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The Ritual ✤ The Ritual Download ➸ Author Adam Nevill – Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle No longer young men they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to conn Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle No longer young men they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their livesLost hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia they stumble across an isolated house Inside they find the macabre remains of unknown rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones This place of dark ritual is home to a bestial predator that is still alive in the ancient forest And now they're the preyThe four friend struggle toward salvation but death doesn't come easily among these ancient trees.

  • Paperback
  • 418 pages
  • The Ritual
  • Adam Nevill
  • English
  • 24 December 2014
  • 9781447263418

10 thoughts on “The Ritual

  1. A. A. says:

    Spoilers Every now and then you come across a book that causes you to examine your life the good you've done in the world the ill What sin did I commit to have deserved a book as god awful as The Ritual?Here it is in brief The Ritual is a derivative shallow insidiously sexist novel from an author whose ideas far exceed his technical skillIn the foreword Nevill credits a number of other authors for inspiring him among them Cormac McCarthy Within the first chapter of The Ritual it was painfully obvious that Nevill is trying and failing tremendously at aping McCarthy's stylistic flourishes Run on sentences and sentence fragments abandoned phrases writhe across the page Where McCarthy uses these structures to create atmosphere by providing cold and grounded details Nevill uses them as hammers to beat into your head what he wants you to think and to feel What could be powerfully accomplished in a brief curt sentence he fluffs into page after page of navel gazing Intro to Theology philosophizing Scenes that ought to be tense and frightening or tense and thrilling are instead slogs why allow the reader to infer that it is instinct that causes Luke to turn and run to the tent when Nevill could instead write a paragraph long treatise about ancient ancestral instincts reawakening etc?Structurally The Ritual's great problem is that it is two novels neither one of which ought to be even a uarter so long as the actual product After perhaps the eighth or ninth chapter devoted to informing the reader that The Hiking Crew is Exhausted Physically and Psychologically with the prose retreading the exact same ups and downs with every iteration I was praying for them to die Die and be released and in your releasing so also release me Amen Then oh then in the second half of the book the reader is taken on a new wonderful journey into grinding repetition Oh boy what fun to read another couple hundred pages with insufferable and superficially drawn characters saying the same garbage over and over and over again Then I was praying for them to die too or for some god to come to me and gently take the book from my hands and set their cool knuckles on my brow as they bend to whisper into my ear No You have atonedWhat did I do? What did I do to deserve this book? This wretched endless sluggish hell of unexplored archetypes rattling off on the fly the sort of interminable speeches no human being has ever spoken? Is it because I stole a Beanie Baby Sleeping Bag from a school fair when I was nine? Because I'm sorry Is it because I purposefully farted on my dog? I'm sorry for that tooI don't particularly care about originality so long as the execution is decent but there is little decency to this execution All the usual tropes of two separate horror narratives argumentative once friends lost in the woods and stalked by some unseen thing; man held captive by murderous weirdos are present and they are exceptionally boring The monster is picking them off one by one Will Luke survive? If he calls Dom and Phil fatties another five hundred times he might just make it out But oh no now he's being held captive by three drunk teens who listen to oh God BLACK METAL and a silent old woman Oh cool endless fucking speeches from the teens not the old womanAbout that silent old woman no I need another intro Okay This is where I expect people to start complaining If a book or a movie or whatever is sexist people expect you to be objective in your review aka not discuss the sexism; but I don't give a fuck about that This book is sexist It is insidiously cruelly dehumanizing ly sexistIn the first half of the book