Somewhere, on an irregular basis, a small, disillusioned group meets in a spit-and-sawdust pub to bemoan their judgement; comprising the twelve or so publishers who rejected "Lord of the Flies", their nostalgic yearnings for time machines continue until closing time when the, by now, bedraggled group slouches and slurs home. In contrast, Faber and now Guild Publishing have enjoyed the champagne benefits of "Flies" presence on the GCE/GCSE syllabi and "Pincher" on the Advanced Level lists since their publications, 1954 and 1956 respectively. The Booker Prize was captured by "Rites" in 1980, the first in his sea trilogy; in 1980, "The Times" ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Guild Publication has now gained the rights from Faber to publish this Golding trilogy, some say his best three novels; it is an excellently produced compilation, sewn and glued sections with a Faber-type, minimalist dust-cover design. Not usually a fan of large editions of collected works in one volume, I like this - a sensible size, good quality paper and a readable text (11pt?). This edition could accompany students through three levels of examinations - a must for all aspiring students and "pushy" parents!
These three books exemplify Golding's style very clearly - allusions to classical literature, mythology and Christian symbolism, extensive vocabulary, stories pared to their essentials and plots which seem to deepen with each page. Another distinct Golding writing-style feature is his isolation of characters, preventing outside influences from affecting their situation and fates - two islands and a ship. This tightness of narrative structure focuses the plot's intensity with laser-like precision.
Recommended. Three of Golding's best for £1.50!