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Lord of the Flies (Perigee) by William…

Lord of the Flies (Perigee) (original 1954; edition 1959)

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

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29,20243731 (3.75)1 / 710
Title:Lord of the Flies (Perigee)
Authors:William Golding
Other authors:E. L. Epstein (Afterword)
Info:Perigee Books (1959), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

1001 (117) 1001 books (111) 20th century (282) adventure (268) allegory (134) boys (150) British (232) British literature (237) children (159) classic (1,046) Classic Literature (94) classics (695) coming of age (110) dystopia (492) English (116) English literature (195) fiction (2,985) human nature (129) island (161) literature (514) Nobel Prize (92) novel (463) own (102) read (477) school (98) society (99) survival (411) to-read (214) YA (98) young adult (241)
1950s (8)
1960s (94)
  1. 153
    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. 136
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
  3. 60
    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. 83
    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. 40
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (literarybuff)
    literarybuff: Both of these books are allegories that make the reader question whether or not there really are differences between animal nature and human nature.
  7. 30
    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Kinder auf sich allein gestellt - was sagt es über die Gesellschaft aus?
  8. 42
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  9. 20
    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.
  10. 42
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (one-horse.library)
  11. 64
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  12. 31
    Under the Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  13. 31
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  14. 21
    Savages by Shirley Conran (shesinplainview)
  15. 21
    The Drifting Classroom, Vol. 1 by Kazuo Umezu (scotchpenicillin)
    scotchpenicillin: Comment des enfants confontés à une situation extraordinaire re-construisent un semblant de société...
  16. 10
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  17. 21
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  18. 22
    Nothing by Janne Teller (meggyweg, meggyweg)
  19. 12
    After the Rain by John Bowen (edwinbcn)
  20. 01
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)

(see all 27 recommendations)


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English (401)  Italian (7)  Dutch (6)  French (6)  Finnish (6)  Spanish (5)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (437)
Showing 1-5 of 401 (next | show all)
Just re-read. At times in this book, I was shocked at how terrible man can treat each other. This isn't new...but it's good to read and be reminded of. Very thought-provoking, what would you do if there were no laws? ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Just re-read. At times in this book, I was shocked at how terrible man can treat each other. This isn't new...but it's good to read and be reminded of. Very thought-provoking, what would you do if there were no laws? ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Somehow, I managed to graduated high school AND college(with an English degree!) without ever reading this book, so I decided to remedy it.

I get why this book is so popular to discuss in classes, because it raises some interesting ideas. That being said, the symbolism in this one is just so overwrought, and it's not so much a story that wrestles with meaning as much as is it is a fictional case study in which the result is clear from the beginning. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
A dark, compelling view of the nature of mankind as seen through the experiences of British youth stranded alone on a remote island. My only negative comment is that Golding's imagery as to the island itself is overdone and sometimes hard to follow. Beyond that minor point, this is an excellent story that left me wanting more.

Highly recommended. ( )
  la2bkk | Jun 20, 2014 |
Original post at Book Rhapsody.



This is the book that me and my friend call “The Book That Cannot Be Named.” It is currently in my Top Ten Books of All Time, although it is now standing on shaky grounds because my current read is impressing me big time.

Anyway, why is it that we gave it that name? A better book title? No. It’s for the simple reason that my friend hates it to the bone. He can’t believe that I love this book. He thinks it’s an utter waste of time, lacking any literary aspiration at all. He even wonders what is wrong with the Nobel for making the author a laureate.

So we always fight about the merits and demerits of the book. And we fight with such ardor. Thus, it is indeed the book that cannot be named lest our friendship goes kaput.

The Rhapsody

I always tell my friend that the beauty of this book lies in the inspection of the society through a group of marooned boys. He would say that yes, yes, I already know that, and he would go on saying that it seems improper to do a social satire on this premise.

Huh? Where’s the sense in that? If you are with me, there is none, really. But that’s just his own taste. Nothing can be really argued about that. Degustibus non est disputandum.

So I haven’t really answered the question. Why do I love it?

First are the symbols embodied in the major players. There is our charismatic hero Ralph, the smart sidekick Piggy, the anti-hero Jack, the real villain Roger, and the poet Simon. The casting is perfect. Including the other boys who represent the masses, this is what our society is made of.

Ralph is chosen the leader of the group because of that conch. Well, he was able to blow it like a horn, so it is something which made him earn the respect of the boys. He is an ideal leader with good intentions. He often seeks out the help of his friend Piggy who acts like an economic, political, financial, whatever adviser. Together, they could lead the group of boys to safety and survival.

However, there is Jack, who is also a leader in his own rights. It is just that he represents that other side of the sphere. He emerges with his own group and crashes against Ralph, along with his cohorts, particularly Roger the sadist. So the leadership is taken away from Ralph and he is thrown into the outskirts of the group, with Piggy, of course.

And why should there be a poet? What is the importance of Simon in this group? As the poet, he will bring sense and truth to them. But he is mocked. He is killed. And like a true poet, he has predicted this death.

Riot after riot. Piggy dies too, his skull crushed on the sea rocks with his brains splattered out. And Ralph could have died too had it not been for the arrival of a naval ship. The boys are rescued. Right. But the portentous last words tells us that it might not be so. There is a bigger war going on a larger scale, nothing close to their little game in that deserted island.

Final Notes

When the audition dates for Survivor: Philippines were announced, I resolved to give it a try. First round was a group interview of five. You only have around two or three statements to make it or break it. Each group is lucky enough to have one applicant advance to the next round. There were a lot of groups who got eliminated, and my estimate is that only less than 10% of those applicants got through.

Second round was still an interview. This time, there’s a camera and only 30 seconds to impress the guys behind the cameras. Again, it was batched, this time by 20. In our batch, I was the first one. I didn’t have time to formulate my words. I was all nerves. And what does this have to do with the book?

I already said that this book is an inspection of the society. It tries to unearth the root causes of the evils that are pervading in it. You throw out a number of people in an island, and they are forced to work together. Thus, the foundation of a society.

This is what the author did. The evils are unearthed in the society that the group of boys formed. The evils lie in our deepest desires residing in our souls. Are these evils caused by the will to survive? Yes. Is it human nature? Most likely. So what can one do to purge these evils?

That’s what I want to know for myself. In my audition, I was asked why should they pick me as a castaway. I said that I am a huge Survivor fan, and after watching season after season of the US series, I can say that this TV show is a social experiment. With the last two words, the guy who asked me the question looked at me with interest. I continued by saying that the show, in a way, scrutinizes the flaws of a society’s foundation and exposes how dark the human soul can go for power and survival. I wanted so much to be a part of this experiment not so much for the money as for the realizations that I can reach.

Good answer? I don’t think so. That guy, who must be the casting director, shook his head when I made mention of the money. He didn’t believe that I would go hungry, filthy, paranoid, and exposed to the raw elements not because of money. So in our batch of 20, only one guy made it to the next level.

And what do you know? This guy put on a good show, screaming that he will prove that he is a worthy Survivor by jumping off a helicopter. Huh? ( )
  angusmiranda | Jun 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 401 (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 (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Goldingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Déry, TiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Epstein, E. L.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jessurun d'Oliveira, H.U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkki, JuhanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:36 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 25 descriptions

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