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Lord of the Flies

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,364,583 ratings  ·  21,303 reviews
With a Biographical and Critical note by E.L. Epstein, and a Portrait of the Author

When Lord of the Flies appeared in 1954 it received unprecedented reviews for a first novel. Critics used such phrases as "beautifully written, tragic and provocative...vivid and enthralling...this beautiful and desperate book...completely convincing and often very frightening...its progress
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 1959 by Capricorn Books, GP Putnam's Sons (first published 1954)
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Brohanu The story is told by an omniscient narrator, however, at various points in the story it seems "closer" to certain characters, and tells the story…moreThe story is told by an omniscient narrator, however, at various points in the story it seems "closer" to certain characters, and tells the story through the lens of different characters' thoughts. Most often this character is Ralph, but there's a few very important scenes where it's Simon. (less)

Community Reviews

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This book is horrifying. I'm scared like hell. Totally.
I was expecting an adventure book telling about some children who got stranded in an island, but ended up with goosebumps.

A bit of synopsis: A number of English school boys suffered from a plane accident causing them to get stranded in an uninhibited island. The period was maybe during the World War II. Trying to be civilized, they elected a leader for themselves as well started the division of tasks (hunters, fire-watchers, etc). Things tur
Sep 28, 2007 Nora rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who don't need a plot or characterization to enjoy a book.
Shelves: crap
I read this book a long time ago, long enough to where I barely remembered anything past the basic premise. So I picked it up again, only to wish I hadn't. There's a reason why they teach this book in middle school--in order to enjoy this book, one's intellectual cognizance must be that of a child, because otherwise you'll spend the entire time picking out everything that's wrong with the book. And there's a lot to pick out.

From what little of the story that is actually coherent, I can see why t
Lord of the Flies is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read. It was required high school reading and since then, I've read it four more times. It is as disturbing now as it was then. Using a group of innocent schoolboys stranded on an island, the author very realistically portrays human behavior in an environment where civilization no longer has meaning.
Emily May
Kids are evil. Don't you know?

I've just finished rereading this book for my book club but, to be honest, I've liked it ever since my class were made to read it in high school. Overall, Lord of the Flies doesn't seem to be very popular, but I've always liked the almost Hobbesian look at the state of nature and how humanity behaves when left alone without societal rules and structures. Make the characters all angel-faced kids with sadistic sides to their personality and what do you have? Just your
Mar 07, 2008 Mk rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mk by: required high school reading
I hated this book. First off, as I remember, it talks about humans failure to govern ourselves, or more broadly the failures of human nature. There are a few reasons why I think simply dropping a group of kids on a desert island does not in fact prove anything.

1) These kids were raised in a capitalist, nominally demcratic society. The first thing they do is appoint leaders. As someone who spends my time working in consensus based groups seeking to challenge hierarchical structures, I have a stro
I was tempted to give this five stars, since in so many ways it strikes me as the kind of masterpiece, like Heart of Darkness, that I imagine will retain its horror and readability for centuries. The prose veers (or as Golding would say it, "tends") from plain to painterly. The story is well known: a sort of allegorical morality play set in modern times -- fancy English boys left to their own devices don't so much as revert to darkness as discover primitive outlets for the darkness reflected in ...more
I was Piggy (well, in personality at least, though not in portliness). I hated everyone who picked on him. I still do. Should people be forgiven for what they do on a deserted island? That depends on whether you think their true nature has revealed itself, or their humanity has been corrupted by circumstance and stress. In a world where almost every human trait is now considered a product of both nature and nurture, would Golding have written his tale differently today? No, I don't believe so. H ...more
Aug 02, 2007 David rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynical, pessimistic people, and students in English boarding schools
I just don't buy it.

This book is famous for unmasking what brutes we are, just under the surface, but, well, for all the hype, it just isn't convincing. People--even teenage boys--just aren't as savage as Golding seems to want us to believe, and nothing in this book persuades me otherwise.

Perhaps if I'd gone to English boarding school I'd feel differently--but then that's the real irony of this book, that the brutality from which the British Empire was supposed to save so many people and culture
A hard book to rate as although its well written and is very thought provoking, the content gets unpleasantly graphic and some aspects are awkwardly dated (eg the assumption the British boys should be jolly good chaps - “we’re not savages, we’re English”).

