Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Lord of the Flies by W Golding

Lord of the Flies (original 1954; edition 1963)

by W Golding

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
29,26144131 (3.75)1 / 714
Title:Lord of the Flies
Authors:W Golding
Info:Faber & Faber (1963), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

Work details

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

1950s (7)
1960s (95)
  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)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (405)  Italian (7)  Dutch (6)  French (6)  Finnish (6)  Spanish (5)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (441)
Showing 1-5 of 405 (next | show all)
I read this book in high school and since it is still on many school curricula, I thought it would be a good book to listen to on a family road trip. The odd thing is, I vaguely remembered that this was pretty bleak and depressing, so I'm not sure why I chose this. Well, driving out of the Bay Area for 4th of July weekend means spending time stuck in traffic and I don't know what was more painful - crawling along at a snail's pace, or listening to a story about the collapse of values and total anarchy on a deserted island. But as depressing as this story is, it's a great book to discuss. What would happen to any group stranded on an island? Would the rational side of our nature help us survive, or would we succumb to our baser selves. Still a classic that everyone should read, but don't expect an uplifting experience! ( )
  jmoncton | Jul 27, 2014 |
What’s to add to what has already been written about this book? I think one of its strengths is the way Golding almost cinematically describes the setting as the boys work their way through it. Barry Hines managed this as well in ‘A kestrel for a knave’. Being able to picture this tropical island so exactly certainly helps the reader to feel more involved.

I didn’t find it as convincing as a microcosm of society, the boys being too typecast and Simon not really being a boy at all, more a clairvoyant able to tell Ralph that he’ll get home and knowing that the beast was a sick/dead human. He’s even able to gauge what Ralph is thinking at one point. Golding himself acknowledged, I think, Simon’s otherness, and I think his use of this device weakens his main idea that we can so readily fall into mindless violence as Ralph and Piggy do when they try to join in the killing of Simon.

Then there’s the ending heavy with implication with the officer uncomfortable with Ralph’s emotion, his hand on his gun ready to shoot and in the immediate background a couple of sailors with a machine-gun trained on the beach and in the further distance a destroyer, something that reassures the officer. In other words, it’s out of the frying pan into the fire of a post nuclear war world for the boys – all a bit too contrived.

I guess that’s what I finally feel. Golding has too tightly controlled his material in this book – there’s only one interpretation that he leads the reader to draw. I much prefer the greater ambiguity of that other novel about what children are like – Richard Hughes’ ‘A high wind in Jamaica’. ( )
  evening | Jul 24, 2014 |
A classic. How civilized boys descend to become primitives. An allegory of modern man - How thin the border between order and chaos. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Disturbing o_O ( )
  nu-bibliophile | Jul 10, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 405 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Publisher series
Original language

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.
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

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.75)
0.5 43
1 253
1.5 55
2 580
2.5 131
3 1857
3.5 458
4 3091
4.5 334
5 2087


Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,619,319 books! | Top bar: Always visible