William Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983
Five words from the blurb: boys, marooned, island, transformed, savages
There are several large holes in my reading history and Lord of the Flies was one of the biggest. It is so entrenched in our culture that I felt I knew what it was about, but when I heard it mentioned twice in one day I decided it was time to fill the gap and so got a copy from my local library.
I knew that Lord of the Flies involved a group of boys marooned on a desert island, but didn’t realise it was set during a nuclear war. Most of the rest of the plot was known to me; in fact I think this might be one classic better left unread as I had a far greater opinion of it and its cultural significance before I opened the cover.
The book began well, with some good character development and wonderfully vivid descriptions of the island, but as it progressed I became increasingly frustrated with it. The depiction of life of a desert island was unrealistic and there was no real knowledge of the way the body reacts in a survival situation. I also thought the reactions of the boys was unlikely and the plot became increasingly implausible as it progressed.
I can see why it has become a classic and there are some good messages within it, but I think this is one of those books that might be best read when young as it doesn’t stand up to careful scrutiny.
Overall, it’s a good concept and there are lots of strong, enduring images, but I’m afraid I found it lacked the insight to be convincing.