on 18 March 2007
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.
on 30 November 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!
on 18 May 2005
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.
I can’t remember the last time I read this book, but I must admit it was good to come back to something like this which is something that really draws you in. I should think that at least half the country by now has had to study this book at one time or another, and so loads of allegories and symbolism can be argued over certain passages in this novel.
At the beginning though it didn’t look like this book would be published at all, but after being pushed by an editor at Faber and Faber and requests for a few alterations this eventually hit the shelves in 1954. It is rather ironic that some of the most well known and popular books of the last century, that also made some authors household names were initially rejected by numerous publishers, so if you are a writer carry on and persist in your endeavours.
With a plane crash a group of schoolboys come together on a deserted island and have to make the best of things. Apart from a choir group who all know each other, and twins who obviously do know each other for the majority here they have never really met before and age from about six to twelve years old. William Golding was himself a school master for many years and so he knew and could see how children can become suddenly vicious when left to their own devices and this comes across very well in this book.
Ralph is arguably the main character in this book, but there is also Jack who is head of the choirboys, and Piggy, an overweight, bespectacled and asthmatic boy who is the most intelligent in the group. From the initial shock of their predicament we see how at first they try to get organised and make preparations for surviving and being rescued. But these are little boys and soon things start to get left undone as the smaller ones play and there is disputing amongst the older ones.
As we see the group start to flounder and separate there are tales of a monster and more and more of the boys turn to barbarism from their civilized upbringings. As the story progresses so does the savagery, which Golding doesn’t shy away from, and although we know that ultimately a group of adults would start to alter with the young boys the disintegration of modern ways happens in a shorter time frame.
Still influencing authors today this is always a good read and is ideal for those who are going to secondary school or older persons, as it reminds us all how close we really are to our ancestors despite the veneer of civilization that we try to cling to.
on 24 May 2016
Bought this book for my daughter for GCSE English.
The story begins quite boring and my daughter found herself wanting to skip pages just to get to the end. But at the last few chapters, it gets very interesting and gripping. And the overall moral allegory demonstrated throughout the novel is definitely very interesting.
The quality of the book as a product is great, received an obviously new book, but what seemed like the residue of a sticker on the top right corner, but it is quite clearly visible when looking at the cover of the book.
This is one of my favourite books.
I thought that Lord of the Flies was a teenagers' book, about a bunch of children who go feral. It is far, far deeper than that. It is applicable to what goes on in the world.
The reason why I like this book is that, since reading it, things have happened in my life and I immediately I think of the Beast in the book.
Over and over again, the book made me think. This is not a teenager’s book – the themes are very adult. I will give an example surrounding one event – the election of a leader, almost at the start of the book:
Three of the main characters are Ralph, Jack and Piggy. Jack is head boy, a chorister and intolerably arrogant. Jack puts himself forward to be leader because, he announces, “…I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp”. The latter is a ridiculous reason but as adults we forget how children will consider the irrelevant relevant.
Another boy suggests they put it to a vote and immediately Jack protests – he realises he will not win and tries to manipulate the situation. His character is clearly repugnant from the outset. Every schoolboy and schoolgirl will know a character like Jack, as will any adult reader.
It is easy to forget that the author says at this point “what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy..”. He is hinting that Piggy is a contender for leadership. Yet Piggy never puts himself forward due to a lack of confidence. How many times does this apply in the adult world? I had completely forgotten that Piggy should have been a contender, such is his character in the novel. He is the voice of reason, yet his lack of confidence undermines him irreparably.
The above quote continues “…while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, his attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch”.
There are two points here: firstly, the author says that the most obvious leader is Jack despite the fact that he is an arrogant tyke with few redeeming features. How many of us adults have worked under a manager like that – someone promoted beyond his abilities?
Secondly, the first two reasons for nominating Ralph – his height and that he is handsome – are superficial yet so true to democratic politics. People vote for candidates because they are tall and handsome. Indeed in life in general, tall, attractive people tend to earn more regardless of their abilities.
(Incidentally, the value attributed to the conch in the book never made sense to me – surely there must have been plenty of them in the shallow waters?)
The Beast is the most fascinating part of the story. It is the prime reason why I like the book so much. Incidents occur in my life and I think "That's the `Lord of the Flies' in action" (if you read the book, you will understand what I mean).
You have to remember that William Golding was a teacher at a school in Salisbury when he wrote ‘Lord of the Flies’. At that time a popular book was ‘Coral Island’ which romanticised childhood and the civility of children. Indeed, Piggy refers to ‘Coral Island’ right at the start of the book – the author is drawing your attention to it because he is about to rip it apart. William Golding, as a teacher, knew better – he knew how cruel children can be and Lord of the Flies depicts that descent into depravity and evil.
This is a terribly good book.
on 7 March 2016
A fantastic book that I first read when I was at school. The English curriculum has been changed again for GCSE level and this book now features as part of the course. As such I bought this for my daughter to get her reading ahead of time.
This is a superb book and if anyone has seen the film, that is true to the book. Well worth a read.
on 2 October 2002
Nobody who reads this novel fails to realise the significance of it. I read it for my GCSE course, and then again for the sheer hell of it. Golding's depiction of a group of boys' descent into madness and savagery is totally gripping and believable.
Shocking and powerful, the Lord of the Flies is a novel of supreme quality that will always move any reader with its scenes of humour, drama, and terrible savagery. It is compelling and wonderful from start to finish. A revelation.
I can quite honestly say I have read nothing better.
on 16 May 2005
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!
on 5 July 2007
My nephew's 10, a great kid, but you can't pull him away from the Nintendo. The other day, I did a deal (OK, a bribe) - if he read the first chapter of Lord of the Flies, I'd buy him a new game of his choice.
Job done. He sat transfixed, and read the whole book at one sitting (OK, a half-time break for a bacon butty). Still hasn't hassled me for the Nintendo game. I'm starting him on Salinger and Orwell and Iain Banks next week. That's my boy!
But seriously, there's loads of press about kids not reading anything other than Harry Potter. Catch them in the right mood and they'll lap it up. And it's the old favourites that work every time.
I hope I'm not breaking any confidences when I tell you that Jake cried when... well, if you've read it, you'll know the bit I mean.