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The Ritual Paperback – February 14, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312641842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312641849
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Winner of the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel (Last Days)
"A mind-twisting journey into the dark backwoods of terror.  Deeply disturbing and absolutely riveting." -Jonathan Maberry

"A book which preys on our most basic, instinctive fears, then amplifies them ten-fold. A desperate, intense descent into the depths of somewhere unimaginably ancient and unspeakably evil." -David Moody

Publishers Weekly – Starred Review:


“And on the second day things did not get better.” This suitably foreboding opening sentence sets the stage for a dark and mesmerizing horror debut that riffs on Algernon Blackwood’s classic story “The Wendigo.” Hutch, Luke, Dom, and Phil set off on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden, only to find the woods hostile to their explorations. Tensions arise when it becomes clear that two of the party aren’t physically up to the challenges of navigating the rough terrain, and fears set in with the discovery of an eviscerated “thing” hanging higher up in a tree then any animal would place it. Nevill makes the natural world deeply menacing, using the power of suggestion rather than explicit images to create a growing claustrophobic feeling as the difficult journey to return to some semblance of civilization embeds the quartet only further in the grasp of primal evil.


"A spine-tingling tale of one man’s survival in a truly horrific realm." - Suspense Magazine

About the Author

Adam L. G. Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. The Ritual is his first novel to be published in the U.S. His book Last Days won the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel of the Year.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By fastreader on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
In the middle of a Swedish forest we find four lads from England who have been waiting for 6 months now to go off on a little outdoor adventure and renew their earlier friendships that have grown dull through everything else in our lives.

They are not too far into their adventure when they come across a strange site. Someone, a hunter, has hung a dead animal body in the trees. Could it be some sort of gag or warning. The foursome don't know and they don't stick around to find out.

Unfortunately walking around the woods without a GPS unit and just a map is for fools or good characters in a horror story.

In the middle of a major storm, and soaked from head to tail, they run into an old locked cabin that offers shelter from the storm. But after breaking in they discover this is one weird cabin. All over the walls are animal skulls and crosses. When they go upstairs they find some sort of stuffed animal and bones. The bones appear to be animal but may in fact be human. So the next morning they are off again to find their way out of the forest.

One by one the friends disappear until we are down to the last friend who we experience everything that happens to him through his eyes.

A very well developed sense of fear and trepidation makes this a book that you may read all in one night, and into the next morning.

I thought I had parts of it figured out as I went along but the author is always able to put a new twist on the story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stella on December 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Parts of The Ritual are excellent. Unfortunately, other parts of it are not. The book starts with four friends on a hiking trip in the Norwegian wilderness. Out of shape and out of their depth, they decide to take a short cut and, well, you can see where this is going. The first half of the book delivers all the spine-chilling action you’d expect from Adam Nevill, but then the pace changes abruptly. All the tension that the first half of the book did such a great job building up gets broken, and the story turns into a long subplot before finally getting back on track a few pages before the book ends.

The problem I have with this book is with that subplot in the second half. I say subplot, but it actually takes up most of the second half and is basically a collection of dreary “satanic panic” cliches. Worse, it destroys the book’s atmosphere and doesn’t add anything to the narrative.

Essentially, The Ritual seems to be two different books stuck together. One of those books is quite good, but the other one appears to have been written by Tipper Gore during a bout of particularly inane and incoherent hysteria.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mallory Anne-Marie Forbes Haws on June 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
36 stars!!!

I was totally engrossed in this book from the first sentences. A graphic, gory, terribly suspenseful, tense, horrifying, mystery-adventure-horror-untangling of emotional revelations, this novel riveted me completely. I so wanted to stay up all night to finish it! The compulsion to know "who's next" and "what's going on," "why oh why is this happening," and "is there inexplicably a human cause-or is this truly all Supernatural?" kept me turning pages nearly at the speed of light.

Mr. Nevill is a fine writer-I enjoyed his "Apartment 16," but "The Ritual" in my opinion surpasses it, both for superbness of writing, for characterisations, and for sheer unmitigated terror. (Make no mistake, "Apartment 16" is very scary!) In "The Ritual," the lives of four former collegiate friends, now in their mid-thirties, are peeled down quite literally to matters of survival-who will, who won't, will any, survive? "The Ritual" is an actual "page-turner," and refuses to be set aside. Even if one puts the book down, the story line will linger in the mind, demanding one's attention.

I cannot rave highly enough about this novel! So I am off to read the author's "Banquet of the Damned," and count the days till the 2013 publication of his newest novel, "Last Days."

The Ritual
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gorgonzola on December 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I wanted to like this novel. I really did. And I saw it through to the bitter end.

Good things about this novel: a potentially interesting premise centered on Norse mythology, old gods, a demon in the woods.

Bad things about this novel: Unfortunately, Nevill's writing here is lazy and packed with clichés, not to mention really, really awkward styling (one example: "The dim light dimmed."). The thing that most distracted me as a reader was Nevill's obsession with fatness as a fundamental character flaw. We don't really know who Phil and Dom ARE; they're fat, dammit, and Nevill isn't going to let us forget it for a moment. "The two fat men" stumble down the hill, and "the two fat men" eat all the energy bars, because of course they do, wah-wahhh, they're FAT. Later on, the satanic female villain is described as fat and ugly, fat and smelly, fat and repulsive, almost every time she appears on the page. I just couldn't get past this. I tried.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kim Felipe on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I originally discovered this novel by accident at my local library, and, although I do not normally "consume" the horror genre, this book turned out to be one of the most riveting stories I ever read. It grips you immediately from the first paragraph in the prologue, and never lets up after that. Four friends go hiking up above the Arctic Circle in Sweden, and find their doom as a result of taking a "shortcut" off of the main trail. Heh -- if you have ever spent any time in remote places, you will re-think your next camping trip after reading this book!

The author does an excellent job of characterization (of both the people and the "other elements" in this tale). Nevill weaves a story of ancient and terrible power, and as a reader you take the dark (so very dark!!) journey alongside the main character Luke, discovering what he discovers and experiencing what he experiences as it happens.

I loved it. I read it in one 24-hour period, and now am recommending it highly to anyone and everyone. A friend of mine loves Stephen King, and I just know she'll love this book too. But I think Adam Nevill writes even better than King, and now I consider myself a loyal fan of Nevill's fiction. I will buy and read anything else he has written (or will write).

I have read (can't remember the source... maybe an interview with Nevill himself?) that this book is like Blair-Witch-Project-meets-Deliverance. OMG. Chilling, thrilling, dark, and awesome.
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