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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away."
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)...
Published on 14 May 2008 by @GeekZilla9000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The ending is poor.
Not sure this true any more. The ending is poor.
Published 4 months ago by DesCave


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away.", 14 May 2008
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (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
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
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
`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 review is from: Lord of the Flies (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
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (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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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing yet brilliantly written, 30 Nov 2001
This is a compelling novel, despite the content which is disturbing but true. Golding has turned young innocent children into animalistic savages, with stunning imagery and language that we have come to expect from him.
This edition is particually useful for anyone studying Lord of the Flies at school or college. The introductiion is very worth reading, giving background and insight into the book, helping with understanding of the plot and symbolism. The notes in the back are also interesting, explaining Goldings neologism "flinked" as well as most other points of interest in the novel. Highly recommended!
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and ... the true, wise friend called Piggy", 18 Mar 2007
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This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
This novel is an absolutely wonderful piece of literature. It is funny, moving, emotional, and beautifully crafted. Golding's attention to detail here are second to none, and the symbolism he uses in this fantastic novel is extremely complex.

The whole experience can smilarly be described as complex, but not complicated. It is easy to follow and enjoy, but as you look beneath the surface, the novel features surprises, foreshaddowing and religious significance.

As the boys lose their rules they develop and Jack forms his own tribe of terror, events in the book progress from simple bullying to stylised animal rape and even murder. Golding effectively uses these episodes to explore the darkness of man's heart, and the novel can show us what we are capable of in a similar situation.

The characters range from the Christ-like figure of Simon to the Satanic symbol that is Roger, and the opposite extremes provide a great contrast to create the tensions Golding has in the novel.

The effective conclusion is very pessimistic as is Golding's outlook on the subject:

"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy".

It is a wonderful novel that everyone should read; as a good story, as beautiful literature and as a dire warning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Island Life, 19 Aug 2014
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
This is one of those books that I have been meaning to read for a number of years. At school it was on the syllabus but for some reason we never got around to reading it, so it has been sat on my bookshelf for around 20 years. I remember seeing the film at some point so I had a vague idea of the plot and what to expect. The novel has been described as a modern classic so obviously I began reading with a certain expectation.

Reading the other reviews on various sites such as amazon, the majority of readers seem to award the book either five stars or four. These detail how the different themes of power, humanity and leadership (to name but a few) are explored and how Golding weaves these into the plot, occasionally very subtly (the Conch fading throughout) and other times very blatantly (the pig's head). The story follows a group of boys that range in ages from the relatively young called little 'uns, to elder teenagers. The arrive on the island following a plane crash in the midst of an atomic war, we are not told much about the conflicts origins. The book begins with Ralph & Piggy finding each other on the beach and when they find a conch shell, Piggy tells Ralph to blow it in order that all the survivors can hear and come together for the first meeting. From here the tale progresses into a bitter battle of leadership and the split of the group.

I won't go into the plot any more than that, other reviewers seem to have already done this, sometimes in too much detail.

So what did I think of the novel? Obviously LOTF has considerable literary merit, but I am a reader that also likes to indulge in a book for escapism and pleasure. Many so called 'classics' have left me cold in the past (even more so 'modern classics'), with storylines that have almost bored me to tears. However Lord of the Flies was something of a mixed bag for me. If I had to critique the novel, it was for me, almost split into three sections. Firstly the beginning where all members of the new society were introduced and made various discoveries of their surroundings, the middle where things are starting to go wrong and the end where most of the action is held. My main issue was with the middle, here the story just seemed to drag, whatever sympathies I had built up with the characters seemed to be placed on hold as Golding began to fill paragraphs with descriptions of the island etc. It interrupted the flow of the novel and almost made me want to put it down and pick up something else. I am glad that I persevered though because when the ending began it was dark, explosive and some parts quite unexpected. However despite the middle of the novel dragging slightly (in my opinion) the surrounding tales more than made up for this. You are dragged into the island life and can feel the fear felt by it's inhabitants.

Golding really captures the boys individual personalities, and draws the reader into a real life battle of human nature, choosing not just to uncover it's positives but also delving into it's dark underbelly.

Do I believe that if a bunch of school children were marooned on an island they would act the same way? Not at all. And this is why I think Golding is such a talented writer. Even though I cannot agree with his ideas, he still managed to capture my imagination for the duration of the book and made me part of the world he created.

Am I glad I read it? Yes
Would I recommend it? Yes
Would I read it again? Probably not
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good education, 20 July 2008
By 
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
I found the 14 year olds perspective really interesting. I read this book for G.C.S.E. and loved it! admittedly I had read it several years before and found it O.K. Looking back I think I missed some of the finer points and the more gory bits put me off (I was about 10 and more interested in ponies at the time).

It is true to say that often studying a book can ruin it, destroying the magic of the story. but in my case study enriched the experience and helped me to understand some of the finer points. at the time I loved the way that understanding added new depths to the text.

I have just read it again and I still love it. one of the greatest things about LOTF is its ability to appeal to both a young and mature audience, and I was delighted to find that, like teaching, age also offers new angles of approach and fresh perspectives.

Having sung its praises I do feel that William Golding had an axe to grind when he was writing LOTF and there is an ever-present religious undertone that can get a bit monotonus. I think for this reason the book is better suited to younger readers and will be especially appreciated by those with a bit of nouse, who are able to see but not be dragged in by some of the books (arguably) outdated moral ideals that seem a little un-realistic. Similarly some of the more obvious analytical gems, such as the island as a microcosm of the world and the boys as representations of humanity get a bit dull and repetitive, but a bit of reading around will see you well rewarded.

For me LOTF remains a good story and an excellent introduction to textual analysis that is very rewarding no matter when you read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ORIGINAL IDEA OF PRISTINE SURVIVAL, 28 Jan 2008
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
This being a classic most of us had to read in school, I dared commenting on some plot points - so,
***** *** ** * WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD * ** *** *****

A number of phospholipids left alone in solution will self-organize into a double-layer membrane. A number of differentiated cells carry the inherent capability of self-organize into a semblance of tissue. Do humans carry a similar inherent tendency to self-organize into organized societies? And at what price?

From Stephen King's THE STAND to one of the best TV series ever, LOST, the idea of an isolated group of survivors forming a pristine human society and falling to avoid our dark proclivities has been explored again and again. This 1954 novel was the original telling of it. WILLIAM GOLDING being a Literature Nobelist, it comes to no surprise that his prose is mesmerizing, economic and direct at the same time.

Most societal archetypes and their interactive trajectories are elegantly represented: the benevolent yet eventually dethroned natural leader (Ralph) that is vindicated only after a deus ex machina intervention (the Naval officer); the militaristic idiot that manages to pass as a charismatic necessity (Jack); the technology-dependent intellectual weakling (Piggy) that eventually gets murdered by the brutal dictator (Roger) - who would come up running the show in the end if not stopped by their return to civilization. Reading LORD OF THE FLIES will bring up a great number of familiar societal types. Nevertheless, GOLDING presents a rather deterministic viewpoint.

One does not have to agree with GOLDING's pessimistic myth: we humans are not inherently bound to our societal shackles - and are perfectly capable of both doing the unexpected and surviving without a structured civilization. We existed a long time without it and we can learn again to do so if dictated by necessity. And, keep in mind, according to the Freudian approach, socialization is the root of most...psychosis.

It will keep you thinking long after the last page is turned.

RECOMMENDED!
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Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Paperback - 3 Mar 1997)
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