Cover Image: The Ruins

The Ruins

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Member Reviews

A great book following Adam as he tries to figure out his twin brothers death. This book takes a deep dive into the underworld of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

I'm, not a huge music buff so it was perfectly suited to me but I enjoyed it all the same.
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I enjoyed this story. It was a slightly unusual unique take on murder mystery, with well described settings and a refreshing combination of media was used to tell the story. It kept me interested to the end and the characters, although larger than life, were believable. I would recommend this.
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Many thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for a free ARC of this ebook.
This is a complex and wonderful story. I wouldn't do the author or the book itself a disservice by trying to briefly summarise it in this short review. It's a full-on 'experience' and so full of imaginative detail. I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea; there's a lot of descriptions of technical music industry workings, but if you're willing to either let that wash over you and absorb it, or research the meanings, then, I'm sure that you'll enjoy it a lot more. 
I find this book very difficult to categorise as it manages to be many things. It's a fabulous journey with well wrought characters. I'm immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it.
I'd rate it 4.5 stars.
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WOW! Double wow!
I had no idea where this book was going. As in absolutely no idea, no idea whatsoever, nil(I can't even remember when was the last time such thing happened) . But it was a lush experience to take a step back and let everything unravel. And unravel it did. It was like a marvelous oiled machine surprising you with its magic and make you wonder at the mechanism behind it all.
Adam and Bran: two sides of a coin. One is so malevolent that he has no remorse on doing the unthinkable for his own advancement in life; the other a recluse, afraid of the world but who reborns out of ashes and ruins.
A very dense novel covering quite a bit of themes: family, relationships, siblings, narcissism, the music industry in its magnificence but its dark side too and much more. I must admit the music bits were a bit of a blur for me, as I never studied music. But the story can be enjoyed regardless of one's music knowledge and obviously many of the artists are googleable :D
Lovely to see Manchester and its surrounding towns(Rochdale, Todmorden) featured and a nod to Romania too in the form of "Romanian hookers"(London is full of them: some willingly, others trafficked :/).

It was slow going due to its depth and density. At times it was frustrating as I have a long list of books I need to read and tight deadlines. But it was not unsatisfactory, quite the contrary as in this day and age it's rather hard to find authors who really work to deliver a solid book to their readers.
Plus the ending was a bit too tidy for my liking, especially after that 'car wreck' of a story; therefore I've deducted 1 star from my overall rating.
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I thought this was a fine book. Loved all the music references, I'd love to make a playlist out of all the songs and artists mentioned. The relationship between Rae, Robin and Adam was sweet to read. I loved the inclusion of Umbrage, a model city. However it was very, very, British. I grew up in a family from the UK and thought I would be able to get the slang... I was wrong. I think a lot of the book's references would be lost on my library's primarily American audience. Additionally, I found the layout of the book to be a bit confusing. There was not enough differences between Adam and Brandon's voices for me to easily tell who was speaking had I put down the book in the middle of a chapter.
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I was interested in this debut by Suede's Mat Osman and I was not sure what to expect. It turns out that this was a very impressive debut, as the writing was excellent. It tells the story of Adam who learns that his twin brother, Brandon, has been murdered. Despite having not seen his brother in years, he becomes enmeshed in his brother's life and even moves into the hotel he was staying at. Overall, an enjoyable read, although it began to drag on by the end and there are many implausible aspects ([e.g., why would Adam suddenly leave his entire life behind? also, the love story seems very unlikely (hide spoiler)]).

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Repeater Books for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This one put me very much in mind of the early work of Iain Banks, which is high praise indeed round my way. It’s intelligent and enjoys playing games with identity and duality, but never at the expense of a fast moving and engrossing plot. The life of wannabe rockstar Brandon is clearly informed by the author’s day job, but his twin Adam(A & B, geddit?)’s obsession is fresh and original, and gives hope that Osman has much more in him to come. One of the best debuts I’ve read in years.
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I was initially attracted to The Ruins because of its author, Suede bassist Mat Osman. A crime noir thriller set in and around the British music industry sounded right up my street. The Ruins oozes gothicity. From its setting amidst London's dark underbelly of drugs, fraud and prostitution to the shifting identity and doubling of its protagonist, The Ruins firmly establishes itself as a novel that runs against the grain. 

For anyone with an interest in music, you'll find a lot of references to '70s/'80s/'90's British music in this novel. Osman has used his own experience of the music industry as a reference for a lot here and the result is a fully-rounded and nuanced narrative. 

My main criticism is that I did find that I became quite lost whilst reading this novel. Interspersed with often vague or exaggerated documents left behind by one of the two protagonists, it became difficult at times to determine exactly what was going on. I also felt that the romantic relationship that develops throughout wasn't needed and, if anything, felt quite hard to believe.

