Nancy's Reviews > Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
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Jan 14, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, fiction
Read in April, 2003 , read count: 3

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.
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01/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

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Nancy I was 14 when I read the book the first time. I remember thinking how some of the characters resembled the bullies I went to school with. It's definitely worth revisiting with an adult perspective and without the pressures of school assignments.


message 2: by Nancy (last edited Jul 04, 2009 05:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nancy You could be right, Ixan. Girls can be downright nasty at that age, but I wonder how popular a book about girls behaving badly on an island would be.


Mizzashley I think if it were about girls there wouldn't be any left to rescue. Not because they couldn't take care of themselves but because they would be killing each other off.


Candy516 i dedenitly understand what you are saying. i first read the book when i was only 12, the same age (about) as ralph and was able to understand his actions and choices, and i still can if i go back to those child hood moments.


message 5: by Dharshan (new) - added it

Dharshan Das Mizzashley wrote: "I think if it were about girls there wouldn't be any left to rescue. Not because they couldn't take care of themselves but because they would be killing each other off. "

I hope you meant in a humorous way but if not then I would like to correct you by stating that girls,even at a very young age are capable of formal group discussion and vocalisation of various issues that need to addressed. Yes,I agree girls have an issue of vanity and egotism but they would work way better without the brutish nature inherent in boys!


message 6: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Wonderful book! Its one of my all-time favorites as well since having read it at the age of 11. Always nice to see others who appreciate this gem of a novel. Good review.


Nancy Thanks, Christopher. I haven't read it since I was 25 and wonder if my perspective will be different now or if maybe there are things I've missed then. I'm tempted to revisit it.


message 8: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Nancy wrote: "Thanks, Christopher. I haven't read it since I was 25 and wonder if my perspective will be different now or if maybe there are things I've missed then. I'm tempted to revisit it."

I reread it last year myself and I can honestly say I found it ten times more horrifying as an adult than I did as a child. With age comes wisdom so they say :) If you were to reread it now, I have no doubts there would be more to mine from this book with your new-found perspectives on life. That's one of the things I love about Lord of the Flies, it seems as though there's something new to ponder or examine with every subsequent reading.


Buildingreadingpassion I watched the film, but I have not read the book. It would interesting how this turns out when I start reading. Gotta order now.


Alara If you think this book is horrifiying, you should read the painted bird :)


Nancy Furbilly wrote: "If you think this book is horrifiying, you should read the painted bird :)"

I did try to read it once and never finished. Very horrifying.


message 12: by Ellen (new) - rated it 1 star

Ellen This was required reading when I was in school, too, but I didn't read it. I remember hating what I read. If I remember right, I thought it was boring and kind of sick.


message 13: by Asma (new)

Asma your review made me want to read this book... I'll let you know how I think of it ^^


Rachel Nielsen i dont get what's so disturbing about it...


Blitzybiscuit This book wasn't too bad. Yes it was quite disturbing to see the boys go mad and unleash "the darkness of mans heart," but it was well written and I didn't have any problem understanding the story. It's not too bad for a required summer reading.


Megan O'Malley I don't get how it's disturbing..? Violent, yes, but disturbing is kind of pushing it.


Cecily I suppose the disturbing angle comes from what it implies about human nature, and the best within us all.


Cheese Bakes It would turn out the same with a group of British school girls


message 19: by W.T. (new) - rated it 5 stars

W.T. Lee Hi Nancy, Great reviews, and this is a great thread. I've always been curious how things might have been different if it were a plane full of girls, and its great to hear other people's thoughts on it.

I can understand why this is one of the most disturbing books you've ever read. I had the same experience. I think the reason, for me, is that Golding lets us intimately watch man's fear and imagination create "The Lord of the Flies", or "Satan". And not only does he let us watch, but he lets us watch mankind at its most innocent state give birth to the "Satan."

But I have a much different experience within this book that so far nobody can relate to. It seems like its gone completely unnoticed that this is also a triumphant and hopeful story. For me, when Simon climbs the mountain in the night, and faces "The Beast", Golding offers readers a champion that should be remembered!

"What else is there to do?" -Simon

Climb the mountain baby! Face your fear! Rock out with your metaphorical &%*# out and face the beast. Amen, Simon. And Amen, Golding.

Everyone forgets that Simon climbs the mountain. So weird.


message 20: by Cecily (last edited Feb 17, 2016 01:54PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cecily W.T. wrote: "I've always been curious how things might have been different if it were a plane full of girls..."