women are referenced only as moody and as bitches as things to be disposed of along with the trash straight up that is a thing Luke says; they're gold diggers and they're psychologically damaged and they're ball busters and they're completely off the page Somewhere Luke has a mother who is described once as smiling and that's that and a sister I guess but importantly he has a maybe girlfriend who's referenced a whopping three times and by the third time all I know about her is she has an overbite and the overbite is sexy Whatever That's the usual horror shit It's gross and it shouldn't be a thing but whateverThankfully the second half of the book is here to RAMP IT UP Whoo Finally women exist on the page Women like Surtr who is written as if she were a feral animal whose fatness is deemed repulsive who is repeatedly defined by her smell the smell of her cunt Luke puts it who cavorts repulsively stinkily naked Then there's the old woman who is speechless ignored a ghost For some inexplicable reason she needs Luke to off the three murderous Satanic teenagers I say inexplicable because here's the spoiler the Big Reveal at the end is OMFG the old woman's mom is THE THING IN THE WOODS and she can summon it to take sacrifices Presumably she could have gotten rid of her unwanted house guests by you know at some point calling out to her monstrous ungodly life consuming mother but it was very important to Nevill that Luke murder those kids on the page and then the old woman summons her ma to eat Luke so that Luke has just cause to shoot the old woman's heart out Sure Nothing remotely resembling logic exists in this book so why the fuck not That totally makes sense Oh wait LMAO I forgot Luke upon killing the two dudes thinks something along the lines of of course they could hurt the beast in the woods with the rifle or the knives only weapons didn't do jack shit for him and his friends there are a hundred enormously easy ways to lure out habitual drunks who fall asleep outside at night around pyres for the beast to kill and Luke having had this eureka moment that the rifle can be used to kill the beast immediately forgets and leaves the house with its high clear vantage points for a truck parked all the way across the god damn clearing so Nevill can write a SCARY CHASE SEUENCEThere is a scene where Luke goes into an attic and kills the undead creatures there Needlessly Nevill writes that Luke innately understands one of them is a woman Where Luke efficiently dispatches of all the others he both strikes this dead and not dead woman through the skull and throttles her in the longest section of this passage Again and again Nevill returns to the belief that women destroy men; they weigh them down Ultimately what surprise is it that the inhuman monstrosity in the woods should be a woman a mother? No sons and fathers and friends should hang from trees This Nevill writes in a book where Phil's wife is a gold digger a bitch that Luke once slept with years ago and her orgasm is described in animal terms as profoundly off putting to Luke and Dom's wife is frail ill sapping the strength from him Over and over Nevill reinforces the weakness of Phil and Dom or the wrongness of the two teen boys Fenris and Loki by describing their hands their habits their personalities as feminine In Nevill's world of Ritual and its primordial truths women are beasts demons hideous and defined by their sex They consume men They destroy them They steal from them and drive them to madness and death To survive women men must slough them off put them out on the curb for the trash man to collect kill them with especial violence Mothers are smiling Sisters exist Daughters are tools to create sympathy for a dying man who will never see them again no not even on those rare visitation days his harpy wife will allow himI know that Nevill has written a novel wherein the main character is a woman After The Ritual I find that prospect actively horrifying There's your real terrorI hated this book I hated it H A T E D it I don't burn books I don't destroy them I usually donate them but this book this book I could not give into the hands of another I can't chance it When I'm buried in the earth I want this book to go in my grave not so that I can keep it close to me always but because it is now my burden to carry Into the soil I will go lifeless yet eternally vigilant to stand guard over this wretched waste of a tree Perhaps one day a tree might grow out of soil nourished by myself and by this novel as in its putrescence might The Ritual atone for its own sinsHated this fucking book