I would recommend The Ruins to anyone who is interested in the music industry or British music of the late-Twentieth century. It is at times perhaps a bit over-wrought and even difficult to follow, but the narrative is a unique one that is worth sticking with till the end.
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Objectively, The Ruins is fabulous - skilful and literary, and an intricately woven blend of thriller and exploration of familial relationships. There's loads of colour and detail and Osman draws on experience gleaned from his day job to ensure the music industry setting is evoked with a kind of febrile credibility.

Sadly, however, for me it didn't all hang together quite the way I'd have hoped. You know when it's not the book, it's you? I fell that's what's happened here. I shall re-visit and re-evaluate this at some point - I suppose the very fact I'm planning on doing so illustrates that The Ruins has much to offer, possibly more than I discovered this time around.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an interesting read that I wanted to enjoy more than I actually did.  It centers on Adam, whose estranged twin brother Brandon, is killed by 2 masked gunman in London (where Adam lives and had no idea Brandon was there).  Adam lives a pretty insular life and spends his time building a massive model city that has taken over his entire apartment.  He finds out about Brandon's death from Brandon's girlfriend, who he didn't know existed, and because he is drawn to her, gets deeply involved in trying to find out what happened as well as finish what Brandon started.

The book was written in a very literary manner, and jumped around from Brandon's journals/tapes that Adam found to the current time in Adam's voice. The descriptions of things that I knew nothing about, like the model city and the various musical references, invoked a strong imagery that helped me "get it".  That being said, I couldn't fully immerse myself in the book because it just felt so far-fetched to me, from Adam dropping his whole life and moving into a hotel Brandon was living in, then impersonating Brandon who he hadn't even seen in years; to Brandon's motivation and subsequent actions around the music he was trying to make and successfully getting others to go along with him. This is a world that just didn't feel real to me- it had a vibe of one of those literary type movies where there was beautiful imagery but not situations that I could put myself in easily.  It actually felt like a Quentin Tarantino movie to me, if the author is looking to make it into a movie one day!

All in all, I think this was a very good book, just not the right book for me.  I'd recommend it to those who are interested in the  music industry, want to try something different, or are looking for a deeper and more literary read than the psychological thriller books I identify with.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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My thanks to Repeater Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Ruins’ by Mat Osman in exchange for an honest review.

London, 2010. Shy, bookish Adam Kussgarten lives in a Notting Hill flat surrounded by the miniature model kingdom he has created. He is shocked to be contacted with the news that his estranged twin brother, Brandon, had been shot a few streets away by two gunmen wearing Donald Duck masks.

As far as he knew Brandon was living in California and can’t understand what he was doing in London where apparently he’d been for a couple of weeks before his death. His brother’s girlfriend, Bea, enlists Adam’s help to discover what Brandon was involved in and who killed him. 

Adam soon finds that Brandon’s visit was linked to his former career as a member of a London band that had found moderate fame in the 90s. Adam even assumes Brandon’s identity to question his former and current associates and finds himself getting drawn into his brother’s world of deception, violence, and forgery. The stakes quickly become very high.

I was quickly drawn into this intriguing, intelligent, multilayered tale. It certainly had its moments of strange, most supplied by the files that Brandon left behind. 

There is a great deal within its pages about the music industry, which Osman knows from the inside being a founder member of the iconic British band Suede. 

Certainly recommended for those looking for something different in the field of crime noir.
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I wanted to like this much more than I did! Intriguing concept, but I found the introductory chapters hard work, and rather than being drawn into the mystery I was increasingly alienated. The world that Osman describes feels real but unconvincing at the same time (which is a skill in itself I guess) and this added to the general sense of slight dislocation. Fundamentally I didn’t buy the relationship shops early on (the first third at least) and I struggled to come back from that. 

It’s worth ploughing on with, and the characters are all interesting if generally unlikeable, but I can’t say I felt engaged.
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This book is like nothing I have read before. It is bizarre in a very good way and although when I started to read it I wondered what I was reading it grabbed me until the very end. The basis of the plot is very simple Adams twin brother who he has had no contact with for years has been murdered and he sets out to solve his brother’s death but what he discovers is mind blowing. 
So take a chance and give this book a go you won’t regret it
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A well written complicated story. There is a lot to this story and it is all cleverly written. I feel that I need to read this book again to fully grasp every aspect of it. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Wow - it's so difficult to review this book, it's definitely genre bending, but definitely brilliant! My only suggestion would be start it with an open mind and enjoy the journey.
Thank you to netgalley and Repeater books for an advance copy of this book
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Mat Osman sues his knowledge to bring his first book to life.  The author creates characters that might not be likable but if readers have siblings they will be able to connect with the lead characters desire to find the truth of what happen to his brother.

The list of characters makes for a duel identity that the characters is living and while it takes time for the action to happen readers will be willing to hang on because different characters that they will connect with.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a advance copy of Mat Osman The Ruins.
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