Me too. Or even a mixed-sex group. What do you think?
(I wondered out loud in my own review, but didn't reach an answer.)


message 21: by W.T. (new) - rated it 5 stars

W.T. Lee Cecily wrote: "W.T. wrote: "I've always been curious how things might have been different if it were a plane full of girls..."

Me too. Or even a mixed-sex group. What do you think?
(I wondered out loud in my own..."


Hi Cecily, You know, I've always had the suspicion if my nine year old daughter were on that plane she would have those boys on a highly regimented and organized routine.

Then again, they might have just labeled her a dictator and dispatched her...ha.

Someone commented on this thread that it would have been worse if it were girls, and whoever made that comment probably know better than me, since I'm a man and wasn't in the trenches of little girl politics...I was just trying to kiss the damn creatures and insane with infatuation.

A mixed sex group is a much more interesting question, isn't it? You have to wonder if that would have eased the competitive tension or increased it, or offered a more nurturing presence for the "little uns".

Its really a bigger question than it seams, isn't it? It couldn't have gone any worse with girls in the mix, that's for sure, ha!


Cecily One problem with the question is that it pushes one to resort to stereotypes, which I don't really want to do. Nevertheless, I think a mixed sex group would probably be the most interesting and successful option. Even though I went to an all-girls school (as a boarder, though there were day girls as well), I find it harder to imagine how an all girl group would do.


Nancy It's been years since I've read this book and I'm sure it will be as horrifying as it was in my early 20's. I attended public school, and much to my parents' dismay, actually preferred hanging around with boys rather than girls. Maybe it's because I couldn't find any girls who wanted to trade baseball cards with me or build tracks for my Hot Wheels cars. Boys are brutish, yes, but girls can also be unbelievably cruel. I wonder if mixed sex groups are better for sublimating our worst natures.


message 24: by W.T. (new) - rated it 5 stars

W.T. Lee Nancy wrote: "It's been years since I've read this book and I'm sure it will be as horrifying as it was in my early 20's. I attended public school, and much to my parents' dismay, actually preferred hanging arou..."

Cecily wrote: "One problem with the question is that it pushes one to resort to stereotypes, which I don't really want to do. Nevertheless, I think a mixed sex group would probably be the most interesting and suc..."

What interesting viewpoints, and how eloquently stated.


message 25: by Sylvia (new) - added it

Sylvia Kuras I read this book as a freshman in college in maybe early 60's and it scared me terribly. I am now 74 and have decided to reread it and I'm am experiencing the same fright. I am troubled to know that this book has been read in elementary school. I have mentioned this book to individuals who are in their 20's and they have told me this.


message 26: by W.T. (new) - rated it 5 stars

W.T. Lee Sylvia wrote: "I read this book as a freshman in college in maybe early 60's and it scared me terribly. I am now 74 and have decided to reread it and I'm am experiencing the same fright. I am troubled to know tha..."

You're right, it is pretty amazing this book is so commonly read in elementary/middle school. I remember reading this book as a freshman in High-school, I think. It's a candid look (albeit hotly disputed) at human nature not commonly found in the reading material in public schools...


message 27: by Sylvia (new) - added it

Sylvia Kuras W.T. wrote: "Sylvia wrote: "I read this book as a freshman in college in maybe early 60's and it scared me terribly. I am now 74 and have decided to reread it and I'm am experiencing the same fright. I am troub..."

W.T. wrote: "Sylvia wrote: "I read this book as a freshman in college in maybe early 60's and it scared me terribly. I am now 74 and have decided to reread it and I'm am experiencing the same fright. I am troub..."
I stopped by and visited with the English Prof at the local community college and mentioned this. He said that some of his freshman students who are sensitive have difficulty with certain required readings. Now with high school students and home bound students he has many very young students even more than before.


message 28: by Sylvia (new) - added it

Sylvia Kuras Sylvia wrote: "W.T. wrote: "Sylvia wrote: "I read this book as a freshman in college in maybe early 60's and it scared me terribly. I am now 74 and have decided to reread it and I'm am experiencing the same frigh..."

This English professor gave me a suggestion on detaching from the subject material as I am reading which I tried last night. I dropped several courses in the past as a student myself because it seems so many what are called classics and required reading are very depressing.


Larry Bassett I got the book from audible.com and it was read by the author himself. He also made some comments at the beginning and end of the reading. The author died in 1993 so his reading of the book is particularly special. He said a lot of people asked him why the characters were all boys. His answer was that he had been a male all his life so new that point of view the best! It is worth getting the Audible edition to hear him read it.


Nancy So sorry I'm just seeing it for the first time! I haven't listened to audio books in a while, but this sounds like one I shouldn't pass up.

Thanks for your comment, Larry.


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