It starts off as a conventional adventure: a mixed group of boys (some know each other; many who don’t) survive a plane crash on a desert island and struggle to survive. It is somewhat confused and confusing at first – perhaps to make the r
I absolutely hated this book. That's my over-riding memory of it I'm afraid. I had to read it in secondary school when I was about 12 and I never remember disliking a book so much which was surprising as I was a voracious reader.

I just remember having absolutely nothing in common with the characters - a group of English upper / middle class school boys whereas I was a Scottish working class girl. I just could not relate to the story at all and just wished they would all kill each other as soon a
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Nov 09, 2008 Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Recommended to Helen (Helena/Nell) by: My dad.
Over the years I must have read this book five or six times. Last night I was reading it on a train with a highlighter in my hand, because I decided to teach it this year again. Teachers wreck books, of course. We all know that. On the other hand, whatever you have to study-read, you tend to carry a bit of it with you. You don't forget that book, at least. Although I must add, that it's quite risky introducing to a Scottish classroom a book with the memorable words: "The English are best at ever ...more
Scribble Orca

UPDATE: I was very saddened to read this Guardian article about Golding's manipulation of the classroom as a means to inform this work. Here is the dichotomy between contextual analysis and the reading of a book in isolation. It's of no consequence to anyone but me that my previous rating is reduced to no stars, but a writer searching for plot events or people on which to base characters has a moral obligation, particularly when dealing with children, not to indulge in the seductive siren call t
Riku Sayuj

This tends to me among the top five books I recommend to anyone who cares to ask.

Questioning and undermining Rousseau's 'noble savage' was one of its essential goals (as Alan mentions below), hence the positioning of a classic dystopia in an idyllic setting and the choice of 'boy-scout' perfect protagonists. It is as good a dystopic novel as they come. And essential because most dystopic novels were set in urban settings, giving the illusion that extreme control leads to dystopia. Golding shows
Jason Koivu
I've got the conch now, so listen up!

In Lord of the Flies Golding deconstructed civilization, wiping it out and showing us our world in chaos. It's not pretty. Man without governance is apt to slide into savagery. At first the castaway children on this deserted isle set up rules and leadership, but law and order is overwhelmed when the majority discover there is no immediate consequence if they give in to their wants and desires. In the place of civility, a brutal world is born in which might is
Huda Yahya

لا أظن أحدا درس الإنجليزية ولم تمر عليه هذه الرواية
كنتُ في عامي الرابع وقت دراستها
ومن أول وهلة جذبتني
وبينما كان زملائي يهتمون بما سيأتي منها في الامتحان
كنت أنا ألتهمها التهاما

لن أنسى ما حييت شعوري وأنا أقرأ الحوار ما بين سيد الذباب وسايمون
ثم مقتله بعدها

المرة الأولى كنت بجوار دكتور المادة أمام الجميع
أقرأ هذا الجزء على زملائي -ولم أكن قد وصلت له بعد في قراءتي المنزلية
ولكن بما أنه المشهد الأهم-ويحمل لغز اسم الرواية الغريب-
فقد ارتأى الدكتور قرائنا له ومن ثم مناقشته بتمعن

أذكر يومها أنني اهتز صوتي لل
Shayantani Das
Rating: 3.5

A group of British boys get stranded on an island after their plane crashes. At first, the kids revel in their freedom, and lack of an authority figure. But slowly, these well educated kids turn into savages, and give way to their natural animalistic side. The political and biblical undertones of this novel are very interesting. So is symbolism of the conch shell and lord of the flies. It has a deeper meaning than what meets the eye.

I think the characters, and their development thro
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Thank god I'm done with this horrible book.

A plane full of British schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island with no adults. In the beginning, they try to be civilized and concentrate on being rescued, but the mind of Jack quickly (too quickly, I'd say) becomes twisted and warped into madness. The main protagonist is Ralph, the one who remained slightly sane throughout the book.
Ralph was really annoying at the start, but he grew as a character farther into the story.
I hated Jack. From the ve
Jonathan Ashleigh
Piggy is civilized because he wears glasses, but he wont always have them.

