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Lord of the flies by William Golding

Lord of the flies (original 1954; edition 1975)

by William Golding, E.L. Epstein (Foreword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,32650223 (3.74)1 / 829
Title:Lord of the flies
Authors:William Golding
Other authors:E.L. Epstein (Foreword)
Info:Aeonian Press (1975), 190 p.
Collections:Your library
Tags:Inkish literature

Work details

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

  1. 154
    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. 146
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
  3. 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.
  4. 72
    The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (KayCliff)
  5. 51
    A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes (pitjrw)
    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.
  6. 30
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  7. 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.
  8. 64
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  9. 31
    Under The Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  10. 42
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  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. 20
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  13. 43
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  14. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  15. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  16. 11
    Savages by Shirley Conran (shesinplainview)
  17. 11
    HERE [away from it all] by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  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. 11
    After the Rain by John Bowen (edwinbcn)
  20. 12
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (MyriadBooks)

(see all 26 recommendations)

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English (462)  Italian (8)  French (7)  Finnish (6)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (501)
Showing 1-5 of 462 (next | show all)
When I was about twelve years old, I came across the film version of Lord of the Flies on daytime television. I tuned in during the scene in which the boys are dancing about in a frenzy, chanting, their domestication lost to the wildness of their desert island. I was very interested, and when I inquired about the movie, my mom told me that it was Lord of the Flies and that it was also a book.

I decided I needed to get my hands on the book, of course, so at twelve (or thirteen, I can’t remember), I picked up the book at Barnes & Noble–where I got all of my books at that time–and I opened it to the first page excitedly, my young, moody teenage self eager to be as disturbed by the book as I was by that scene in the movie. For some reason, though, I lost interest in the book after about fifty or sixty pages. I can’t really say why–maybe it was boring, or maybe the subtle and gradual nature of the boys’ loss of control and order was lost on me. I was, in some ways, the Jack Merridew of the story–I wanted to see them killing pigs, killing each other, even! In other words, I wanted things to go to hell a lot sooner than they did.

I was too impatient to finish the book and abandoned it about a quarter of the way through. For the next ten years or so, I carried around my twelve-year-old opinion that Lord of the Flies was boring and overrated.

Fortunately, I picked it up again last week, and I loved it. What had bored me as a child–the slow disintegration of the boys’ makeshift society on their desert island–thrilled me as a twenty-three-year-old. It’s suspenseful and disturbing, the way the boys fall apart. What starts as a fairly stable and organized social unit soon falls into chaos as various boys vie for power, develop different priorities (keep the fire going/build shelters vs. hunt for food), and essentially play the popularity game. Should it be the most respected boy who leads the group? The most feared? The best hunter? The most sensible? If I take his side, will the others turn on me? Will I be hurt–even killed–if I do?

The boys sometimes wish that they were “grown-ups,” because grown-ups would be able to take care of themselves on the island. Grown-ups would never become savages and turn on one another! But while the boys are marooned on their island, the grown-ups are fighting their own war. The only reason the boys are even there is because their plane has been gunned down while flying over the ocean. Lord of the Flies is a story about boys who struggle to survive on an island, yes, but I don’t think adults would fare much better in their situation. The boys are simply a group of human beings, left to their own devices in their own space with very few of life’s necessities. Once you add fear to that mix (for they become obsessed with the idea of a dangerous “beast” on the island), something is bound to crack.

I highly recommend Lord of the Flies. It’s definitely one of the more exciting pieces of classic literature I’ve read. And now I’ve got to watch the movie! ( )
  blackrabbit89 | May 6, 2016 |
Всеки трябва да прочете тази класика. Аз може би к​ъсно се запознах с нея, но по-добре късно...​
( )
  Vassil-Koynarev | Apr 29, 2016 |
Clever metaphor, fantastic description. Not my favorite subject matter, but an interesting read. ( )
  Frances.S.Brown | Apr 26, 2016 |
I feel strange adding another review to the vast number already collected. The task of reading them all to be sure of not being trite...too much...it would take as long as reading the book, which would be time better spent. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 23, 2016 |
I should probably go back and read this. I don't think reading books like this in high school is conducive to liking them. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 462 (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 (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golding, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Déry, TiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Epstein, E. L.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jessurun d'Oliveira, H.U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkki, JuhanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smolka, DieterHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important events
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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.
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
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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 tale of a group of English school boys who are left stranded on an unpopulated island, and who must confront not only the defects of their society but the defects of their own nature. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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