TITLE: Lord Of The Flies
AUTHOR: William Golding
PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber
GENRE: Classics, Dystopian, Horror, Young Adult
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
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 know collapses with them—the world of cricket & homework & adventure stories—& another world is revealed beneath, primitive & terrible.
What I Liked:
- William Golding is a really compelling writer. There were some really cool quotes in this book and I found the novel to be very clever, mostly easy to follow and very engaging. I can absolutely see why this is a classic, I could see that there was a real focus to his words and I came out of reading it feeling like I'd learnt something. With this book, reading between the lines is rewarding, yet taking it at face value generates a good book too.
- I thought that the plot concept was fantastic! Watching the subtle changes to the boys both physically and mentally was fascinating, particularly as while reading, I had to continually remind myself that they were only children. There were some real moments of horror (which I loved) and I found myself gripped by what would happen next!
- The abrupt ending! 'What?' I hear you cry. 'Who likes abrupt endings?'. I have complained about abrupt endings in the past but in this case it was necessary. It was just the fact that the situation had degenerated into such a horrific and brutal mess, only to be interrupted and stopped as quickly as that really bought home to me what it was I had just read. I loved it!
What I Disliked:
- I felt that for me personally, I could not get used to the lack of back-story. I like a bit of detail when it comes to building up characters and situations, but Golding was very much writing in the book's present and paid little attention to the past. It left me feeling a bit confused at times and I did have to reread certain areas to check that I was following the book okay. I wasn't sure when the book was set, why there were no girls and only boys, what exactly had happened to the plane and why the children had survived, but the grownups hadn't. I think that the lack of attention to these details were purposeful, but I didn't really like it.
- Despite enjoying the book, I left it still feeling a little unattached. The previously mentioned back-story meant I didn't really care about the characters in the way I have with other books. I was horrified by some of the going-ons, but I wasn't upset or really angered by them. I felt like a pretty neutral and uncaring reader as the events unfolded before my eyes and I don't think I enjoyed that aspect of it.
This book works beautifully as commentary on society, the human condition and the effects that war and politics can have. It raises some pretty deep questions and the plot is actually pretty scary when you realise what you are reading. But I wasn't as emotionally invested as I would have liked, and normally stories read better to me if I understand fully what is happening. The ending was a stroke of genius though, definitely worth a read.
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