  2. Kat Kat says:

    i’d say that adam nevill should have uit while he was ahead with this one but then no book would exist although maybe it’d be better that way

  3. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    I first saw this movie on Netflix then I found out on GR that is was a book I went right to to buy it I loved it I love both the book and the movie although I'm glad they left out the first part of the movie in the book I didn't care for it And on the second 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 All four of them saw it at the same time This is the story of four old friends who get together to go camping Some of them hadn't seen each other in years and didn't hit it off like they did when they were younger But Luke Hutch Phil and Dom finally come to a realization they need to stick together get over their shit and get out of the damn black woods Never take a short cut through some black woods you know nothing about I don't care who is injured you will be dead insteadThey come across a hideous monster and crazy arse people It's a bookmovie you will either love or hate I loved it because it's so messed up I couldn't not love it Happy Reading Mel ♥MY BLOG Melissa Martin's Reading List REVIEW

  4. Trudi Trudi says:

    Wow This one came soooo very close to getting five stars from me I am a horror buff and I LOVE to be scared really truly freaked out Not grossed out I'll take a bit of that in good fun but creeped out My ideal physiological response to horror is when I get the heebie jeebies pardon my use of technical terms here you know the tingling spine sweaty palms paranoia pounding pulse I'm addicted to dread and if you can make me want to sleep with the light on I will love you forever and ever I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to the genre; sometimes suffering from “been there done that” fatigue It takes a lot to freak me out these days but that’s not to say it’s impossible Because it isn’t I can suspend disbelief with the best of them In fact I want to I won’t fight you Give me something to work with and I’m your gal I don’t want to say I’m easy but pretty close ; I didn't have any expectations when I picked up this book In fact I can't even remember where or how I heard about it The premise caught my eye though because I'm a sucker for group in peril scenarios and getting lost in the woods I've been lost in the woods there's nothing scarier in my books It doesn't take long to start feeling hunted I mean there could be anything out there Anything The first 200 pages of this book are some of the creepiest I've read in a loooong time There's this irresistible slow build that sucks you in to the primeval environment As the situation worsens and becomes threatening Neville's tight descriptive prose has put you into the story so completely that the threat feels unbearably close Read this camping or tucked away in a cabin somewhere remote and I guarantee you your blood will chill I read it with all the lights on in the middle of a city and I still didn't want to look out my back window into the darkness The thought of going camping again this summer is giving me serious heebie jeebiesThe book shifts gears in Part II 240 pages in and for awhile I thought something was lost in the momentum and intensity It starts to feel like a different novel altogether about something else entirely That feeling lasted for about 100 pages Fortunately the last 60 pages are an outstanding turnabout an adrenaline rush that while lacking in the epic creep from the first half of the novel nevertheless delivers the goods on sheer terror

  5. Maxine (Booklover Catlady) Maxine (Booklover Catlady) says:

    Adam Nevill never fails to thrill me as a fan and a reader I am working my way through all of his books and The Ritual perked my interest late at night on a cold February evening here in England I was sucked in from very early pages and picked this book back up at every opportunity I got eager to know what was coming next in the journey of four friends who have found themselves in a terrifying and horrific situation deep in the dense woods of Scandinavia Nevill is brilliant at building up tension and creating atmosphere I always feel tangible fear when reading one of his books and this was no exception hairs standing up on the back of my neck my breathing out of whack and a frenzied need to keep going wanting but terrified it might be worse than what had gone before Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle No longer young men they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their livesLost hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia they stumble across an isolated old house Inside they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest and now they’re the preyThe plot is really interesting in this book it went nowhere where I expected it to and cleverly combines the intense analysis of friendships under pressure along with some very dark themes of pagan practices ancient Scandinavian lore and evil rituals It's not a book you can predict in anyway The plot can be broken up into three distinct stages and unlike some other reviewers I liked all of them and found all had their purpose in the overall bigger storytelling pictureThere are some scenes in this book that when you picture them in your head you can see so clearly this is where Nevill's descriptive writing really stands out and I could see this book as a movie no problem at all and a good one at that Some reviewers have said that parts of the book are too longwinded and I get what they are saying but from my perspective this is where Nevill uses detail to really build a powerful picture of either a character or event and not for one second did it lose it's hold on me It just flowedOne of the strengths of this novel is the character building watching what happens to these four men in this highly stressful terrifying situation is just spectacular It's not all easy to digest but there is a lot of realism I feel included in how it's done As for the evil thing that is hunting them I was desperate to know what it was and why and when truth came to light it was just so dark that I was hoping and praying this was truly just fiction Some of the human characters in this book truly are from the dark side themselves and dysfunctional is an understatementIt's got all that I wanted it was creepy interesting scary shocking at times and as usual with all of Nevill's books I could really almost feel smell and taste everything that was going on in the book You are going to hope you don't also as it's not a nice experience I will never ever go walking in the woods in Scandinavia or go camping there after reading this book It would be interesting to know where the author drew his research from around the ancient rites and beliefs that are a feature of this creepy novel Do not I repeat do not read this book on a hiking or camping trip You have been warnedHighly enjoyable loved every minute of it and this one gets 5 stars from me On to the next Adam Nevill book soon so watch out for reviews He is still my favourite author to dateFor of my book reviews plenty of awesome books to win and author A events come to follow me on Twitter

