HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Ritual by Adam Nevill
Loading...

The Ritual (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Adam Nevill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1551477,049 (3.63)11
Member:seldombites
Title:The Ritual
Authors:Adam Nevill
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Bookcrossed, Released in 2013, Read in 2013
Rating:****
Tags:forest, horror, occult, survival, sweden, woods, fiction, paperback, @bx, @controlled, @2013

Work details

The Ritual by Adam Nevill (2011)

2011 (2) 2012 (1) 2013 (2) 2014 (2) @bx (1) backpacking (1) black metal (1) camping (1) ebook (3) fantasy (1) Fantasy & Horror (1) fiction (13) forest (2) horror (30) horror fiction (2) library (5) not at library (1) novel (1) occult (3) read (2) science fiction (1) sff (1) survival (4) suspense (2) Sweden (5) to-read (19) trip (1) unread (2) wb (1) woods (3)
  1. 00
    Staalo by Stefan Spjut (Amsa1959)
    Amsa1959: Swedish folklore horror.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

English (13)  German (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I´m swedish and part of the fun in listening to this novel was that it take place in the northern woods of Sweden. The first part of the novel is great but then the story seems to become a totally different one, and not at all the kind of story I hoped for. ( )
  Amsa1959 | May 2, 2014 |
There lurks in the pages of The Ritual something even more terrifying than the creepy crawler that stalks the novel's protagonists: A better book. Adam Nevill's 2011 horror novel begins with a promising premise but becomes confused, and, ultimately, disappointing. You've read this before: Think The Ruins crossed with Deliverance.

Seasoned readers will be familiar with The Ritual's conceit: Four friends (as they are English, perhaps they are best referred to as "mates") head to Sweden for a camping holiday. Their relationship is tense: Hutch takes the role of leader and peacemaker. Dom and Phil are husbands, fathers, successful businessmen. Luke, from whose perspective the story is told, is the odd man out. Dom snipes at Luke, takes swipes at his record store job, his string of failed relationships. Predictably, amid their bickering, they lose the trail near the forest south of the Arctic Circle.

The story takes an interesting turn as the crew winds its way further into the forest. Soaked by rain, with night coming on, the group -- fortuitously! -- discovers an abandoned shack. Only Luke, heeding his instincts, balks at the idea of taking shelter in the cabin; he is vetoed by his friends. Luke et al do not enjoy a pleasant night. The next day, demoralized, lost, low on food, and aware that they may not be alone in the woods, the men face grim prospects. During a heart-to-heart, Hutch tells Luke, "Cities don't work," an ironic statement, given the circumstances. Readers will not be surprised that this is the moment when things really begin to go wrong.

Nevill does many things well. He is skilled at describing his setting, in this case the heaths and boreal forest of northern Sweden. Readers will be drawn into the woods with Luke and his friends: The endless rain, the dark, overhanging branches, the rocky hills where lost hikers might hope to find gentle slopes. Nevill's talent extends to human habitats, as well; an especially strong scene involves an abandoned church surrounded by prehistoric mounds.

Nevill wisely situates the perspective with Luke, the outcast, with whose anger and self-doubt readers are likely to identify. Indeed, Luke is the most likable of the four characters. The early dynamics Nevill establishes seem to point toward a psychological thriller in the tradition of Scott Smith's 2006 novel The Ruins, but his analysis of his protagonists' behavior and motivations is shallow and remains firmly located with Luke. There is some commentary on the "modern world," especially insight into how friendship in the West has (d)evolved into "PR." Short, punchy sentences move the story forward.

But Nevill makes missteps that weaken The Ritual and denude its potential. Perhaps the biggest of these is his decision to structure the story in two parts, the first set in the forest, and the second, well, not far from the forest. The effect is jarring, and the two parts never quite gel into a cohesive whole. The second half of the book is especially weak, and bloated, becoming a repetitive litany of horrors visited upon the characters. How many different ways can a guy hit the floor? Read and find out.

