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The Ritual

The Ritual

Scritto da Adam Nevill

Narrato da Matthew Lloyd Davies


The Ritual

Scritto da Adam Nevill

Narrato da Matthew Lloyd Davies

valutazioni:
4/5 (40 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
11 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 6, 2018
ISBN:
9781977372840
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

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 artifacts 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 . . .

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 6, 2018
ISBN:
9781977372840
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Adam Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is the author of the supernatural horror novels Banquet for the Damned, Apartment 16, The Ritual, Last Days, House of Small Shadows, No One Gets Out Alive and Lost Girl as well as The Ritual and Last Days which both won The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel, and the RUSA for Best in Category: Horror. Adam lives in Birmingham, England.

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3.8
40 valutazioni / 19 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    A book of two halves. I so wanted to give it 5 stars, but I preferred the first half of the book to the second, and, although I’m unsure what would have been a better conclusion, the end felt a little abrupt. What I love about this book is the atmosphere the author creates capturing my interest in a way many books of this type have failed and making him an author I want to read again. I imagine some may say they’d like to have got to know the characters a little more, at least it occurred on some level, but in a horror story it’s not always necessary to know these men are little more than regular guys doing their best to get by in their average lives and who don’t deserve the situation thrust upon them. A wonderfully atmospheric lost in the woods horror story.
  • (3/5)
    I liked this book, but I didn't love it. It was a little too slow moving for me. I enjoyed the second half of the book as much as the first half, even though it was very different.
  • (4/5)
    A very good Lovecraftian story set in Sweden and the oldest first in Europe. Intriguing by turns, coupled with good pacing and a sense of decay, isolation and the outre all combine to keep enthusiasm and interest up for the reader throughout. A very good, modern take, on a Lovecraftian message. Very good.
  • (1/5)
    I should have paid heed to all the reviews that said the first half was great, but it went downhill from there. Except I didn't think the first half was especially great. Great premise, especially for this time of year, but executed pretty poorly. This needed some major editing. It was like author had a thesaurus open in front of them and wanted to get all the words from the thesaurus into their book. It didn't seem to be that bad at the start, but it just seemed to get worse the further you got into the book.

    In some ways, the verboseness represents for the reader the virgin forest in which the characters are lost. Instead of thorny thickets, vines and limbs scratching and ensnaring the hiker's head, legs, arms - it's words that are doing the same to you! The author has to painstakingly (and I do mean pain) dictate every single minutia of thought and movement the character makes. I mean it took him 3 pages to describe one of the characters opening his eyes.

