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Lord of the Flies [Special Edition] [Hardcover]

William Golding
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 4.49  
Library Binding 11.45  
Hardcover, Special Edition, 2 Sep 2004 --  
Paperback 5.59  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Abridged 9.99  
Unknown Binding --  
Audio Download, Unabridged 11.35 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

2 Sep 2004
A plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. As the boys' delicate sense of order fades, so their childish dreams are transformed into something more primitive, and their behaviour starts to take on a murderous, savage significance. First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies is one of the most celebrated and widely read of modern classics.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Anniversary edition edition (2 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571224520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571224524
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,077,540 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

Amazon Review

Lord of the Flies , 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 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

'Beautiful and desperate... something quite out of the ordinary.' --Observer

'Terrifying and haunting.' --Kingsley Amis

'Beautifully written, tragic and provocative.' --E. M. Forster --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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 an excellent read 16 May 2005
Format:Hardcover
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read 16 May 2005
Format:Hardcover
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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