  6. RedemptionDenied RedemptionDenied says:

    3 35★Hmm I enjoyed this novel for the most part; until it went in a direction I wasn't expecting The 'South of Heaven' chapters didn't really work for me much though it did redeem itself slightly with the attic scene and the seemingly harmless little old woman who I would've despatched first Four friends Luke Hutch Dom and Phil reunite to go on a hiking trip through the Scandinavian wilderness and get than they bargained for after taking a shortcut into unknown territory Dom and Phil aren't as prepared for the three day hike as the other two so Hutch consults his map looking for a shorter route Bad idea Will any of them get out of there alive?There were some genuinely creepy scenes the eviscerated animal in the tree the dilapidated church which fascinated Hutch momentarily the house in the forest the attic in the second buildinghouse in another part of the dark ancient forest that one lucky guest gets the guided tour of and the scenes where the little old woman was present I definitely would've taken her out first Not sure what to make of the characters' that were introduced about a third of the way into the story Anyway I may watch the movie sometime; to see how closely it resembles the book There are some characters' I don't recognise Robert Sara Gayle and the junkie and the premise is slightly different to that of the book Francesca Mula plays the witch in the movie Must be the harmless? little old woman then? I guess

  7. Sr3yas Sr3yas says:

    Dizzy with exhaustion weary like the dying you hang between the bindings of vine and the scaffolding of sticks And waitWait for it I read this novel over a year back and I recently watched the movie adaptation of the story which brought me back to the sinister uncharted woods of Scandinavian forests where the unspeakable thing lurks in the shadows cunningly stalking its preyThe novel tells the story of four long time friends getting together for a hike in the woods but the trip is not going smoothly as they planned These guys are no longer young men and they are grumpy about the whole trip They decide to take a shortcut through the woods to gain time and that my friend is what I call the rookie mistakeGoodbye Walk in the Woods Hello Blair Witch ProjectThe story is divided into two parts and the plot and the style of story warrant such division The first part plays with the terror the anticipation and the dread of being stalked and second part let the reader catch their breath maybe for a bit too long That's why I thought the first half was creepy and excellent and the second half is a bit of a let down after the spectacular beginning Nevertheless Nevil's writing throughout the book is scary good especially the abandoned cottage sceneAt the end of the day characters going into an unexplored area and coming face to face with indescribable horror is a classic tried and tested horror trope but Nevil's execution brings the story to a whole new level even though the horror factor flat lines in second halfStill Recommended

  8. Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror says:

    A little personal history on my encounters with The RitualFirst I had seen it around on various horror book lists so I bookmarked it long ago it was published in 2011Then Book Outlet was having a sale on horror and I bought like a dozen titles for my Christmas present last year So this has been on my shelf almost a year This summer my son and husband watched the Netflix movie adaptation and I don't really do horror movies but my husband assured me I would like it And I did It was very good sold me out on reading the book in October this yearWell this was the perfect book to read for the spookiest month of the yearLet me persuade you that if you have watched the movie and you're hesitant to read a story you already know; the book is different It goes deeper It's darker The film went in a different direction for the last half of the story and I think I enjoyed the book version better Plus it was fun to imagine the monster that the movie created excellent monster imagery in the movieThe dynamic between the four male friends that set out on a holiday excursion in the woods of Scandinavia is so much developed and layered in the bookThere's a scene somewhere in the middle where tension is very high and the men are arguing and exchanging insults and it was so heart wrenching and painful They go after each other in a cutting hurtful way so strongly that it leapt off the page for me In the movie some of the actors were kind of over the top annoying so it turned me off of investing in him as a person going through a serious trial you almost want something to happen to him so he would shut up but in the book I was able to see all the men as complicated individuals They made choices based on the author's ability to flesh out real people I was invested in them and I was hoping desperately for their survivalThis is one of the most intensely frightening books I've read in a long time I think the fact that the men find themselves lost in some strange woods is that top layer of fear I wouldn't want to find myself in that situation anyways let alone the fact that they discover something terrifying is hunting them So the something in the woods element is this deeper layer of fear and then towards the last 100 pages or so a new fresh horror is introduced which only turns up the heat that much I mean these pages are stocked up with so much horror retail there's not much that could have been in this story Adam Nevill brought everything to the fear partyIt was so much funI highly recommend this one as a top ten scariest books for me A must have

