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Lord of the Flies by William Golding
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Lord of the Flies (1954)

by William Golding

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
34,86654019 (3.73)1 / 917
  1. 163
    Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (JGKC, Panairjdde)
    Panairjdde: Two books that explore the survival instinct of people, even at youg age, as fueled by fear and lust for violence
  2. 147
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
  3. 82
    The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (KayCliff)
  4. 50
    High-Rise by J.G. Ballard (bertilak)
    bertilak: Two books about 'civilized' people becoming tribal and violent. However, Ballard is a disinterested diagnostician and Golding is a moralist.
  5. 51
    A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes (pitjrw, Cecrow)
    pitjrw: Similar outlook on youth but a lot funnier and great description of a hurricane that plays the same role as the nuclear holacaust in Lord.
    Cecrow: Similar in theme, different in tone.
  6. 74
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  7. 30
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  8. 30
    Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: A more optimistic view of young people in a society of their own- I read this on my own from the school library a few years before Lord of the Flies was required reading, and it seemed much more reasonable to me.
  9. 52
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  10. 20
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  11. 31
    Under The Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  12. 20
    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Kinder auf sich allein gestellt - was sagt es über die Gesellschaft aus?
  13. 43
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  14. 10
    Queen of Stones by Emma Tennant (KayCliff)
  15. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  16. 11
    After the Rain by John Bowen (edwinbcn)
  17. 11
    The Drifting Classroom, Vol. 1 by Kazuo Umezu (scotchpenicillin)
    scotchpenicillin: Comment des enfants confontés à une situation extraordinaire re-construisent un semblant de société...
  18. 11
    Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  19. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  20. 12
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (MyriadBooks)

(see all 26 recommendations)

1950s (7)
Read (44)
1960s (112)
Satire (184)
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English (499)  Italian (9)  French (7)  Spanish (7)  Finnish (6)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (541)
Showing 1-5 of 499 (next | show all)
To be honest, I didn't enjoy reading this ... but I can see why it is a classic. ( )
  Janellreads | Oct 18, 2017 |
The story itself is iconic, one that has been replicated since in various forms. The concept is excellent and I give the author full credit for it. Set in 1954, the story still holds up today. Although the boys themselves would have to be different in modern day, shaped by their experiences in today’s society, but it’s very plausible that the events would still play out in a similar fashion. Another thing that I like are the characters. Ralph is the fair haired boy who holds up a sense of morality and responsibility in the face of adversity. Piggy is Ralph’s overweight friend who is bullied by the stronger kids on the island. These are memorable characters that resonate.

Where the novel doesn’t hold up is in the writing itself. I don’t think the quality of the writing is that great, and it feels quite dated. The pace is a little slow at times. The prose is mediocre and the descriptions aren’t great. For those reasons, I don’t think this was a great novel, but it was certainly a good novel and one that people should read for the lessons it teaches.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Sep 14, 2017 |
classic tale of adolescence disinterating in the face of raw nature (authority)
  brendanus | Jul 27, 2017 |
Lots of symbolism, but there was a missed opportunity for Piggy (the only character I cared about) to have achieved an even higher level of symbolism. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jul 21, 2017 |
Set during the second world war. A plane goes down on a remote island and the only survivors are a group of schoolboys aged from the very young to the late teens. Piggy and Ralph organise the boys for a while to ensure there is food, water, shelter and a fire to attract the attention of passing ships in the hope that they might be rescued. As time passes and rescue looks unlikely, rebellion ensues and the boys split into tribes and fall into superstitious beliefs and fear as civilisation deserts them. Not bad - not too blood-thirsty by modern standards. Are we all really still primatives at heart? Does it only take a small departure away from civilisation to make us revert to our base natures? Poor Piggy. ( )
  LindaLiu | Jul 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 499 (next | show all)
There is no blinking the fact that this English schoolmaster turned novelist understands growing boys to the heart; one must go back to"High Wind in Jamaica" to find a comparable tour de force. The uneasy conviction persists that he despises the child who is father to the man-and the man as well. Homo sapiens needs all the friends he can find these days, in and out of novels.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, William du Bois (pay site) (Oct 21, 1955)
 
"Lord of the Flies" is an allegory on human society today, the novel's primary implication being that what we have come to call civilization is, at best, skin deep. With undertones of "1984" and "High Wind in Jamaica," this brilliant work is a frightening parody on man's return (in a few weeks) to that state of darkness from which it took him thousands of years to return. Fully to succeed, a fantasy must approach very close to reality. "Lord of the Flies" does. It must also be superbly written. It is.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, James Stern (pay site) (Oct 23, 1954)
 

» Add other authors (122 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golding, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Akyol, ÖzcanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Damsma, HarmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Déry, TiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Epstein, E. L.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forster, E. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregor, IanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grieken, Roderik vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jessurun d'Oliveira, H.U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinkead-Weekes, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkki, JuhanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smolka, DieterHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother and father
First words
The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.
Quotations
His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.
Maybe there is a beast - maybe it's only us.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When Lord of the Flies appeared in 1954 it received unprecedented reviews for a first novel. Critics used such phrases as "beautifully written, tragic and provocative...vivid and enthralling...this beautiful and desperate book...completely convincing and often very frightening...its progress is magnificent...like a fragment of nightmare...a dizzy climax of terror...the terrible spell of this book..." E.M. Forster chose it as the Outstanding Novel of the Year. Time and Tide touched upon perhaps the most important facet of this book when it said, "It is not only a first-rate adventure story but a parable of our times," and articles on this and subsequent Golding novels have stressed these twin aspects of Golding: a consummate control of the novel form, and a superb all-encompassing vision of reality which communicates itself with a power reminiscent of Conrad.

AR Level 5.0, 9 Pts.
Haiku summary
Diverging lenses
To start a fire? Golding knew
Nothing of optics.
(thorold)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399501487, Mass Market Paperback)

William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: "He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet." Golding's gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition. --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:22 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A fable of ship-wrecked children turning to primitive savagery that portrays the collapse of social order into chaos.

» see all 22 descriptions

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