Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

— William Golding, Lord of the Flies

    Them kids are crazy! William Golding really does dig deep into the soul of children to extrapolate human nature and all its ugliness. You’d think that children would be safe from all the evil that men are capable of. Let him tell you a story of kids surviving a plane crash and being stranded on a island. You’ll be convinced by the end of this one that there’s nothing pure and innocent in life when your life is at stake. With very little experience and only adults as a reference, these kids can only attempt to reproduce the safety of reason and the comfort of structure. Lord of the Flies is a story that will take these children deep into the wilderness, alongside the lush green trees and wide blue skies, and leave them with the colossal task of finding a way back to their lives, or even a safe path out of their predicament. However, this island has other plans for them. Can these boys come out of it all unscratched or stained by the vile behaviours that resides within us all?

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    Lord of the Flies follows a group of kids who finds themselves stuck on an island with no adults. Looking to be rescued, Ralph, our main protagonist, with his newfound friend known for his slightly rounder build, create an assembly and succeed in rounding up every other children stuck on this island. As they attempt to find ways to be rescued, they slowly discover a strange beast that seems to be terrorizing the young ones. It is from this moment forward that the story builds up and exposes the struggles of having a coherent and functional group that can work together in order to assure the safety and well-being of everyone. From conflicts in leadership to the understanding of reason, Lord of the Flies offers us a captivating and tragic story that attempts to simulate the very problems that mankind suffers through, whether it comes from kids or adults. It is safe to say that William Golding leaves no stone unturned as he shares his vision of civilization and the plunge into savagery.

    I did really enjoy all the symbolism in this book. The conch, the fire or the pig, everything in this book referred to something bigger and much more important. It might convey hope one second, rules another or even power at times. The story makes you reflect beyond its simple first layer and its basic survival story. William Golding does a wonderful job in giving each character their own identity and making them feel alive with their unique voice. It’s not an easy task to create believable young characters like the ones in this story. They’re fascinating in their own rights. I liked how the dialogue was easy to follow and really highlighted their age and inexperience—and also the fact that they’re boys at the end of the day—while the narration gave the book much more depth and brought the darker edge of this novel on the forefront. As the story unfolds, there’s nothing pretty left on this island. Everything will be charred and depressing. Don’t be surprised if you can’t believe what you’re reading. These kids are really nuts.

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    But is it their fault? I don’t think so. What the author does with this unique premise is deliver a message that should shock ever fiber of your body. However, for readers in our time and age, the impact was far less straggering. The world we live in is messed up and we all know by now that we are capable of insane things. We aren’t just talking about lies and little bruises. Deep down, we’re all capable of dark and dirty things that we’ve grown to know as forbidden. I believe Lord of the Flies was released in a period that needed something shocking and eye-opening. It definitely delivered. However, reading this today, with so many stories and ugly truths that have been unveiled to us, it sort of failed to hit its mark. I felt like the direction this book was going was one that can be foreseen, which sort of took away a little bit of the fun of reading through this classic. However, I am far from saying that this was a bad story. Hell no. Lord of the Flies lives up to its reputation and does wonders in conveying a tragedy about our deepest and darkest impulses.


Have you crossed paths with this classic?
Are you interested in Lord of the Flies?
How about you read this book for yourself!
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆/

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32 thoughts on “Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  1. Marie says:

    Lovely review – and damn, that pig head in the drawing is reminding me back of my school years, when I first read this book 😛 I remember enjoying it, everything that it told us about humans, survival and how…well, CRAZY it all was, hahaha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks Marie! That pig head is pretty iconic huh? I’ve seen it being referred to in other stories and it’s nice to finally know what it was really all about. It’s nice to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed this back then! People tend to hate the books they get as required reading, but this one seems to get a nice amount of love by everyone! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nikola (Breathing Through Pages) says:

    Excellent review Lashaan. I have heard of this classic and have planned to read it but something always came up and stopped me. It sounds pretty interesting.

    ‘The world we live in is messed up and we all know by now that we are capable of insane things. We aren’t just talking about lies and little bruises. Deep down, we’re all capable of dark and dirty things that we’ve grown to know as forbidden.’ I also believe this because who knows what’s going on in our minds and what a simple thing can stir up in us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you Nikola! You should definitely give it a try someday when you’re feeling like reading a classic and its exploration of the most basic impulses we have, especially in situations where you’re simply trying to survive. 😀 Yep. All it takes is one bad day for someone to go insane. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks says:

    I have this book, but to be fair.. I am afraid to read it 😀 because, well, scary. And I know not to expect anything pretty cause I have been a victim of children’s cruelty when I was a kid myself, so whenever people ramble their crap about kids being pure, I just roll my eyes. Pure my ass… kids can be savage. Particularly because they have no cultural barriers to hold them back. YET. It’s like that idea from Catherine Valente’s Fairyland series – every child is born without a heart and grows it. I really liked that idea.
    But it sounds to me like you thought it would be a little, um, more shocking?

