The Ruins, a horror novel by the same author who gave us “A Simple Plan”. Like its predecessor, The Ruins is not an overly complex novel. We’re presented with the characters, given the essential background info, and then watch as they’re thrown into the jacked up situation that the book puts them in.
I really liked it. The prose was solid and I never felt bored. Smith deserves credit as they spend most of the novel trapped at the top of a hill. One would think that you’d run out of stuff to have the characters do, but he keeps things going even in a stationary setting.
Readers be warned, this book is not for the feint of heart. If you have a weak stomach, then this book is not for you. It’s not excessive, nor is it the literary equivalent of “torture porn”, however it does get pretty violent at times. What one character ends up doing to himself throughout the book is rather disturbing.
The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that there are no chapters in this book, none, zero, zip. The closest you get is a double space every few paragraphs to break
the book into sections. My questions is, why no chapters? At first I thought it was to play up the fact that the story stays on the same people, but if you’re going to divide it up anyways, why not put in chapters to make it easier?
If you’re a fan of King, then this book is right up your alley as it is similar to his work in a lot of ways. King himself raves about the book. It’s not a cheap King knockoff, but you can definitely see King writing a book like this one.
As I said before, the prose is solid. At over 500 pages, you’d think the book would be overly wordy or that there would be some padding. There isn’t any, even a seemingly gratuitous sex act actually has an impact later in the story.
I had a hard time putting this book down. Some books, I eagerly await the end of the chapter so that I can put the book down and do something else. With this one, I only wanted to read more. Even with 500 pages of prose, I had this baby done in a few days.