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Lord of the Flies

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,607,561 ratings  ·  46,392 reviews
At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collaps ...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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Kim I just read this book for the first time. I am 54 years old and never had to read it in high school or college. I really enjoyed it much more than a l…moreI just read this book for the first time. I am 54 years old and never had to read it in high school or college. I really enjoyed it much more than a lot of the books I DID have to read in school. I can now check this great classic off my reading bucket list.(less)
Gwendolyn Neal 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 thro…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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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Emily May
Dec 05, 2010 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
...more
Nora
Sep 25, 2007 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
...more
Silvana
Jan 31, 2008 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
...more
Lisa of Troy
A group of boys are stranded on a remote and deserted island. How will these boys fare away from grownups, away from society, away from rules?

Written in 1954, The Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding is considered a classic. The symbolism in this book is unreal especially if you consider the colors mentioned in the book (pink was mentioned 40 times). Like most people, I read this in high school, and I got a lot more out of it as an adult. At the very end, I now ponder if that actually
...more
Sean Barrs
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reads
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”

For me, this quote sums up the entire book. It’s a powerful exploration of humanity and the wrongness of our society and it also demonstrates the hypocrisy of war. Adults judge the behaviour of children, but are they really any better? I think not.

The scary thing about this book is how real it is. The Lord of the Flies bespeaks the brilliance of realistic dystopian fiction, it gives you a possible world scenario, a bunch of very h
...more
Nancy
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
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. ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 508 from 1001 books) . Lord of the flies, William Golding

Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize–winning British author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.

In the midst of a wartime evacuation, a British aeroplane crashes on or near an isolated island in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors are boys in their middle childhood or preadolescence. Two boys—t
...more
s.penkevich
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book will forever haunt me and be forever intertwined with my freshman year of high school. Its a great book for a classroom and was where I was first taught symbolism in a way that really stood out to me. This book is so rich in literary devices I remember it being the first moment where I realized the art of reading and writing as something far beyond storytelling and how much careful craft brings a work to life. I was hooked, I think from that moment on I had it in my mind that to be som ...more
Fergus
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The year 1954 saw the first publication of Golding’s masterwork, the point of which had (independently) bifurcated my personality in that same year - in a series of ironic inner game-changing events...

Piggy and his upper-class schoolmates are marooned on a remote wild island. But left without adults, they quickly descend, like some of our leaders, into draconian martial violence - the powerful and strong versus the poor and weak (shades of Animal Farm?).

And I myself nearly became a Piggy.

January
...more
Adina
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: short, british, 1001
Edit: A friend send me this article of a real situation where a group of kids were left stranded on an island for 15 months. Spoiler alert, the Lord of The Flies scenario never happened, the boys behaved and organized themselves wonderfully
https://www.theguardian.com/books/202...

.Maybe,” he said hesitantly, “maybe there is a beast.” “What I mean is . . . maybe it’s only us.”.

That quote sums up very well the idea of this modern classic. I ran away from this novel for years but it finally caught u
...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
Mk
Feb 25, 2008 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
...more
Lisa
"We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?"

You did everything adults would do. That's what went wrong.

There is much to be said against this novel, and it has been said, eloquently, poignantly, many times. Let me make a case for keeping it on the curriculum despite the dated language, the graphic violence, the author's personality...

There are two myths about adolescents, and this novel does away with them in a - admittedly - drastic way. First of all, there is no general innocence in
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf (is on a longer vacation)
Without what the author intended to do or probably has done, it would be a 3 star, but so 1 star is the only option.

Of course, it´s completely natural to become primitive again within the shortest amounts of time, and not an unintended dark comedy, self satirizing, biased, sexual predator of an author, who finally deus ex machinas out of this mess.

„In a private journal and in a memoir for his wife, Golding said he tried to rape a 15-year-old girl when he was 18 and on his first holiday from Oxf
...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”They accepted the pleasures of morning, the bright sun, the whelming sea and sweet air, as a time when play was good and life so full that hope was not necessary and therefore forgotten.”

So this was a book many people had to read when they went to school and in some way this already says a lot about “Lord of the Flies”. Like so many of the books that are required to be read during people’s educational careers this one wasn’t only full of serious topics but also dealt with ethical values.

I mean
...more
Lyn
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Years after I read this masterpiece, it is still chilling.

Golding spins a yarn that could have been told centuries ago, primal human nature unmoored from civilization does not take long to break away and devolve into a feral thing.

