Free Fall Paperback – 1 Jan 1961
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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.
From the Back Cover
"I was standing up, pressed back against the wall, trying not to breathe. I got there in the one movement my body made. My body had many hairs on legs and belly and chest and head, and each had its own life; each inherited a hundred thousand years of loathing and fear for things that scuttle or slide or crawl." from Free Fall
Sammy Mountjoy, artist, rises from poverty and an obscure birth to see his pictures hung in the Tate Gallery. Swept into World War II, he is taken as a prisoner-of-war, threatened with torture, then locked in a cell of total darkness to wait. He emerges from his cell like Lazarus from the tomb, seeing infinity in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour. Transfigured by his ordeal, he begins to realize what man can be and what he has gradually made of himself through his own choices. He determines to find the exact point at which the accumulated weight of those choices has deprived him of free will.
Born in Cornwall, England, William Golding started writing at the age of seven. Though he studied natural sciences at Oxford to please his parents, he also studied English and published his first book, a collection of poems, before finishing college. He served in the Royal Navy during World War II, participating in the Normandy invasion. Golding's other novels include Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors, The Spire, Rites of Passage (Booker Prize), and The Double Tongue.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Golding’s prose is thick, allusive, adventurous and for lovers of great literature it is a master-class. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Eileen Shaw
I am glad I read this book as i have only read one other book by this author. However, some of it is rather rambling and tell of a man who is consumed by guilt and very self... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rose Wright
and yet another one bought for my brother for a christmas present. he hasnt quite finished this yet but is enjoying itPublished on 18 April 2014 by susan morris
It took a while to enter this account of a man's interior and monological journey through his own life, but, once in, it was engrossing. Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2012 by a
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... Read morePublished on 26 Nov. 2012 by P. A. Iveson