Lord of the Flies
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Lord of the Flies

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,225,726 ratings  ·  17,841 reviews
William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first, it seems as though it's all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious & life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic & death. As ordinary standards of behavior collapse, the whole world the boys kn...more
Paperback, Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century, 182 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (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)
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Silvana
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...more
Nora
Sep 28, 2007 Nora rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
Nancy
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.
Mk
Mar 07, 2008 Mk rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
Andrew
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
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...more
Yulia
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
David
Aug 02, 2007 David rated it 1 of 5 stars
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...more
Gothadh
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...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...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
BOYS WILL BE BOYS THERE'S A PIG'S HEAD.
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Nov 09, 2008 Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...more
Cecily
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”).

PLOT
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...more
Marka
Nov 06, 2008 Marka added it
I HATE THIS BOOK!!!
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...more
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...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
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...more
Jonathan

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...more
Esteban del Mal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stella
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 person...you'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...more
Josephine Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Mar 08, 2009 Josephine Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Luna Lovegood and people who can connect with her
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zaki
What happens when a group of school boys get marooned on a desert island following a plane crash?

They've got no adult authority.

They all descend into savagery.

Golding highlights our edgy similarity to the spirit of wild beasts.

This is replete with biblical motifs.
Brad
Can someone tell me where the anarchy lies in this book?

All I can remember about discussing this book in high school is that it was supposed to be about anarchy, about how we descend into madness and "chaos" without law and order to hold our childlike hands. Every time I've overheard a conversation about LOTFs since, it has been the same thing: somewhere in the discussion someone mentions anarchy, as though that one word can sum up everything Golding was doing. Even the afterword by E.L. Epstien...more
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 10, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jillian Joy
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books and 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core, dystopian
This book is one of those that I regret not reading earlier in my life. There are just too many lessons that one can learn and apply at various stages of one's life. Wikipedia says that there have been two movie adaptations of this classic novel originally published in 1954: the first one in 1963 and the other one in 1990. However, they did not count its Tagalog movie adaptation in 1976 entitled Alkitrang Dugo directed by Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara starring, among others, the young Roderick Paula...more
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أمير الذباب....اسم غريب لرواية اغرب

رواية حصلت على جايزة نوبل!...ويالها من رواية

مجموعة من الاطفال مسافرين على طيارة الطيارة وقعت بيهم فالبحر فراحوا لجزيرة وبقيوا فيها لحد ما حد يسال عنهم او يدور عليهم....البطل هو رالف الولد اللي يحمل الشخصية القائدة المتحملة للمسؤلية والمحبوب من الكل واللي يعتبر ناضج وعاقل جدا بالنسبة لسنه....معاه تلات اولاد شخصيات رئيسية....جاك الولد اللي لا يؤمن الا بالقوة وهو اكبرهم سنا وواكثرهم شراسة....وبيجي الولد السمين اللي دايما بيقول الصح بس ماحدش بيسمعه وبيستخفو بيه....
...more
Rowena
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...more
Tamora Pierce
I don't believe boys/men are like this; I don't believe people are like this. I never did. It was well written, but I wanted to take a hot shower afterwards.
Verónica
Simply, it is such an excellent and influential novel of adventure with a story that is incredibly interesting and entertaining, which is also dramatic and emotional. It takes place in a very unusual setting and explains and shows what we can become if we do not have respect, rules and order which could cause deadly and irreversible chaos.
The author, William Golding, describes the novel in a deep and detailed manner not wanting to leave out any insignificant detail; so it makes the story more r...more
Lynne King
“You are a silly little boy,” said the Lord of the Flies, “just an ignorant, silly little boy.”
Simon moved his swollen tongue but said nothing.
“Don’t you agree?” said the Lord of the Flies. “Aren’t you just a silly little boy?”
Simon answered him in the same silent voice (how can you have a silent voice?).
“Well then,” said the Lord of the Flies, “you’d better run off and play with the others. They think you’re batty. You don’t want Ralph to think you’re batty do you? You like Ralph a lot, don’t y...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
More about William Golding...
Rites of Passage (To the Ends of the Earth, #1) The Inheritors Pincher Martin: The Two Deaths of Christopher Martin Darkness Visible The Spire

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“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.” 1021 likes
“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” 725 likes
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