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Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies (1954)

by William Golding

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
35,51955817 (3.73)1 / 932
  1. 154
    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. 83
    The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (KayCliff)
  4. 51
    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.
  5. 74
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)
  6. 52
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  7. 52
    A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes (pitjrw, Cecrow)
    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.
    Cecrow: Similar in theme, different in tone.
  8. 31
    Friday and Robinson: life on Esperanza Island by Michel Tournier (yokai)
  9. 31
    Under The Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  10. 20
    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Kinder auf sich allein gestellt - was sagt es über die Gesellschaft aus?
  11. 20
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  12. 31
    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.
  13. 10
    Queen of Stones by Emma Tennant (KayCliff)
  14. 43
    Robinson Crusoe [Norton Critical Edition] by Daniel Defoe (TomWaitsTables)
  15. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  16. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  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. 11
    Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  20. 12
    House of Stairs by William Sleator (MyriadBooks)

(see all 26 recommendations)

1950s (6)
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Showing 1-5 of 516 (next | show all)
I got mixed feelings about this. It was about children trapped in an island then things got gory and savage. I cringe everytime I read this. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 13, 2018 |
Read in High School
Age 13 (2006) – Age 22 (2015) ( )
  KiTiraShorter | Mar 5, 2018 |
Re-read (2009) many years after doing it in school & got a lot more out of it.
(Re-read 2015) Raised star rating. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
"Lord of the Flies," is a novel everyone should read. You probably read it if you attended high school. This is a social commentary, man vs. man, man vs. nature. Taking away law enforcement and government, what are human beings really capable of? The story is of young boys where they are at an island apart from civilization. You really get a sense of there are few good men, few good people. Not to worry, the boys are found by U.S. Army officials as they come to their rescue. ( )
  majestic131 | Feb 25, 2018 |
This book was really enjoyable; I would have loved to have been able to read it in high school (captive audience for discussions. haha).

First of all, my initial reaction at Ralph was totally wrong. He turned out to be the being of reason and I thought it was interesting how quickly the other boys abandoned reason and became savages with the urge to kill, with the wavering exception of the twins who, though joined with the savages, still decided to help Ralph when he needed food and warned him about the hunt.

The death of Piggy also stood out to me. He was the only one who remained 100% in favor of doing things that would improve their chances of survival, although his unwillingness to do any actual work probably contributed to his downfall. It is all thanks to him that Ralph remained as he was (Piggy's death helped there too).

The ending was kind of abrupt and the adult man that Ralph encounters annoyed me, thinking that the boys were just playing a game when they were actually trying to kill Ralph, but I think the man's behavior contributed to the strength of the last line of Ralph's: "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy". Ralph was forced to endure so many horrors and the man's inability to understand drove this feeling home for him. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 516 (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 (122 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
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
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary 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.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

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

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