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Lord of the Flies

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,468,699 Ratings  ·  22,985 Reviews
Since it was first published in 1954, William Golding's classic debut novel has remained a stark allegory of civilization, survival, and human nature. As dystopian stories like Hunger Games and Battle Royale surge in popularity, this haunting tale of a group of young boys stranded on a desert island still captivates schoolchildren around the world, raising timeless and pro ...more
Paperback, Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century, 182 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published September 17th 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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Dec 04, 2013 Silvana rated it it was amazing
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 did not like it
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
Emily May
Mar 20, 2014 Emily May rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
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
Oct 25, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction
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.
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
Mar 07, 2008 Mk rated it did not like it
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
Aug 27, 2008 Andrew rated it really liked it
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
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Apr 12, 2016 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Sabah

I only know that Lord of the Flies is an extremely popular classic book but I have zero idea on what it’s about and I must say, this is completely unexpected and until now I’m not sure if that’s in a good way or bad. ^^ The premise is without a doubt ingenious- a group of kids castaway in an island? Sounds like a partaayy! Tom Hanks would have loved to jump in if only he weren’t an adult.^^

And party it was at the greater half of the book which mostly consisted of:

1. Purposeless assemblies
2. A lo
May 10, 2008 Yulia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: criminal-intent
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 did not like it
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
Jun 01, 2007 Gothadh rated it did not like it
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
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Nov 09, 2008 Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 04, 2016 Evgeny rated it liked it
Shelves: classic
A group read with a bunch of Pantaloonless Buddies.

A group of young boys are dumped on a small island in the middle of Atlantic. The reason for this is very sketchy and the tale starts right after this event. For a while it was all fun and games until it was not: primitive instincts took over and for kids it became kill-or-be-killed survival.
Robinson Crusoe

This book was hailed by some critics as the best novels written in English. This is also an undisputed classic and a required reading in high school. It d
Jan 07, 2016 Mario rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own, own-read
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.

This book doesn't fall under horror category, right? Then why did it scare living crap out of me?

Lord of the Flies is a story about a group of boys who get marooned on one island after their plane crashed. Now, from the first page of this book, I had this uneasy feeling for some reason. And the more I read, the more that feeling grew. I've already heard that this book was not an easy book to read and that there were some pretty disturbing scenes. But st
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Jason Koivu
May 03, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
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
Nov 06, 2008 Marka added it
Riku Sayuj
Oct 16, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing

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
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
Shayantani Das
May 21, 2016 Shayantani Das rated it it was amazing
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
Jonathan Ashleigh
Nov 03, 2015 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it it was amazing
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.”
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*

Written in the afterword:

The theme for LORD OF THE FLIES is described by Golding as follows (in the same publicity questionnaire): "The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. The moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable. The whole book is symbolic in nature except...." - and here I end the quote because it provides spoilers fo
May 21, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, read-2014
Well......I vaguely remember parts of this book from reading it in high school a zillion years ago, and my opinion of finding it disturbing has not changed now that I am old and grey. It is definitely not a feel good book, but oh what a frightening adventure! Poor ole Piggy was so cruelly mistreated, and my favorite character, Simon, who seemed the most intelligent of the bunch, sure did not deserve his (view spoiler) While I don't believe I will read this classic again, ...more
Karina E
Aug 17, 2015 Karina E rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
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.
Feb 19, 2016 Laurie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul Nelson
Nov 03, 2015 Paul Nelson rated it liked it
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
Aug 17, 2015 FeReSHte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: britain
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
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
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Reading List Comp...: The Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Starts May 1st, 2016) 15 15 May 26, 2016 03:04PM  
Who is your favoirte character? 8 66 May 23, 2016 05:45PM  
what would happen if the kids were little girls instead of boys? 166 1508 May 08, 2016 11:57PM  
Best book in English language ever written? 148 1037 May 08, 2016 12:49PM  
English 4/4th Hour: Book Summary 4 8 Mar 31, 2016 11:24AM  
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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 in 1988.

In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of
More about William Golding...

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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” 2788 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.” 1212 likes
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