  9. Kirsten Kirsten says:

    The first half of this book was genuinely terrifying it's as harrowing as The Descent and in very similar ways Luke and his three friends meet to go hiking and camping together but Phil and Dom's less than stellar physical condition forces Hutch the leader of the group to propose a shortcut through a section of national forest This shortcut turns frightening very uickly not only is the forest much dense and difficult to navigate than anyone anticipated but early on they discover the fresh corpse of a large animal dangling grotesuely from the trees Tempers fray as they become increasingly lost finally taking refuge in an abandoned cabin that holds hints of dark secrets The psychological terror is magnificent and I actually had nightmares when I made the mistake of reading the passage about the cabin right before bedUnfortunately after the first 250 pages or so the book changes directions somewhat and ends up falling short I don't want to give it away but it all becomes a bit silly and oddly mundane not to mention oddly contradictory It rather feels like two novellas written around a central theme and mushed together a bit inexpertly I was severely disappointed with how everything wrapped up after the terror of the first half

  10. Matt Matt says:

    This year I chose Stephen King’s Pet Sematary as my Halloween season book I’m not much of a horror junkie so I generally don’t read than one scary book in a year In one respect Pet Sematary turned out to be a great pick It is a work of absolute genius But in other respects Pet Sematary failed Or maybe it’s better said that it succeeded too well Anyway I’m trying to say that Pet Sematary filled me with the kind of oppressive existential dread that I usually only feel on my birthday Instead of being a vessel for the cathartic and healthy release of tension it just kind of distressed me Thus I was open to the possibility of trying another horror novel one focused on giving me a cheap thrill than on reminding me of the frail mortality of the human race com clearly read my mind – I assume that is part of its algorithm – and recommended Adam Nevill’s The Ritual to scratch the very particular itch I’d developed for something scary but also ridiculous The Ritual is a tale of two books The first half is one kind of story and it’s mostly okay but sometimes terrible The second is a different kind of story and it’s mostly terrible but sometimes okay And when I say “okay” I mean it gets so bad it circles around to goodbefore continuing back into bad The premise dealt with in the first section of The Ritual is sturdy and old fashioned which is how I like my horror stories It’s this premise that drew me in The premise and the book’s cover which features a moss filled animal skull on a stump in the midst of a spooky fog shrouded forest that looks so clammy you can feel the moisture It should be known about me I judge books by their cover Four English blokes are on holiday in the ancient Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle They are Luke Dom Hutch and Phil Dom and Phil are a wee bit on the overweight side and having difficulty keeping pace In order to make things easier on them Hutch – the de facto leader – decides to take a short cut I don’t think I’m giving too much away by mentioning this turns out to be an awful idea Shortcuts like sex are surefire ways to get yourself in trouble within the horror genre At about the halfway point things take a turn for the surreal The story which had heretofore been grounded in the real while still infused with potentially otherworldly menace becomes like a train that skips the tracks This train goes plunging into Crazy Town carrying of massive cargo of WTF The end result is a disaster that is somewhat beautiful like a forest fire as viewed from a distance If you want a small taste of what the “twist” is like I’ve hidden it beneath the spoiler tagview spoilerMuch of The Ritual’s second half involves Luke being held captive by three death metal loving teens You have read that correctly I refuse to reveal any because it really needs to be read to be believed Okay I’ll reveal one thing the teens have an ability to call on a supernatural monster just like Ben from LOST hide spoiler

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