The Ruins is a horror novel by American author Scott Smith, set on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It was released on July 18, (ISBN ). Scott Smith’s wrote one of my favorite crime novels with A Simple Plan that released in Thirteen years later came his second book, The Ruins which instantly became one of my favorite horror novels. Scott Smith's The Ruins is one of the best horror novels I've read in some. The Ruins (): Scott Smith: Books.

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Praise. “The best horror novel of the new century.” —Stephen King. “The Ruins does for Mexican vacations what Jaws did for New England beaches.”. More answers to obvious questions: Yes, The Ruins the horror movie is a relatively faithful adaptation of The Ruins the novel. Nonetheless, the. In Scott Smith's new novel, tourists meet a deadly foe in the Yucatán. If “A Simple Plan” is a nightmare that slowly unfolds, “The Ruins” is.

Smith writes in clear, vivid language with elegant sentences. Smith sculpts each of the characters, making us care very much about what happens to these young, naive and sometimes selfish individuals. The Ruins has a claustrophobic feel, which adds to the palpatations of suspense.

The great outdoors might as well be a dark, dingy basement full of things that go bump in the night as Smith finds new ways to frighten with his setting. Smith has tapped into our anxieties about global warming, lethal weather, supergerms—our collective fear that nature is finally battling back—and given us a decidedly organic nightmare. The Ruins is ruthlessly frank about how most of us really behave in extremis.


In The Ruins , all of the characters and their vexed interrrelationships are richly and carefully drawn because, in a way, they are the story. Had you always wanted to be a writer? Even while I was in graduate school, I was only very tentatively willing to claim the title for myself. The one thing I remember yearning to be as a kid was a mercenary.

Your first book, A Simple Plan , came out in , and the film of it, for which you were nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay, came out in I spent five years working on a novel, which ended up coming to nothing.

Or much more than nothing, actually—too much. I had over a thousand pages, and I was still only a quarter of the way through the story. Then the movie version of A Simple Plan came out, and I received some offers to do more screenwriting.

I had the sense that I needed to break completely from my novel or remain stuck forever in its grip. So I accepted a screenwriting job, and that led to another offer, and so on, until finally, after five scripts, my connection to that huge novel-in-progress felt sufficiently severed for me to attempt something new. And that was The Ruins. Did your Oscar nomination for the adapted screenplay change or affect your career course?

I think it probably opened up a broader range of possibilities for me. Cain, among others.

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What drew you to this kind of storytelling? My father has always been a great reader of thrillers, and I grew up scavenging from his library. Especially, the horror part—I have the sense of myself bumbling my way through The Ruins , in almost complete ignorance of the rules and customs of the genre.

What was the inspiration for writing such a creepy, scary tale? I had the original idea when I was a graduate student, sixteen years ago. At that point, I envisioned it as a short story. The plot was very different—a group of archaeologists in an isolated setting digs up an extremely virulent disease, which they fear might cause a terrible pandemic if it were to spread into the world.

The story was going to focus on the characters arguing over what they should do, as they and their hired laborers start to sicken and die.

I never wrote it, but all these years later, when I decided to attempt another novel, it was one of a handful of ideas that I picked up and began to toy with. Around that time, I happened to see a horror movie, and I thought that it might be fun to attempt something in that genre. This impulse came together with the ailing archaeologists, and The Ruins emerged from it. The story has a very strong sense of place—the sticky, unbearable heat of the jungle rises up off the page and acts as a seventh character.

A Mexican Vacation, Interrupted by Killer Plants

I wonder if you could talk about this. I know that I often experience intense mood shifts when I travel to new locations, and I do feel an impulse to attribute these shifts to the places themselves, as if there were some attendant spirits that one can somehow sense upon arrival. I wanted a setting that was isolated enough for my characters to be trapped there with little hope of rescue, yet close enough to a tourist destination for them to stumble into their predicament without too much difficulty.

Did you visit the Mayan ruins where the story takes place?

My research consisted of Internet surfing and tour book browsing, and I have no doubt that this has resulted in countless errors. The bulk of the novel takes place on a single hillside in the jungle, though, and this is a place that exists only in my imagination.

When you sit down to write a story, do you know the basic outline of the story to begin with or do you let the narrative surprise you as you go along? It depends on the story. With A Simple Plan I had a very, very detailed outline. With The Ruins it was much more limited—a loose sketch.

This was true even for some of the more significant events in the book. As in A Simple Plan , these characters seem to make one fatal choice after another. What are your thoughts on fate versus choice? I do believe in a degree of free will, in the sense that choices are constantly being presented to us.

But I think that as these choices accrue they start to have a determining effect. Our options are gradually narrowed until it can begin to feel as if we were in the grip of destiny or fate. I think that choices often have future moments embedded within them—hidden or masked from us—and that these are only revealed in hindsight. And I suppose all this is very much part of what I find intriguing in the act of storytelling, whether as a writer or a reader.

Smith has a gift for low-key realism: The two couples meet a German, Mathias, who is troubled because his brother has recently disappeared while pursuing a woman to a Mayan archaeological dig somewhere in the jungle.

Jeff decides they should all go with Mathias to look for his brother.

And so, along with a Greek who calls himself Pablo, they set off. I tell you no good, but still you go. Go, go, go. The party ends up trapped on a hilltop, facing an extremely nasty nemesis. Smith focuses on the prosaic human response to horror: But its relentless bleakness — it is almost clinically bloody — played out at novel length is also what sets it apart from other books of this kind. It leaves you with the sense that the skeleton beneath your skin is closer to the surface than you think.There were some fascinating concepts about the spore - humans into mutants or the Gifted.

Welcome to the Jungle

Loved it! Related Articles. Bray, William, and Kirby had quite a story to follow. Great job as always.

A Simple Plan came out in The previous titles had me hooked by the impressive world-building, intrigued by clues as to the genesis of the plague, and sympathising with characters forced to deal with horrific situations and unpalatable options. The story of four young Americans caught in a deadly situation on a trip to Mayan ruins in Mexico, it builds a tension that Serling excelled at, created from knowing that a situation is spinning out of control in ways beyond the characters' comprehension.

SHAQUANA from Victorville
I love reading novels victoriously . Also read my other articles. I am highly influenced by trainspotting.