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Lord of the Flies [Unknown Binding]

Golding. William. Illustrated By Cover Art
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: N . Y.: Capricorn, 1959 (1959)
  • ASIN: B0080R3Z4S
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,148,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, submarines and aircraft. He was present at the sinking of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-day invasion, and later at the island of Welcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961.

Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993. The Double Tongue, a novel left in draft at his death, was published in June 1995.

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The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's difficult to write a concise review for a book which touches so many issues and represents so many different ideas.

There are definite religious and political parallels drawn in Lord of The Flies, and the idea of how a society thrown together in a loose semblance of democratic order can quickly break down and become savage has since (and indeed before) provided a good spine for a story.

The real strength of this book however is the human story. A novel dealing with young boys stranded on an island was always going to be emotive - and Golding seems to have steered away from making the book over sentimental. This maybe takes away some of the raw emotion the reader ought to feel, but it also makes the book feel more authoritative - strengthening the underlying political messages.

Central to the book is the relationship between Ralph and Piggy. Ralph being the broody leader of the group; the nearest thing to an adult mind. And Piggy being his aide, albeit not officially - him being the only boy able to unite the group, even if it is a union of mockery. There are some tense moments in the book, particularly towards the end where there is a struggle for power between Ralph and choir-boy-turned-bad, Jack.

Golding manages to use subtle devices to convey a wider meaning with only a few words, or a simple gesture. The way the boys simply deny an event happened to ignore the horror of their actions. The way the conch shell seems to symbolise power, and how an innocent uttering can be loaded with vitriol.

It's the power-struggle and the desire to know the ultimate fate of the boys on the island which compel the reader to read on. This is a fascinating read and it plays on your mind for a while afterwards. The ending seemed a little flat, almost too convenient, but it also vilified Ralph's constant request to keep the fire burning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Savage youth 17 May 2011
It has probably been twenty years since I read this book, so I remembered very little about it. I am pleased to say that it was very well-written and deserves its status as a modern classic. The story is about a group of boys who are stranded on an island after a plane crash, and about how they live with each other and ultimately turn against each other. It is a good study not only of child psychology but of human psychology in general when "thrown into the wild". There were plenty of British idioms that I didn't understand completely, and the vocabulary in general is fairly advanced for a children's book (if it was meant to be one - I'm not actually sure), but the story was easy to follow and the characters, for the most part, were well-drawn. I have never heard of the other books this author wrote, but if his talent as a writer is based on this book, they might be worth checking out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys will be boys 21 Jun 2006
`TLOTF' is a classic `heart of darkness' book, in which people displaced from their usual boundaries and rules are forced to confront their own natures. What makes `TLOTF' especially disturbing is that the protagonists are all boys, and consequently their excesses are perhaps worse than those of adults. Although children are often paragons of innocence, it is also a truism that they can be crueller and more destructive than adults, and it is this aspect that Golding gives free reign to.

The children are cast adrift on a deserted island following a plane crash in which all the adults perished. The rest of the world is plunged into nuclear war, and rescue is not forthcoming. The children initially organise themselves under the leadership of Ralph, forming a rudimentary parliament and planning for their survival. The petty squabbles and bullying that occur in playgrounds every day begin to surface, and their plans for survival and rescue crumble as they are more interested in playing, hunting and arguing about their status. Boys will be boys, indeed. Without the guidance of rules, or the presence of adults, the games and the fights become more sinsister, unchecked in their ferocity and viciousness. Eventually the island becomes the scene of war and murder, and a depressing observation of what `human nature' really is.

I enjoy `heart of darkness' books in general, but `TLOTF' is an exemplary story. Golding constantly plays with the contrast between the childish errors of the group and their violence and cruelty, leading to the question of which behaviour is the more childish. The schoolboy dialect serves to illustrate their youth, even as they discuss murder. It is this contrast that gives the book its power, and creates a disturbing picture of humanity for the reader, right through to the final sentence. It is the sort of literature that the Nobel prize was invented for. Not happy, not pretty, but incredibly moving and memorable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent read 16 May 2005
This is an excellent book and can be read on many different levels. It tells the story of a group of young children stranded on a deserted island, no adults, no order and what ensues.
It's a very powerful book, very simple yet very complex on different levels. It is highly relevant in today's society and we can all learn a lot from it. It is very real, at first you don't want to believe that children are capable of such atrocities, but as you read on you realise it is undeniable human nature. It is a very gruesome and horrible but it makes you aware of the depravity of the human race.
I was given this to read as a set book for school, once I started reading I couldn't put it down. It's not often that I am genuinely hooked on a book. It's suitable for all ages and readers who can read. William Golding uses deep character relationships which are very moving. The pace of the book is quite slow but it's very descriptive and you can build up a vivid mental picture.
This is a must read it has it all, and there is something in it for everyone. It is very honest and has lead me to question myself if I was stranded on a desert island with my classmates how would I react? Before reading Lord of the Flies I would have said I would be a leader and it would all be fine. After reading the book I fear my intentions would be honourable but I don't know about the consequences.
It is a short easy read and one of my all time favourites, an all time classic, buy it!
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