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Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies (original 1954; edition 1959)

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

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33,09251321 (3.73)1 / 862
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

Work details

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

  1. 163
    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. 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. 74
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  8. 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.
  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
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  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. 43
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  14. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  15. 11
    After the Rain by John Bowen (edwinbcn)
  16. 11
    HERE [away from it all] by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  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
    Savages by Shirley Conran (shesinplainview)
  19. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  20. 12
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (MyriadBooks)

(see all 26 recommendations)

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1960s (104)
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Showing 1-5 of 474 (next | show all)
I believe this story had the main concept of "Survival of the Fittest". ( )
  Nawras13 | Oct 23, 2016 |
I'm actually really pissed off. This book was bad. Really bad. But it's the kind of book that's bad but thinks it's good.

Let's get started on why, shall we?

Firstly: the book is 202 pages. And yet nothing at all happens until the last, what? 30? If you're writing a book that's 202 pages I don't think you have any reason not to have something decent happening on every page.

Secondly: the story is predictable as fuck. The second the character of Piggy turned up I knew he'd end up dead. With the first argument between Ralph and Jack I knew Jack would probably try to take over. The first time Roger threw some rocks at a kid I knew he was a little asshole that was going to kill someone - and it ended up being with a rock! Such a shock!

Thirdly: it's so unrealistic. I don't care what kind of kids these are; there's not a child in the world that would find themself marooned on an empty island with no adults and not cry. Not one. Yet all of these kids seem to think it's all grand? Plus then they seem to have tonnes of easily reached fruit to eat that never runs out, and a bunch of untrained boys take off into a forest and manage to kill multiple pigs? Not even pigs, boars, with homemade throwing spears? A real boar would gut a fully grown adult with barely a problem. It's just. Ugh.

And then for my last point: that ending??? Also stupidly predictable, and yet I hoped so bad that Golding wouldn't go there, but he did. The man that talks to them is obviously a fucking idiot if he looked at the state of those kids, heard that two had already died, and thought that they were "playing war". So yep they're all fine and dandy saved right when they're about to murder the main character and suddenly all these savages have a massive fit of remorse and start crying? And then of course a fade to black because who could be bothered with examining how any of these kids are going to live back in civilisation.

I just really want to hit this book in its face. ( )
2 vote bastardreading | Oct 12, 2016 |
Maybe 3.5 stars. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
This book shocked me. Not so much because of the content, I will come onto that, but because my gentle, kind, mother recommended it to me. My mum who mutes the TV when a swear word is coming up and who can't stand any type of violence recommended a book that involves children killing each other. Perhaps in her case familiarity has rendered the content less offensive--she studied it in high school and it had her childish scrawls all the way through, also entertaining! That said, there was a lot to this book. I can see why it has become a classic. I guess, I was just taken aback having started the story and expecting it to continue in a Peter Pan type "lost boys" style...when it took a violent turn in a "no going back" direction.

A group of boys are abandoned on an uninhabited island. Ralph takes the lead and formulates a rescue plan. But it isn't long before the group are embroiled in internal conflict as they battle for supremacy and status. What is really needed is for them to band together and for everyone to do their part to keep the group alive and alert any ships that happen to be passing. But they cannot even get that right--those meant to be tending the fire are off hunting pigs when the first vessel draws near. The divisions widen over time as some of the children begin to adopt savage-like behaviour resulting in tragedy.

It is not a Christian book but there are a great number of spiritual analogies and lessons worthy of comment. The book reminds us that children do not learn sin from their parents. They are born sinful and if not disciplined, given appropriate boundaries and taught right from wrong, they will choose sin as it is predetermined due to the fall--"born in sin and shapen in iniquity." The book also reminds us that man is not basically good or innocent but the opposite.

There is also a lesson about the pack mentality. How much easier is it to fall into sin or temptation in a group than it is alone? When young people goad, dare and egg each other on they can be capable of great evil--peer pressure is a powerful force. We see it in the media when a group loses control and in a violent frenzy attacks a person in the street. But we will not ultimately stand before God in a group but by ourselves to account for our behaviour. It is why the Bible warns us about the company we keep and who we choose to be our friends.

I was also reminded of the damage that can be done to children who spend too much time playing video computer games. They become lost in their own worlds of darkness where theft, violence and killing are normalised and those who murder are heroes not criminals. Lord of the Flies made me realise how easy it was for these children to begin playing a very dangerous game with life and death when they became immersed in their own world and had lost touch with reality. Maybe it will make some parents think about what their children are filling their minds with alone in their bedrooms. We shouldn't be surprised when the same children translate their video game world into a murderous rampage on our streets. That is what they have been taught to do!

The last chapter of the book was for me the most impactive as the sequence of events was unexpected. The narrative is chilling in places but definitely held my interest and I wanted to know what happened to the children in the end. There are a few swear words in the book but nothing major. There is no sexual content. There is some graphic violence and animal slaughter. This book is not really suitable for younger children but may hold lessons for older teens.

I would recommend the book for Christians for the spiritual lessons that can be learned but it is not particularly uplifting!

( )
1 vote sparkleandchico | Sep 27, 2016 |
The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is about survival and reveals that good people can become very hostile and savage when they don’t have any rules telling them what to do. The story is about a plane full of kids which crashes on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. The kids must then make rules and try to survive on their own until help comes. One of my favorite parts of the author's craft was the climax. As the book went on more and more of the kids either joined or were forced to join Jack’s faction, and I thought the suspense of the times such as when Ralph was being combed down by the savages were really well written and suspenseful. Another thing I liked about the author’s craft was the foreshadowing. I could tell from the start that Jack would go bad at some point, and I was really curious to know what he would do when the time came. One of my favorite things about the book was the way the author described the island. I really liked how the author put a lot of detail into describing each aspect of the land, however it did seem like the author described the scenery a bit too much at times. I also really liked all the characters, good or bad. They were all unique, and it really seemed like they were real kids. Something I really didn’t like about the book was how Jack didn’t die. I felt like he should have since he was such an evil, terrible character, as well as being the main antagonist.
  AnselHP5 | Sep 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 474 (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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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 (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.

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)

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