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Lord of the Flies (1954)

by William Golding

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
48,05973026 (3.71)1 / 1091
The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.
  1. 204
    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. 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.
  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. 149
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
  6. 40
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (sturlington)
  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. 30
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  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. 20
    The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne (Cecrow)
  11. 20
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  12. 31
    Under the Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  13. 42
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  14. 10
    Queen of Stones by Emma Tennant (KayCliff)
  15. 10
    Gone by Michael Grant (Anonymous user)
  16. 10
    Variant by Robison Wells (JenniferRobb)
  17. 00
    A Luminous Republic by Andrés Barba (stretch)
  18. 66
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  19. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  20. 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...

(see all 32 recommendations)

1950s (20)
Read (90)
AP Lit (151)
100 (28)
scav (39)
1960s (263)

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» See also 1091 mentions

English (671)  Italian (12)  Spanish (10)  French (7)  Dutch (6)  Finnish (6)  Catalan (4)  German (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (727)
Showing 1-5 of 671 (next | show all)

A classic first published in 1954 - This was nearly a 5-star read for me, but there was only one little hiccup. In his dialogue between the boys, the author constantly cut sentences short, not finishing a thought and having other boys cut in with one word or a few lines of thoughts and them not even finishing. This really annoyed the hell out of me. But, the story was great and he captured the immaturity of the boys thinking and their actions. There are two ways to read this book: 1) A super adventurous book full of young boys; or 2) A thought-provoking book on what happens to people when they are stripped of everything in life…what internal evils are pulled from your soul? What lines will you cross to survive? According to one interview with the author William Golding in 1964, he agrees with some of what is interpreted out of his writing and disagrees with others. So, get what you want out of this book. You are the critic.

You have a slew of stranded boys on an island, ages ranging from 6 to 12 years. The oldest boys take charge and try to behave like adults and create some kind of order out of chaos. The two oldest, Ralph and Jack, want to be in charge and eventually go head-to-head splitting up the group. Ralph, being the more mature one, and voted as chief, knows that keeping a fire is the most important thing encase there is a ship in passing, then they can be rescued. Jack, the hunter, knows that food is the most important for their survival; without it, they die. The difference between the boys? Ralph knows both are important and all boys are divvied out jobs. Jack does all the hunting with his boys, but that’s not enough, he is hellbent on being chief, voted on or not. So, he splits and creates his own club. The evil rises and they become more like savages, killing wild hog, painting their faces, dancing and chanting around the fire. Eventually, they kill two of their own, and work on killing Ralph. They no longer view each other as humans.

MOVIE: Lord of the Flies (1990) film, starring Balthazar Getty as Ralph, the one who tried to maintain order; Chris Furrh as Jack, the leader of the hunters; Danuel Pipoly as Piggy, as the smart but fat, blind, and asthmatic kid who is most loyal to Ralph and is killed, and James Badge Dale as Simon, who is also killed. NOTE: I haven't watched the movie yet. Couldn't stream it from anywhere, so ordered a used DVD movie for $1.84 through Amazon. Will review after watching.

Top 10 Most Banned Classics because of its vulgar language and violence

https://www.thoughtco.com/most-banned-classic-novels-738741 ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
#justiceforsimon ( )
  Emree | Aug 20, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote about this read in 2010: "Finally read this classic published in 1954, after Katie read for high school. Allegories all over the place! What can I say that improves on anyone's else comments?" ( )
  MGADMJK | Aug 17, 2023 |
Another one I remember reading some years ago, without now recalling its details, except that I did not enjoy it and wondered why I continued reading to it's end. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 13, 2023 |
Incredible story. Powerfully written. This is Peter Pan, this is the Lost Boys. This is how humanity fails when there is no civility. ( )
  eurydactyl | Jul 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 671 (next | show all)
35 livres cultes à lire au moins une fois dans sa vie
Quels sont les romans qu'il faut avoir lu absolument ? Un livre culte qui transcende, fait réfléchir, frissonner, rire ou pleurer… La littérature est indéniablement créatrice d’émotions. Si vous êtes adeptes des classiques, ces titres devraient vous plaire.
De temps en temps, il n'y a vraiment rien de mieux que de se poser devant un bon bouquin, et d'oublier un instant le monde réel. Mais si vous êtes une grosse lectrice ou un gros lecteur, et que vous avez épuisé le stock de votre bibliothèque personnelle, laissez-vous tenter par ces quelques classiques de la littérature.
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 (83 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golding, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Akyol, ÖzcanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buehler, JenniferContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carvalho, AdamsCover artistsecondary 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
Lowry, LoisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Niepokólczycki, WacławTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkki, JuhanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smolka, DieterHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamIllustratorsecondary 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.

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.

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