The Ruins

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I really liked Scott Smith's A Simple Plan from 1993, so when I saw he'd come out with another one, I bit. (Yes, he's not exactly prolific.)

While A Simple Plan was a taut tragic-noir thriller, The Ruins is pretty much straight horror, and kind of long at over 500 pages. It doesn't seem bloated though: everything's there for a reason.

It concerns four young Americans vacationing on the Mexican coast; they befriend a German and three Greeks. The German's brother wandered inland with a archeologists to explore, and hasn't returned. He, the Americans, and one Greek decide to go after him. Things go very very badly for them over the next 495 pages.

The book takes its time getting up to speed, but eventually became a page-turner for me. Without going into spoiler territory, both A Simple Plan and this book contain characters with flaws not particularly noticeable in everyday life, but external events conspire to turn those flaws into gaping maws of death, doom, and destruction.

Smith also wrote the screenplay for the movie based on this book, which is bombing in theaters as I type. I'll probably rent the DVD just to see what's different.

Last Modified 2012-10-12 8:35 AM EST