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Lord of the Flies by William Golding
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Lord of the Flies (original 1954; edition 1959)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
30,57346126 (3.74)1 / 763
Member:jrissman
Title:Lord of the Flies
Authors:William Golding
Other authors:E. L. Epstein (Afterword)
Info:Perigee Books (1959), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Use for Recommendations
Rating:****
Tags:general fiction, young adult

Work details

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

  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. 82
    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
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  7. 40
    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. 74
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  9. 30
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  10. 31
    Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  11. 42
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  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. 10
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (sturlington)
  14. 43
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  15. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  16. 11
    Savages by Shirley Conran (shesinplainview)
  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
    After the Rain by John Bowen (edwinbcn)
  19. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  20. 12
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (MyriadBooks)

(see all 26 recommendations)

1950s (13)
1960s (94)
Read (43)
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English (426)  Italian (7)  Dutch (6)  Finnish (6)  French (6)  Spanish (4)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (462)
Showing 1-5 of 426 (next | show all)
Now this really is an exceptionally good novel. Subtly, beautifully and concisely written. I think it's one of those books that needs to be read more than once. A couple of times the notes pose the question "Why?" yet I had completely missed that there was a question there. Yet for all its redolent meaning, Golding never loses sight of the story. It's as good as Animal Farm. ( )
  Lukerik | May 17, 2015 |
Read this several times now, and still can't shake the feeling that society, even those consisting of little boys, would degenerate into murder and debauchery so quickly, and to such an extent. Not only is it stupid, it's unproductive towards preserving survival. There also isn't a strong reaction in the beginning as the boys crash land on the island, making this seem unrealistic.

However, there's no doubting that Golding's work is a classic of English Literature. A definite thought piece. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
This would be a good book to read when discussing forms of government. I think students will like this book because of how the boys deal with being abandoned on the island. ( )
  Kate_Schulte078 | May 5, 2015 |
I think I last read this book in the 5th grade? I knew I loved it for some reason. I think it's the theme; there's something very intriguing there. It has the feel of an old book, of course, which I usually struggle a lot with (in other words, the pacing is pretty slow), but this one was worth it to me. There are certain images that have stayed with me all this time, like the pig head grinning on a stick, the "lord of the flies". ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Narrated by the author, with brief but illuminating fore- & afterword. Although he's not an actor, nor in perfect control of his voice, I do think he was the best man for the job as he knew exactly how he wanted it to scan. For example, he didn't differentiate different characters' voices. But he did read the exciting bits a little faster than the thoughtful bits.

As far as the story goes - well, it's become such an iconographic & ingrained part of our culture that it's not really all that shocking or bewildering anymore. Otoh, if you've somehow not already become familiar with the themes, it's a must read.

And there were details I got out of it this time around that I hadn't before, for example Simon's sub-plot. And I was intrigued by the interesting r'ship that Ralph and Jack had that made the later horrifying developments seem unlikely - but then I actually spent time with the story and thought about how these boys represented a possible microcosm of society, and realized that the climax was not unlikely but actually inevitable. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 426 (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 (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golding, Williamprimary 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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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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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.
(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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:36 -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)

» see all 26 descriptions

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