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Read by the actual author; he gives a short blurb about when he got the idea to write the story. Twelve chapters in total.
What would happen if a plane crashed on a deserted island and the only survivors were a group of English schoolboys?
Would they form their own society?
Would they establish rules by which to govern themselves?
Would they be kind to one another?
William Golding describes this scenario in his 1954 novel "Lord of the Flies".
It is a dark story.
After their plane crashes, killing all adults on board, the boys attempt to self-govern, but quickly devolve into savagery. The stronger boys seize power and bully the weaker ones.
Golding uses the boys on the island as a microcosm of society. Without the rule of law to govern them, the strongest take over and exert their way upon the weaker ones.
Not one of the boys is over 12 years old, but it is easy to forget this as they grow more violent and emotion overrides reason and groupthink overrules logic.
A power struggle takes place between Ralph, who tries to establish order and a set of rules to help the boys survive and increase their chance of rescue; and Jack, who appeals to their emotions and plays on their fear of an alleged monstrous beast on the island.
As their makeshift society collapses, they begin to worship the head of a pig swarming with flies (their "Lord of the flies") and even robbery and murder is no longer taboo to some of them.
I read this parable 20 years ago and again this week - and I loved it. Golding paints a dark picture of the chaos that results when rules are not enforced. We see ourselves in these young boys and it is not the best part of ourselves.
I remember when I first read this in school. Hearing the premise, I thought it would be another tale of people getting trapped on an island only in the end to be rescued, however that was not what I got. Lord of the Flies tells an eerily disturbing tale of how power can corrupt anyone. It is not a fairy tale filled with happiness and salvation, focusing more on destruction and taking a deeper look at how our societies function, which is exactly what William Golding intended. Despite how dark it is, the book gives nice breaks for our hearts with likable characters, even the more evil of the bunch. None of them are heroes, and none of them are villains either, it is a book filled with morally grey characters that come from different backgrounds and have their roles in the situation they've been placed in determined by those backgrounds. The book is quite short and you can finish it in under a day, but it's short size does not take away from the brilliance of the author. Lord of the Flies is a solid 4/5.
@CorporalKronos of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
William Goldings, Lord of the Flies , depicts the experience of a group of young boys stranded on an island without the influence of adults. The boys are left to control their own destiny as they seek for a solution. My favorite part about this book was the symbolism used in it, the novel includes many objects obtaining a deeper meaning coinciding with the theme of civilization to savagery. The different objects represented a clear image of what was going on in the book and were a great use of metaphors and symbolism which I found very interesting. An example is the conch, over time the conch got broken into pieces overall symbolizing how the civilization broke apart. I also really enjoyed the different character developments throughout this novel, seeing how far each individual had come by the end of the book. I don't believe I would change much to this story because each detail was so precise and meaningful but if I had to I would probably make some characters survive a little longer just to see if the outcome would've been different. I definitely would recommend this to a friend because personally, the book was a huge eye-opener on how society works and how quickly without a social order a society can go from civilization to savagery. I believe this book was made to show the way society works and truly how humans are savages without rules and regulations. Overall Lord of the Flies is a great book, it shows the different aspects of society, amazing and interesting storyline, insightful symbolism and great character representation. 5/5 stars
@HungryHippo of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
Lord of the Flies is one of those books that only get better every chapter. The pacing of the overall story is very well done, therefore it’s not one of those books you read a few chapters of and forget about.
I find this novel creepy, but in a good way. Using young boys to portray the flaws, downfalls and scary things about society is what makes this such a gruesome read. If it were written any other way though, I doubt it would impact readers on the scale that it does. It’s like a hard truth. William Golding presents a connection between what seems like innocent boys trying to survive on a deserted island, and the dark human nature in all of us. It’s a scary comparison to make. This book is so much deeper than it seems, with symbols and allegories. I recommend this book to readers who like to sit and think after finishing a novel, because the content is heavy towards the end. @redreads of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board
William Golding's Lord of the Flies presents a survival-based story that centers around a group of boys that have crash landed onto an island. As children, they believe that without parents around, this is perfect for them but as they plan out their methods of survival, ruling, etc., they realize they have big problems that they must deal with. Personally, when I read this in Grade 9, the characters of this book were easy to connect with since their personalities were very easy to relate to. I found this book to be a really nice read and there are many strong messages that are conveyed throughout the book which I really enjoyed. However, some parts of the book become vague and boring so it was sometimes hard to follow along. Overall, this book was a marvelous book to read and I highly recommend it to teenagers. Rating: 4/5
- @booksandgames9 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
This particular audiobook is read by the author - he does it pretty well (far better than Toni Morrison reads her books), especially considering it was recorded in 1977 (I think; I can't quite tell) long before the minor art of reading books for recording was seriously developed. I was surprised by how mild his accent was (it seems Englishmen today have more pronounced accents than they did 40 years ago!). The work itself is exciting and excellently paced; some creative and shocking descriptions, the techniques for which were not overused so one really notices them when they are used; the psychological portraits also are vivid for such a short book.
My kids just read this book and it made their stomachs sick. I am really glad I avoided this when I was a kid to avoid the topic of politics and eating other people!?!?!?! What was this writer thinking?!?!?!? It was also extremely boring to discuss. There was so much symbolism that it made my head hurt. There should be a warning on it saying "Before you read this book be prepared to be sick."
I recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in the dark possibilities of human behavior. As a classic piece of fiction, you can find reviews and synopses of the story anywhere. You should keep in mind that this version is read by the author, not a professional voice actor. He doesn't do a great job of narrating, but it's okay. You can hear him breathing at times and he doesn't do the "performance" (e.g. different voices, intentional pauses, dramatic intonation, etc.) that you might expect from a typical audiobook. Still, it's worth listening to.
I read Lord of the Flies for the first time in my 10th grade English class, and I remember liking it more than the usual assigned tedium, but I also remember the drowsy discussions on symbolism and theme that threatened to zap the life from Golding's novel.
This time around, I read it for fun. Ralph, Piggy, Jack and all the others are so awkwardly mid-20th century British that you can't help but want to be their friend as you get to know them. Once the story gets going though, and the boys de-evolve into something timelessly primal, nearly everything all the way to the final moment is perfectly executed. The pacing, the character development, and that right amount of horrific violence that still causes me to shudder when I recall it—all of it is inspired.
11) "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, as read by the author.
Another one of these Classic Books on CD that I'm listening to, since I had trouble reading it before.
In case you didn't already know the set up: a group of boys find themselves on a deserted tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and have to figure out how to survive and be rescued. Fabulous look at archetypes: intellectuals, leaders, and hunters. The way the kids revert to basic impulses is at times heart-rending.
And I didn't realize it has a science fiction set up to the plot (the boys were in some manner fleeing an atomic war), which hangs over the story like a shroud (maybe there is no one left to rescue them).
Another classic I'm glad I didn't miss!
A masterpiece. Golding manages to really convey the horror, fear and grief in this book with such skill. Amazingly descriptive but always captivating and intense, this book is a must-read.