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Free Fall Paperback – Jun 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156028239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156028233
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,209,532 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.

Product Description

Book Description

Free Fall by William Golding - now with an introduction by John Gray - is a tale of war, incarceration and free will, from the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and author of Lord of the Flies. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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, and also took part in the pursuit 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 Walcheren. 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I have walked by stalls in the market-place where books, dog-eared and faded from their purple, have burst with a white hosanna. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Golding takes Sammy from incoherent childhood with a drunken mother in the dissolute, but stimulating slums, through fostering with a repressed vicar, to adulation as a talented young artist, where his destructive obsession with an old schoolmate leaves him apparently unharmed, but has far worse consequences for her. Golding's exploration of the burden of this on Sammy's subsequent life, and his examination of the relationship between the hunter and the hunted, are chillingly realised. Not an easy book, especially during the prisoner-of-war sections, but one that will leave you feeling you've seen a part of the world, or a part of the human psyche, you'd only dimly realised existed.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. C. Whiteley VINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Free Fall opens with one of the most stunning first paragraphs I have ever, or am ever likely to, read. Golding is the master of the poetic image: few writers have such an uncanny ability to conjure up such exact pictures in the reader’s mind’s eye or to draw such empathy. Indeed, I had to wrench myself away from it in order to read the rest of the book, so long did I want to linger there and savour its beauty. Golding’s perfect prose stands as a challenge to the more base expression of lesser writers. The novel deals with free will/freedom, and what happens when it is lost (perhaps via the very mechanism of free will) through the eyes of artist Samuel Mountjoy, who narrates the piece: andante, and predominantly in flashback. (Do not be put off, by the way, when I say that the pace is andante, it is andante as opposed to largo. This book does not drag, it is a consistently engaging read.)
Through an analysis of his past, he tries to make sense of his life, of himself, and of humanity in general. Other themes which emerge during the course of the book are: Love, Life, Guilt, the perplexities of childhood and the heavy responsibilities of adulthood, war, politics, inequity, injustice etc. Golding touches on some, and expounds on others more elaborately. In the hands of a lesser author, the sheer volume and complexity of these interrelated and interwoven themes would soon become a hopeless muddle, but Golding’s touch is sure, and the result is glorious polyphony, rather than terrible cacophony.
Through Mountjoy, Golding explores the nature of a human being, our essence, what some might call a soul, and the inadequacy of language as a medium for communicating or expressing that inner self.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meredith Byrne on 23 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
This one takes some focus, but at the end, it really leaves you thinking - about the story, and about yourself. As with all his novels, William Golding leaves the twist to the very end, when everything becomes clear (or, at least, you have your own understanding of the story, even if other readers think differently).

The novel is purely and simply a man's recollection of his life, and his realisation that he has been a horrible person and his actions have had terrible consequences. He thinks back over everything he has done to try and pinpoint the moment when he diverted from the path of innocence and goodness. There is even a memory of being interrogated in a POW camp in which his childhood horrors and imaginings punished him far more than the Gestapo.

I won't give the game away, but it's only at the end that you find out what he did that has caused this soul searching - but it's definitely worth the wait, even though there are parts that seem really opaque when you don't understand why.

This novel really unsettles you and makes you think about how your own life has affected everyone around you. Everyone should read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Iveson on 26 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is often brilliant. As for free will and determinism there must be millions of men who would like to believe that systematic sexual degradation of women is something they have no control over.
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