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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
36,92357328 (3.73)1 / 954
  1. 164
    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. 61
    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. 30
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  7. 52
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  8. 31
    Under The Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  9. 20
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  10. 31
    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.
  11. 20
    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Kinder auf sich allein gestellt - was sagt es über die Gesellschaft aus?
  12. 10
    Queen of Stones by Emma Tennant (KayCliff)
  13. 43
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  14. 65
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  15. 11
    Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  16. 11
    After the Rain by John Bowen (edwinbcn)
  17. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  18. 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...
  19. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  20. 12
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (MyriadBooks)

(see all 27 recommendations)

1950s (14)
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English (532)  Italian (9)  Spanish (7)  Finnish (6)  French (6)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (573)
Showing 1-5 of 532 (next | show all)
It is a story about the survival of a group of people, in this case, children, in a terrible situation. This position leads the group to anarchy that creates a rule in which the more powerful abuse the weak, the slow and the different from them. It is a subject that has quite a few discussions, but the fact that in such situations, without a guiding hand, even a charming group of children becomes violent, nightmare and murderous, always fascinates me every time (As I do now with the "Hunger Games"), especially in light of the thought that the monster described there is ultimately an abnormality that is not tangible but is rooted in the heart of each of us.

This is an intense book. Write without a trace of compassion, so it was relatively hard to read. The book seems to write about children, but it is impossible not to wonder whether adults don't behave the same or no worse than the heroes of the story. ( )
  Bertchuba | Jan 10, 2019 |
No book has influenced my life like this book. Really. And those who do not believe are invited just to read my books and understand how powerful the book has built me in something else... ( )
  IVOLOKITA | Jan 9, 2019 |
Read in Slovene under the title Gospodar muh.

A cult classic, Lord of the Flies is a story about a cruel society a group of children form when left stranded on a lone, seemingly ideal and peaceful island during a raging atomic war. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Perhaps as a mother I could read this as a story of children abandoned on an island and left to survive in any way they can.

I could read it as a story illustrating that children, unsupervised by adults, revert to a state of nature, which, because of the inherent violence of humanity, ignores all logic and reason for the allure of superstition, tribalism, and destruction.

I could read it as a story of how a crowd of children can be influenced to follow a despotic ruler, who offers chants and fun and jeers at those over whom the crowd would like to feel powerful rather than following the boring logic of democracy and the drudge of working toward a common, rational goal, while the majority, unnamed, unnumbered, and unconsidered, sit by without using their voices outside of mindlessly echoing the words of those in power, without action besides the basics of human existence.

I could read this story and think how tragic it is that children left to their own devices might act in a way contrary to their own self preservation.

I could wish that someone from a rational civilization that's above the squabbles of a handful of boys on an island would come and save them.

I could wish that there were anything left to be saved.

I could wish that I believed in salvation. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jan 5, 2019 |
A group of schoolboys of various ages survive a plane crash only to find themselves stuck on a remote island with no grown-ups to care for them. Selecting a leader who prioritises shelter and a fire to create smoke to signal any passing ships events quickly spiral into anarchy when another boy thinks he would make a better chief. Who will win out in the battle for supremacy and will the chosen one lead them to rescue or not?

This classic story takes a look into the nature of humanity when all forms of law and order are lost. Is our leaning towards civilisation only skin deep? Would we too also descend into savagery if we didn’t have rules to follow? It’s a fairly quick and easy read with a very abrupt ending. I’m sure a reader could dig a lot of meanings and symbolism from this work if so desired. Me, I just wanted to read the story. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Jan 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 532 (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 (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golding, WilliamAuthorprimary 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
King, StephenIntroductionsecondary 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)

The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.

» see all 34 descriptions

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