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'The Ruins'

Scott Smith's classic beach read terrifies.

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This is the kind of book that you eagerly read after hearing a summary of the plot (three Americans vacationing in Mexico stumble into some god-awful terror when they decide to take a day trip into the jungle), that you finish in about the amount of time it takes to get a sunburn, and that you bequeath to the small paperback library at your rented summer cottage. It is a beach read, in other words, and an instant classic of the genre.

The Ruins
By Scott Smith; Vintage Books; $7.99.


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