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Lord of the Fliesby William Golding
"Beyond the many biblical allusions and its searing parable of the folly of being human, Lord of the Flies is simply a cracking good adventure story....While the prose remains fresh and furious, with a nearly breakneck pace that sends the reader hurtling through its pages, Golding's theme of society's defects stemming from the nature of mankind is nothing less than timeless." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
Originally published in 1954, William Golding's Lord of the Flies is one of the most disturbing and celebrated novels of modern times.
A plane crashes on a desert island. The only survivors are a group of schoolboys. At first they revel in the freedom and celebrate the absence of grown-ups. Soon though, as the boys' fragile sense of order begins to collapse, their fears start to take on a sinister, primitive significance. Suddenly, the world of cricket, homework and adventure stories seems a long way away. The boys are faced with a more pressing reality survival and the appearance of a terrifying beast who haunts their dreams.
From Our Staff:
In this bleak tale of a community gone awry, a group of schoolboys are stranded on a deserted island. The untenable situation soon devolves into chaos and horror. The ending is surprising and satisfying. Golding's creepy story is amazing!
"The most influential novel...since Salinger's Catcher in the Rye." Time
"Lord of the Flies [is my selection for The Book That Changed My Life] because it is both a story with a message and because it is a great tale of adventure. My advice about reading is to do a lot of it." Stephen King, for the National Book Foundation, The Book That Changed My Life
"[T]his brilliant work is a frightening parody on man's return (in a few weeks) to that state of darkness from which it took him thousands of years to emerge. Fully to succeed, a fantasy must apprach very close to reality. Lord of the Flies does. It must also be superbly written. It is." The New York Times Book Review
"Like any orthodox moralist Golding insists that Man is a fallen creature, but he refuses to hypostatize Evil or to locate it in a dimension of its own. On the contrary Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, is Roger and Jack and you and I, ready to declare himself as soon as we permit him to." John Peter, Kenyon Review
"[S]parely and elegantly written....Lord of the Flies is a grim anti-pastoral in which adults are disguised as children who replicate the worst of their elders' heritage of ignorance, violence, and warfare." Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books
Before The Hunger Games there was Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature.
Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.
The classic tale of a group of English school boys who are left stranded on an unpopulated island, and who must confront not only the defects of their society but the defects of their own natures.
About the Author
Born in Cornwall, England, in 1911 and educated at Oxford University, William Gerald Golding's first book, Poems, was published in 1935. Following a stint in the Royal Navy and other diversions during and after World War II, Golding wrote Lord of the Flies while teaching school. This was the first of several novels including Pincher Martin, Free Fall, and The Inheritors and a play, The Brass Butterfly, which led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983.
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