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The ruins : a novel
Scott Smith
Adult Fiction SMITH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Four American tourists vacationing in Cancun make friends with a German traveler and join the hunt for his brother, who has mysteriously vanished after following a new flame to an archeological site. But inadequate planning, horrendous conditions and unforeseen dangers quickly turn this jungle adventure into a fight for survival. The novel itself is creepy, compelling and simple in scope, but the audiobook adaptation doesn't quite succeed in relating the feeling of dread the text imparts. Wilson reads in an assured (if somewhat flat) voice in the tenor range, but his tone often seems too light to properly convey the novel's dark and foreboding mood. He also doesn't do much to differentiate between the characters; although Smith has characters who feel very real and distinct, listeners could have used more help from the narrator to distinguish one point-of-view from the next. A book like this one which presents the story from several different POVs would have benefited from a team of talented narrators to help bring the narrative to life. Regrettably, Wilson goes it alone, delivering a sufficient but mediocre performance. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, May 15). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A group of young twentysomething tourists vacationing in Cancun impetuously agrees to make an expedition into the wilds when one of their group fails to return from his day trip to the Mayan ruins. Following a hand-drawn map that evokes strong negative reactions from assorted locals (the language barrier doesn't help), the tourists quickly find themselves ill-prepared for the task. No longer does the trip resemble a television-style reality show; now it's more like a haunted jungle. Their plight becomes increasingly dire as they are herded off to a mountaintop and held hostage by armed Mayan-like people they realize are the same villagers who killed their lost cohort. The horror factor ratchets up as unexplainable, creepy elements compete with the basic fight for survival. And did we mention the problem of the local vegetation? Once again, Smith (A Simple Plan) deftly explores psychological tension and insidious fears. Fans of Alex Garland's The Beach and Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park won't put be able to put this one down. A perfect beach read; just don't stray too far from the lifeguard. For all popular fiction collections. Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Searching for his younger brother lost in the jungle.

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