As good today, and as haunting, as it was when it was published in 1954. This should be on a list of books that must be read.

** 2018 addendum - it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently
...more
David
Jul 24, 2007 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
...more
Henry Avila
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A British airplane on fire crashes on a deserted isolated South Sea's island, in the middle of an atomic war set in the near future . All the grown-ups are killed and only children 12 and younger survive, how are they to cope (basically an allegorical story of what is human nature , good or evil ?) . Ralph is chosen leader, "Piggy" his intellectual sidekick he wears glasses, this beautiful green tropical coral isle with a blue lagoon magnificent palm trees, better yet coconut trees too and plent ...more
Dr. Appu Sasidharan

How are dictators being made? Mein Kampf, Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, The Last King of Scotland and Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution, won't answer this question perfectly. William Golding has the perfect answer to it through this allegory.

How can a novel about a bunch of stranded school kids teach us about dictators?

This is not just a novel about school boys. This is a novel about the intricate ways the human psyche performs when it is stretched to the paramount in abominabl
...more
The Artisan Geek
1/6/20
One of the worst books I have ever read. The experience was excruciating.

30/5/20
Giving this one another shot. Tried last year and the first 30 pages were so painful. Did a lot of research on this book (spoke to a couple of people as well) and I feel like if I don't get through it this time around, I probably never will.

24/3/19
I got this book at the De Slegte many years ago but never read it. However now, Rory Power is bringing out a book coming July called Wilder Girls, with I heard is a
...more
Yulia
Jul 13, 2007 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
Glenn Sumi
LORD OF THE REREADINGS

A couple of months ago, I picked up To Kill A Mockingbird, a book I last read in high school. What fascinated me about the exercise was how much I remembered and how much I didn’t, what I appreciated as a teen and what I do now.

After that, I began wondering how I would respond to the other books I had to read and analyze as a youth. Hence my rereading of Lord Of The Flies. It’s equally powerful – shocking, even by today’s standards. And it’s all very efficiently done.

Both
...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Jul 07, 2007 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
Andrew
Aug 22, 2007 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
Gothadh
Jun 01, 2007 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
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Image result for lord of the flies meme

In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the dark side of human nature goes unchecked. This leads to the devolution we see among the boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island. Whether or not you agree with Golding's central idea here, it is a well written and interesting novel. I'm not sure what my thoughts were at the time, but I remember having read the story sometime in junior high school. I'm perhaps a bit more cynical of this breakdown in society now (or perhaps not)! I saw parallels to
...more
Kay
Book 2⭐
Author 1 ⭐

I'm glad I can check this one off my list. I wish I had enjoyed it more. I was pretty bored after chapter two so I started to read online articles and other reviews. To find out the author confessed that he attempted to rape a girl named Nora (15) when he was 18 while home from his first year at Oxford made my skin crawl. He was sure the girl "wanted heavy sex". There are plenty of articles online with a simple search "William Golding+rape". Nobel Prize for Literature novelist,
...more
Vit Babenco
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lord of the Flies is a parable of the human nature…
His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.

Ever since primordial times man is ruled by two opposite forces: a wish to create and a wish to destroy… And to destroy is much easier than to create…
There was the brilliant world of hunting, tac
...more
Brett C

This was a great read in my opinion. I enjoyed it from the first to the last page. The story explores group polarization as the stranded youths slowly regress into a primitive state. Frictions demonstrate the social pressure as division occurs and give rise to the psychological dilemma of 'the power of the situation'. The book also explores irrational fear and imagination as it relates to the group-think concept.

For some reason I thought the most powerful parts of the story were the use of the
...more
Ginger
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2018
DAMN!!
I think reading this book as an adult affects me more. You come to realize that things and circumstances can change drastically with no rules or repercussions.

I really loved Lord of the Flies and think everyone should read this one day. It's not a long book but it will make an impression on you.

It makes you think and dread what would happen if...
“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.”

The writing of William Golding was well done and detailed on the breakdown of humanity and sensibilit
...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. Golding spent two years in Oxford focusing on sciences; however, he changed his educational emphasis to English literature, especially Anglo-Saxon.

During World War II, he was part of the Royal Navy which he left five years later. His bellic experience strongly influenced his fut
...more

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Every January, millions of readers join the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Last year alone, more than 4.3 million Goodreads members pledged to read...
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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” 3442 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.” 1514 likes
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