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Lord of the Flies (1954)

by William Golding

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
41,62366026 (3.72)1 / 1025
Following a world war, a group of school boys survives a plane crash on a deserted island and creates a hellish environment leading to savagery and murder. Two leaders--one civilized, one depraved--epitomize the forces that war eternally in the human spirit.
  1. 184
    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. 148
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
  3. 71
    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.
  4. 83
    The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (KayCliff)
  5. 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.
  6. 30
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (sturlington)
  7. 30
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  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. 30
    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Kinder auf sich allein gestellt - was sagt es über die Gesellschaft aus?
  10. 52
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  11. 31
    Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  12. 20
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  13. 20
    The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne (Cecrow)
  14. 10
    Variant by Robison Wells (JenniferRobb)
  15. 10
    Queen of Stones by Emma Tennant (KayCliff)
  16. 10
    Gone by Michael Grant (Anonymous user)
  17. 54
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  18. 11
    Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  19. 11
    The Maze Runner by James Dashner (wordcauldron)
    wordcauldron: Maze Runner has a feeling of Lord of the Flies, except it's a controlled experiment and, therefore, orchestrated.
  20. 00
    A Luminous Republic by Andrés Barba (stretch)

(see all 32 recommendations)

1950s (14)
Read (44)
1960s (193)
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English (608)  Italian (11)  Spanish (9)  French (7)  Finnish (6)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (658)
Showing 1-5 of 608 (next | show all)
Not nearly as haunting as I remember. Then again, I was 16 then and I know more about human nature now. ( )
  LuckyWitter | Apr 22, 2021 |
My favorite book of all time. ( )
  chiefchirpa7865 | Apr 12, 2021 |
We watched this in high school in the late sixties. Very harrowing experience.
  librisissimo | Mar 29, 2021 |
From a teaching stand-point I love the figurative language, symbolism, and other many literary devices that I am able to use when teaching this book... However, for some reason, my students cannot keep the names of the characters straight! Jack, Piggy, and Ralph seem to be the only names that they can remember. I realize that the vocabulary for this book is probably a little challenging, but my 10th grade students just wouldn't read at all! *Blowing out a sigh.* Perhaps we'll try something different next year.

From a "I Like to Read What I Want on My Own" standpoint, this wouldn't be quite so high on my list. I don't necessary look for things like figurative language and definitely don't look for symbolism when reading for pleasure. I like the plot line of once civilized boys lost on an island turn to savagery, but this wouldn't be my first choice. The teacher side of me won out which means it receives 4 stars versus 3. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
I'd probably have liked this book if I'd not taken it to pieces in high school, but even without that it probably would have struck me as clunky. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 608 (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 (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golding, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Akyol, ÖzcanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Damsma, HarmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Déry, TiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Donini, FilippoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Epstein, E. L.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forster, E. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregor, IanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grieken, Roderik vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jessurun d'Oliveira, H.U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinkead-Weekes, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowry, LoisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkki, JuhanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smolka, DieterHerausgebersecondary 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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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Following a world war, a group of school boys survives a plane crash on a deserted island and creates a hellish environment leading to savagery and murder. Two leaders--one civilized, one depraved--epitomize the forces that war eternally in the human spirit.

No library descriptions found.

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.
(thorold)

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