What genre could you slip a book into when it just seems to be in a genre of it's own? And even when you've found that genre, it contradicts itself and you can see it is something else, entirely different. Lord of the Flies is such a book. Trying to slot it into a pigeonhole has proved impossible to me. Just when it seems as if it fits into 'action' it wiggles free and shows me how it is, in fact, a thriller. Immediately disagreeing with itself, it tells us how it is a mere social commentary. Wait, is it a horror book? It's scary, but not in a 'ghosts and ghouls and nightmares' sort of way. Yes, it is thrilling and action-packed, but not in a 'car chases and bombs and guns' sort of way. It's even quite romantic, but not in a 'boy meets girl and falls in love and elopes with her' sort of way. It is much subtler than that. Reading this story is similar to looking at one of those optical illusion drawings. Look at it one way, you can see a horse looking over fence. Looking at it from a different light, it shows a frog sitting on a lily pad. However, this is not the type of book that simply cannot decide what it wants to say, so keeps switching and hopping around in a desperate bid to seem interesting. Lord of the Flies is a book that knows exactly what it wants to say to you, how it's going to phrase it and, child, you shall listen and you shall not forget that message. That sort of book, that forces you to sit up and listen, that lingers at the back of your mind for weeks, months, years after you've read it, should only ever be called a masterpiece. That is simply what it is. This book will change the way you think, the way you see yourself, other people and how society is organised. That is what a true masterpiece is.
Lord of the Flies tells the story of a group of English schoolboys aged between six and twelve stranded on a 'paradise island' in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by crystal clear waters, with icing sugar beaches that stretch the whole way round the island and the mysterious jungle to explore, it gives the impression of pure bliss, an escape from everyday life. With no adults present, the boys are forced to develop their own society. This stage of the book shows similarities with human evolution, as they 'discover' fire and establish levels of authority. They appear to have formed a mature, democratic system, but gradually this organisation starts to slip away as the boys primal instincts seem to take over, and the 'society' crumbles.
The plot is very simple, yet at the same time, strangely layered and twisted. It is gripping, quick-paced yet it is not written hurriedly, and, to sum it up in a word, beautiful.
Lord of the Flies is a terrifying story. Reading how the boys' fight for their survival, against the children who they were friends with makes you wonder how you can trust anyone. You find yourself wondering how you would cope in that situation. I expect most people would think that they would remain rational and not give in to their instincts, but do you know that? If you had asked Simon before he found himself on the island what he would do, would you expect him to say that he would probably kill someone? I doubt it.
I am in year 10, and was told by my teacher what an amazing book it was. I doubted her, but now i can see what she means.
This book is an utterly essential read. Never have I read a book quite so accurate, yet so exaggerated. Disturbing. Amazing. Unforgettable.