“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.”
Paul Nelson
Lord of the Flies is of course about a group of English schoolboys that survive a plane crash and get stranded on an island. At its core the book is about the innocence of youth and its development when they are forced inadvertently to mimic certain cultures of human society just to survive, as they edge ever closer toward destruction. All the key players even though they are children show a stereotypical persona that can be compared easily within various societies throughout history.

You have a

I remain convinced to this day that The Lord of the Flies as a controversial classic is one of those books that depends upon how you read it. I think that at the surface it appears to be a text which is simple and a little dull. When I read it back in 2007 or so I found it incredibly dull. The richness and life I saw in other classics were not apparent. However now that I think back and reflect upon this novel I see it as a grand story, one that extends beyond whatever the perversities of the au
Karina E
2.5 stars. It was not for me. It was shocking without being dramatic or gripping and it was exhausting to read about these boys going crazy.
J. Kent Messum
Some books are required reading for good reason. A book like 'Lord of the Flies' is what I like to think of more as 'demanded reading'.

There are a handful of works in the world that absolutely need to be read by all, and you can't call yourself an avid reader if you've missed out on them. William Golding's masterpiece is one such book.

'Lord of the Flies' is not so much a classic as it is a pillar in the literary Parthenon. It ain't just for high school curriculum, it's for every literate perso
سالار مگس ها داستان تعدادی پسر بچه ست که در زمانی نامعلوم به دلیل جنگ و تهدیدهای هسته ای از طرف کشورشون به مکان دیگه ای فرستاده میشن ولی سقوط هواپیما در جزیره ای ناشناخته باعث میشه بی سرپرست در مکانی که بزرگترها ازش بی خبرند مجبور به حفظ بقا بشن

کتاب از جهت زندانی شدن تو جزیره ای دور و نامعلوم "رابینسون کروزوئه" رو به خاطر میاره ولی مشکلات پسربچه های داستان ده برابر بزرگتر از گرفتاری های رابینسونه که اینجا اونها جامعه ای تشکیل دادند و فردیت معنایی نداره.اگر اونجا فرد برای بقا به مشکل میخورد اینجا
Well written, accurate, and insightful about the human nature of man, especially if left to itself and unbridled. But once again, it's full of hate and evil and lack of conscience which certainly exists all around us but you won't feel good if you read this book. You won't feel uplifted and motivated to be a better'll just shudder at how awful, cruel, and evil mankind can be. It will probably make you more cynical and doubtful. Now how is that helpful in the long run?

PS if you reall
3.5 stars

I haven't read this book since I was 11 years old. It disturbed me then, it disturbs me even more now. I guess with my Sociology background it was quite fascinating to see how societal roles were created among the boys. Thoughts that came to mind were do we naturally desire control by authority, and do we feel more comfortable with rules being in place? As one of the children said, " Because the rules are the only thing we've got."

I remember my English teacher telling my class not to
“Ralph gemeu debilmente. Apesar de extenuado, não conseguia descontrair-se e cair num poço de sonolência por receio da tribo. Não seria possível avançar ousadamente até ao forte, dizer «venho em paz», rir frivolamente e dormir junto dos outros? Fingir que continuavam a ser rapazes, miúdos da escola que diziam «Senhor, sim, senhor» e usavam bonés? A luz do dia poderia ter respondido afirmativamente, mas as trevas e os horrores da morte insistiam que não. Ali deitado na escuridão, sabia que era um ...more
Esteban del Mal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sidharth Vardhan
It is not so much of a study of group dynamics as a very tight allegory on a society, specially christian society. Piggy (there is a bit of anticlimax in his name) represents the more civilized and intellectual part of society. Jack (from Jack the ripper?) represents the more barbaric spirits based on pure physical strength.Ralph is the sanity and balance of these forces - he is the one who starts and leads an assembly; he has leadership qualities but frequently fells to populism and he is unabl ...more
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Sir William Gerald Golding was a British novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his 1954 novel Lord of the Flies. He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 and was knighted by the Queen of England in 1988.

In 2008, The Times ranked Golding
More about William Golding...

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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” 2654 likes
“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.” 1162 likes
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