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Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies (original 1954; edition 2011)

by William Golding, Stephen King (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
50,21074025 (3.71)1 / 1100
The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.
Title:Lord of the Flies
Authors:William Golding
Other authors:Stephen King (Introduction)
Info:Perigee Trade (2011), Edition: Centennial, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Currently reading, Read but unowned

Work Information

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

  1. 194
    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. 61
    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. 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. 73
    The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (KayCliff)
  5. 40
    Animal Farm by George Orwell (sturlington)
  6. 139
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (FFortuna)
  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. 20
    Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Kinder auf sich allein gestellt - was sagt es über die Gesellschaft aus?
  10. 10
    The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne (Cecrow)
  11. 10
    The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A world without adults with some differences and similarities.
  12. 21
    Under the Dome by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Under the Dome is an adult version of Lord of the Flies.
  13. 32
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2, mcenroeucsb)
    booklove2: The Beach is like Lord of the Flies for adults, starring adults.
  14. 00
    A Luminous Republic by Andrés Barba (stretch)
  15. 00
    Queen of Stones by Emma Tennant (KayCliff)
  16. 00
    Gone by Michael Grant (Anonymous user)
  17. 00
    Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay (KayCliff)
  18. 00
    Variant by Robison Wells (JenniferRobb)
  19. 00
    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill (KayCliff)
  20. 56
    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (villanova)

(see all 32 recommendations)

1950s (20)
Read (90)
AP Lit (152)
1970s (481)
BitLife (18)
100 (28)
scav (39)
1960s (263)

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» See also 1100 mentions

English (681)  Italian (12)  Spanish (10)  French (7)  Dutch (6)  Finnish (6)  Catalan (4)  German (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (739)
Showing 1-5 of 681 (next | show all)
From my high school years, still a formative read ( )
  Rostie | Jul 9, 2024 |
A simple story of group of boys left stranded on an island. The story does not have many twists and turns and as such is not very interesting if you are looking for thrill or suspense. However, the story captures the behavior of children beautifully.
You feel sympathy and love for Ralph and Piggy and Sam'n'Eric. You even fall in love with Jack till the end of the book when Jack turns crazy about hunting. Then you start to hate Jack. You don't want any of them to die, but eventually some of them do and it makes you feel sad. When hunters get their first kill, or when boys succeed in making a fire you feel elated. You are even scared when the kids talk about their nightmares and when they discover a beast in the jungle, but the emotion is short lived and you are thrown into the realities. And just when you are enjoying the emotional roller-coaster, the story ends, just like that.
The ending was sudden and you don't expect the book to end where it ends. Somehow, it looks like the author was out of ideas and wanted to end the story as quickly as possible.
The language is sometimes difficult to understand, and there are parts in the book where you can not understand who is speaking. The kids are British and they talk British. You sometimes don't understand the meaning of some of their expressions (specially if you are not British), but overall the book leaves a good impression on you.
I wanted to give 4 stars to this book, but due to the sudden and unexpected ending and the confusion in the dialogues in some parts of the book, I am compelled to give 3 stars. ( )
  ktn_vrce | Jul 5, 2024 |
Feel so bad for Piggy and Simon. The story escalated so quickly that it felt like without adults, kids are destined to be doom. This read gave me so much emotions, especially when the characters died brutally ( )
  heolinhdam | Jun 25, 2024 |
A book club pick :)

Imagine two aliens landing on Earth, and attempting to study humans. One of them lands in a concentration camp in a totalitarian state, the other in a scout summer camp. They will have very different views of what humans are like. These views will not be untrue; neither will these views be true. They will be limited and one-sided.

Lord of the Flies is a fable of darker sides of human nature (disclaimer: I hate fables). The book is packed with symbols and allusions that I got tired of. I prefer not to be hit over the head with author’s messages. The characters are two-dimensional at best, and I would have preferred to care for them more. I liked Piggy, the voice of reason, very much. There was very obvious fat shaming, though. The bullying was awful. “Piggy was once more the center of social derision so that everyone felt cheerful and normal.”

The grisly, beastly things were true, very plausible, and horrifying. According to the book, this seemed to be the only possible view of human nature, though. The reader who thinks that this is not always true will not be satisfied.

But I thought that the writing was very good. Golding pulls you in, you keep reading almost despite yourself, you cannot let the book go, except to say “what a great sentence”. A saving grace!

“They were twins, and the eye was shocked and incredulous at such cheery duplication.”

“Darkness poured out, submerging the ways between the trees till they were dim and strange as the bottom of the sea.”

The ending has too much of deus ex machina and feels anticlimatic.

One more thing: other reviewers pointed to “the real Lord of the Flies”, a story that is quite different from this book. It’s an interesting read, I’ll say no more. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Jun 4, 2024 |
Re-read (2009) many years after doing it in school & got a lot more out of it.
(Re-read 2015) Raised star rating. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 681 (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 (39 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
François, AndréCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregor, IanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grieken, Roderik vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, Jørgen ÅrupTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jessurun d'Oliveira, H.U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinkead-Weekes, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovályová, HedaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lapointe, ClaudeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowry, LoisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowry, LoisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Niepokólczycki, WacławTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pedersen, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pedrolo, Manuel deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkki, JuhanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smolka, DieterHerausgebersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torberg, PeterÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tranec-Dubled, LolaTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Urgan, MinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vergara, CarmenTranslatorsecondary 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.
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(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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