet what did it mean?" pg. 127

"When he stood up, he had the knife in his hand. He was just starting for the tent, when he stopped suddenly, staring toward Amy, toward her feet, toward the ground beyond them. Stacy, too, turned to look, and - instantly - went equally still. Their faces shared an identical expression, a mix of horror and incomprehension, and even before Amy spun to see what it was, she felt her heart begin to accelerate, adrenaline rushing through her body. She didn't want to see, but that was over, the not seeing; that wasn't an option any longer. There was movement behind her, a shuffling sound, and Stacy lifted her right hand, covered her mouth, wide-eyed." pg. 138

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