The Ruins

Scott Smith, Author, Patrick Wilson, Read by , read by Patrick Wilson. S&S Audio $49.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7435-5563-0

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)

Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
Genre: Audio
Paperback - 369 pages - 978-0-307-39027-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 509 pages
Paperback - 412 pages - 978-84-666-3349-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-5562-3
Open Ebook - 290 pages - 978-0-307-26604-0
Hardcover - 319 pages - 978-1-4000-4387-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 509 pages
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6345-1
Hardcover - 594 pages - 978-0-7393-2692-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-7217-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6344-4
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