31 Days of My Favorite Horror Books – Day 18 – THE RUINS by Scott Smith

For the month of October, I will be writing brief essays about my 31 favorite horror books.


Scott Smith has only written two novels, the fantastic crime drama, BLOOD SIMPLE, and the bleak and strange horror story, THE RUINS.

THE RUINS follows a group of American friends backpacking in Mexico who go to check out an off-the-map ruins of a temple. While at the temple, the locals surround the structure and refuse to let them leave. At first it seems the local population is the threat but that’s that not remotely the case. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I won’t spoil what the actual threat is to the characters but I will say that it’s super strange, surreal, and absolutely horrifying.

Smith hasn’t written much but his work really taps into a core understanding of characters going through traumatic situations. While reading this book you will feel the characters suffering and dying from exposure to the elements. And when the “monster” strikes, it will make you cringe at the grotesque physical body horror. The monster doesn’t just destroy it’s victims bodies, it fucks with their minds that will stay with you long after you finish the story.

Seriously, this book is such an amazing horror novel and it frustrates the fuck out of me that Smith hasn’t returned to the genre since.

There’s also a pretty great movie adaptation of the book scripted by Smith. I also recommend checking that out.

You can buy this book here.

Looking for more Halloween reading? Check out the newest titles from Deadite Press:



CRISIS BOY by Garrett Cook


WHITE FIRE by Brian Keene

White Fire

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