The supernatural element becomes more pronounced in the second half of the book. The peeks readers get during the scenes in the forest are effective, due perhaps to the energy Nevill devotes to creating context, and to his decision to keep things unseen, always an effective horror tactic. The reader's imagination is always more effective than the author's words. This truism is borne out as the story winds on, revealing (minimal) supernatural touches that are less frightening than they are bemusing. Capering in the woods figures heavily.

This is not to say that The Ritual is not a good book or that readers should avoid it. I enjoyed it, compulsively reading it over the last few days. Nevill clearly drew me in: I cared about the characters, and wanted to know what indignities they might suffer next. I likewise developed an intense (and, given the tone of the novel, unwise) yearning to see the Swedish countryside, where Nevill has clearly spent time. But The Ritual is a disappointment; it does not deliver on its promise. Like the granola bars consumed by its characters, The Ritual is a tasty treat, quickly and easily devoured, but with little nutritional value. Readers should approach The Ritual with managed expectations. ( )
  LancasterWays | Apr 2, 2014 |
Four friends travel to Sweden for a jungle trek holiday in the Scandinavian wilderness. When they decide to leave the main part of the trail and take a short cut, things start going wrong. They encounter a large animal stripped of shing and mounted between two trees. They could not imagine what kind of animal would hang his pray such. They find further evidence of this strange being, a god of the ancient world and they come across a cult of this strange creature's followers and their ritual.

It's an average read. ( )
  mausergem | Mar 1, 2014 |
Een verandering van toon in het midden van het boek. Een verandering wat niet vreselijk is, maar het boek ook niet echt ten goede kwam. Een verandering wat het grootste minpunt is gebleken. Van opgejaagd worden in een bos, naar mishandeld worden in een huis. Beide op zijn eigen manier ... 'vermakelijk', maar het bos beviel me toch beter.

Een einde wat een beetje te vaag was. Hij loopt het bos uit, vol verwondingen en ziet een grote lege vlakte voor hem en begint te lopen.
boem.
einde.

WAT? Zeg me op zijn minst of ie gered werd? Dat sommige dingen over/in het bos open gelaten worden accepteer ik nog, maar ik had over dit liever wel wat closure gehad.

Al met al een lekker spannend boek, wat door het boek heen tussen 3.5 en 5 sterren verdiende. Dus 4. Er werd me wat te veel aan horror ingeboet nadat ie in dat huis kwam. Er was nog een zeker mysterie en zeker nog spanning. Maar het was nooit meer hetzelfde. :(

Gelukkig niet té over de top. Sure, er waren vreemde, bovennatuurlijke dingen, maar ik was bang dat ie gered zou worden door elfjes etc etc. Dat zou niet gepast hebben in dit boek. ( )
  DulleNL | Oct 25, 2013 |
There were some nice, tense moments in the book but they were few and far between. Maybe it would have been better suited as a short story, keep the tension high, the sense of being hounded present and forward.

That said, I thought it was a decent read. I don't know if the author intended it, but I felt a real undercurrent of something unsaid between Luke and Hutch. I'm fairly sure that Luke had some kind of crush, whether acknowledged within himself or no, on Hutch. Call it hero worship, unresolved sexual tension, envy, whatever.

The ending was just a mess. Disappointing, really. ( )
  thessaly | Jul 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
The Gods are here, if they are anywhere at all in the world.  Algernon Blackwood, from the Willows
Dedication
For Anne and our cub, for making me and my life less beastly.
First words
And on the second day things did not get better. (Prologue)
At midday, Hutch stopped walking and turned to look back at the others; three colorful figures appearing insignificant upon the misty vastness of the rocky landscape they meandered across. (Chapter One)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0230754929, Paperback)

And on the third day things did not get better. The rain fell hard and cold, the white sun never broke through the low grey cloud, and they were lost. But it was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition. When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn't possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn't come easy among these ancient trees...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn't possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn't come easy among these ancient trees . . "--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
46 wanted
3 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.63)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 3
3 9
3.5 3
4 19
4.5 5
5 2

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,478,141 books! | Top bar: Always visible