    At least it did make the nearly 300 pages I did read fly by - but mostly because I was skimming thru all these descriptions. One example: "The briefest visual offering of which liquefied Luke's guts, then made the sense-memory of his stomach vanish altogether into a total absence." Huh? I don't normally rate books I haven't finished, but I will when the reason I didn't finish is because they're this bad.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting book. Enjoyed it. Nothing outstanding, but a good read with some nice tension.
  • (4/5)
    This book is a mysterious and terrifying glimpse of what it might be like if ancient myths were real and ancient rituals still practiced somewhere in the untouched wilderness of the world. Definitely do not read this at night.
  • (2/5)
    Horror is a genre I keep flirting with, but the pursuit ever leaves me disappointed. Sadly, The Ritual confirms to this rule; its promise squandered in an all-too-typical second half.Four friends set off for a weekend in the Swedish wilderness, but an all-advised shortcut takes them deep into primeval forest. Worse, they are not alone in the woods...So frustrating. The beginning of The Ritual is quite good. The friends are largely inexperienced in the woods, and the discomfort of the weather and their fraying nerves - and the growing conviction that they are being watched - is wonderfully creepy, culminating when they stumble across a deserted cabin. Alas, it's all downhill from there. Once the monster is revealed, the book definitely loses some of its spark, but where it really falls apart is the cliched second half - radically different in tone, pace, and setting than the first. The second part throws credibility out the window to engage in some genre cliches, along with ubiquitous (non-scary; is it ever scary?) violence. I suppose the fault is mine in some ways. I'm looking to recapture the feeling of chill I used to get from top notch Victorian ghost stories and writers like Robert Aickman. Horror, as a genre, doesn't do a lot of that, preferring I think something more akin to horror movies as a genre - and it leaves me cold. The Ritual is certainly not the worst horror novel I've read by a long shot, but every single thing in it was done better, a hundred years ago by William Hope Hodgson, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen et al.
  • (3/5)
    I'm hovering between two and three stars for this book. On the one hand, there wasn't anything truly exceptional about this story, and the best horror novels for me are the ones with substance. On the other hand, I do love a good lost-in-the-woods story, and I applaud Adam Nevill for sticking with the idea that the things that scare us most are the things that we can't quite see. The main storyline follows a group of four old college friends, now entering middle age, who embark on a hiking trip in the Scandinavian woods. For anyone who isn't aware by now, this is a horrifically bad idea. The four men get lost, discover a disemboweled animal in the trees, and realize that they are being stalked by an unseen, monstrous creature. And on top of all this, there is some deeply hidden anger between the men, who subconsciously resent each other for how their lives have turned out.The first half of the book is a pretty typical survival story, as the men deal with injuries and dwindling supplies, and are picked off one by one by this mysterious creature. The second half involves one of the characters stumbling across a group of young, angry anarchists in the middle of the woods, who plan to sacrifice the surviving character to the creature.The writing is less than stellar, and at first, I was afraid that it would ruin the story for me. This may not be a problem for all readers, but I like an author's writing to feel effortless and natural, whereas Nevill tends to fall back on vague descriptions, clunky sentences, and half-hearted characterization. The clunky writing was especially apparent in several bizarre chapters that were written entirely in the 2nd person. 9 times out of 10, narration written in the 2nd person is unnecessary and distracting, and this was one of those times.However, the story itself actually stood up fairly well. The suspense was well-crafted, and I believed the anger and resentment that the men in the group felt towards each other. I was also pleased that the story took a more interesting turn halfway through, because the survival story wouldn't have been strong enough to carry the entire novel on its own.Recommended for: horror fans who are looking for a good scare and who aren't particularly concerned with writing style. This is a straight-out horror novel, so it probably won't appeal to anyone who doesn't read within the genre.Readalikes:The Terror by Dan Simmons is set in a different location (the Arctic) and a different time period (19th century), but both stories portray a group of men struggling to survive against a mysterious flesh-eating monster. Both stories also offer characters with psychological depth.The Ruins by Scott Smith features a group of college students stranded in the jungle of Central America, battling an unseen evil. Both stories also feature fairly high levels of violence and gore, so be warned!Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi is a mystery wrapped in a ghost story, but the characterization is psychologically complex, and the horror is built on the unknown and the unseen.Dreamcatcher by Stephen King also features a group of old friends who reunite for a camping trip, and who must confront an unexpected terror. In Dreamcatcher, however, the terror comes from an alien invasion, as opposed to a monster in the woods.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (1/5)
    The first half was tense and creepy and promising. The second half completely undermined all that and pulled my rating from 3 stars to 1. The wilderness and isolation that gave the story so much atmosphere was mangled by a ridiculous plot device that just wasted pages. If you are interested in stories about pagan mythology in desolate areas, choose something else.
  • (5/5)
    An awesome creepy read!
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    Much more than I expected. I liked the setting and the characters. Of course, there was more I would have liked to know about the Swedish myths.
  • (3/5)
    Spannend und gruselig. Ich werde wohl nie mehr mit einem guten Gefühl durch einen Wald gehen können ... :-)
  • (3/5)
    So you know when you’re watching a horror movie and there’s an unseen being involved and you only catch little glimpses here and there throughout the film, and when you do actually see it you think (or more likely, scream out) WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?Yeah that’s basically what you get throughout the book. It could be similar horror elements like Blair Witch Project, only you do find out what it is towards the latter part of the story. (And it’s still pretty creepy to figure out and picture).I really do enjoy the horror aspects in this book and the feelings it invokes. You can really feel the desperation, frustration, and anguish felt within the characters. Tempers flare and understandably fights happen from within the group. You feel Luke’s anger and his highs and lows as you follow him throughout this horror journey. There’s not many twists or blindside moments in this book it’s pretty much standard that you would see in horror books but the setting is very well done. A remote forest in Scandinavia while there’s something big and bad out there provides great atmosphere for the dark and scary. It does drag out through the last third of the novel where you just have to feel for Luke and you wonder how much the human spirit can take. The ending really should have ended about 50 pages ago and there is repetition through the novel that some may find a trial to go through when reading. It’s manageable most of the time but I was close to losing my interest towards the end of the novel but powered through. It was still an enjoyable read, and recommended for those that want a good solid horror. I’ll be reading more of his books for sure. I enjoyed the thrill and can only imagine what his other books will be like.
  • (4/5)
    In The Ritual, four old college buddies from England reunite for a camping/hiking trip in Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. Due to a lack of preparedness on the part of two of the friends, they lose time on their hike and make the decision to take a short cut through a forest, with disastrous consequences for all.The scariest moments in a film or novel is often not what is explicitly shown, but what is implied. Author Adam Nevill understands this well. From page one, a pervading sense of dread grabs the reader and does not let go. As the hikers become ever more lost and encounter strange ruins’ and an impossibly dense forest, they become increasingly disoriented, hostile to each other and physically exhausted. All of which the author is able to convey with unrelenting intensity. What makes the novel even more interesting is how it is split into two sections. The first section covers the failed camping trip and the spiritual and physical breakdown the group. Section two takes the story on an even more ghastly turn as the final fight for survival ensues and the predator living in the forest must finally be confronted. From start to finish The Ritual is a relentlessly terrifying novel.
  • (4/5)
    “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.”Four old university friends go on a walking holiday in the wildness of sub-Arctic Sweden. However they are not the men they were once, mentally and physically, people change over time and soon tensions rise between the characters. When it is clear that, due to their lack of fitness, two of the party cannot continue, a shortcut rather than intended trail, inevitable, proves a disaster.Lost, hungry, thirsty and injured they struggle through one of the last great, ancient forests in Europe. Things couldn’t get any worse…..but they do…much worse.As they make their way, hopelessly lost, through the forest it becomes clear that they are being hunted by some primordial beast that begins to pick them off one by one……If ever there was a book of two halves this is it… the first half is breathless, panicky and shot though incredulity. The second section…is drawn out, painful with as the one surviving character suffers an almost resigned madness to his fate. Superb storytelling …atmospheric and imaginative with a compulsive writing style that keeps the reader turning those pages although feeling exhausted by the horror and despair experienced by the four friends.I seem to be reading a lot of primordial themed horror recently, The Leaping and The Darkening and now this. The Ritual reminded me of ‘The Wendigo’ and ‘The’ Willows by Algernon Blackwood and the Blair WitchI have always been a fan of Adam Neville since the Banquet of the Dammed and believe he is firmly as the forefront of the British horror revival of recent years
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    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.