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    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Ah, yes, yes. You and death/murder/dark things don’t go hand in hand, huh. If you ever feel like you want to explore the darker side of mankind, Lord of the Flies would be nice a nice classic to explore. I do like that idea too. We all learn to be good, rather than learn to be bad. Our most basic instincts are pretty savage and its through human contact and society that we learn to repress and be good. 😀

      Oh, you’ll have to read it for yourself to see! It is shocking indeed, but I just think we’ve seen so much of what we’re capable of that what you get from this book doesn’t hit you as hard as it does to people who first read it back when the book released! Thank you for reading my review Evelina! I appreciate it. 😉

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  4. Bookstooge says:

    Great review!

    It definitely shows what a messed up world we live in today when a book like this fails to be as shocking as it was when it was released. And with things like child soldiers, women blowing themselves up and ISIS beheading people on the internet, how can one fail to notice how depraved humanity is? Yet so many of us just go about our daily lives, blithely thinking that “life will go on.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. That is exactly it. We’re so desensitized to the cruelty that goes around the world. The further it is from us, the even more we look at it blankly. It’s only once we’re victims ourselves that our vision of reality is shaken and we somewhat start to realize it’s all messed up. We just can’t think that we’ve seen the worse things possible yet. People find ways to do worse every day…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you, sir! Rereads after so many years would definitely give you an interesting experience for sure. It’s quite sad that I can’t really say this classic is “timeless” since its effect is so much less powerful than when it first released (most probably).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Inge | The Belgian Reviewer says:

    I like books with different angles, different voices and characters and it sounds like something I would enjoy. I’m curious about the good and the bad in people and I’m convinced too that there’s a murderer in everyone so it’s fascinating to see how people react and are driven over the edge. There is however this predictability and I think it would spoil my enjoyment a little as well. I do see why it’s called a classic and if I ever want to read one (I don’t think I have so far) then I’m definitely going to choose this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Yep, especially since this is a classic, it was hard to not see the direction it was going and the idea it was going after. It was still however well-executed with its original premise and setting. The message it delivered was crystal clear and sad.

      I’m surprised you haven’t touched a classic yet! There has to be something you’ve read in the crime/thriller world that can be considered a classic… I mean.. Did you read any of the Sherlock Holmes yet?!?! Those are classics for sure!! I do hope you’ll enjoy Lord of the Flies if you ever decide to pick up though! Thank you for reading my review, Inge!! I appreciate that. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bookstooge says:

    This is just a blog question kind of comment.

    Since there is comment moderation on, can either of you moderate the comments for all posts? Or do each of you have to moderate the comments on your own posts? I just want to know how that works 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      No worries. Shoot them questions whenever you want.

      Comment moderation was Trang’s initiative as she wanted to approve them whenever she reads a person’s comment instead of just letting them stack up on her posts without others knowing if she read them or not.

      Our blog has one main account (Lashaan & Trang), and 2 sub-accounts (our individual names). If we sign-in on our main account, the one we usually use for posts we co-write, we can both moderate ANY comment on ANY post of ours. If we sign-in on our individual accounts, we can only see and moderate our own comments for our own posts.

      Personally, what I do, is keep a pinned tab with the main account’s comment moderation dashboard (the place where you can see all the comments (those waiting for moderation, those spammed, those trashed, etc.) and then I sign-in on another tab on my personal sub-account to blog around. That way it lets me know what’s going on on our blog while still being able to blog with my name and not have any confusion about who’s who.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ayunda says:

    I read this book aaages ago and I absolutely loved it. I love how creepy it is, how I can read something and I’ll feel an actual chill on the small hairs on my arms. This review sort of makes me wanna reread the book again! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Oh, yes. I did have those moments when we got around to those “big” climatic parts regarding certain characters. The whole loss of innocence as the story progressed was just so darn impressive and sad. I’m glad to hear how much you enjoyed this one! A reread would definitely be nice, especially if its been a while (a couple of years) since you last read it. Thank you so much for your kind words, Ayunda!! I appreciate that. 🙂

      Like

  8. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh this is one of the only classics (can this book be called a classic?) that I’ve read and only because it was part of my high school curriculum. Can’t say I was a massive fan of it, but it wasn’t the worst book I read in high school so at least it has that going for it. 🙂
    I was surprised by how much I’d forgotten about the story before reading your review and it was very interesting reading someone else’s thoughts on this book I’d read so long ago.
    Great review Lashaan. 😀

    Like

  9. LizScanlon says:

    Interesting reading your thoughts and we seem to have quite similar feelings about the book.. I totally agree that back when it was publihsed, it was all the rage but now? It’s not as shocking… It’s interesting and somewhat saddening to think that back then, this idea was outrageous as it explores the lengths a human can go, into the extremes… saddening- because, that moment in time when something so fundamental was hardhitting, is not to be anymore… I don’t know, I’m trying to explain something that’s in my head and it’s not working out that great at the moment 😀 Great review Lashaan- nailed it!

    Like

  10. Satou Johns says:

    This cover is … wow. I mean that is one of the most remembered scenes of the movie… and I am sure not only for having that image tattooed in my brain but also because The Simpsons made an allusion to this book as well.

    I have wanted to read this book for all that it says and not says. I think the symbolism and the critic and how humans are depicted in the novel is just perfect and horrifying at the same time. I think war has so much influence on this novel, don’t you think?

    Like

  11. Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek says:

    Not a fan of the cover though the evil part of me thinks it would make the perfect gift for a vegetarian who reads!😂 And, damn, this made me think about The Simpsons episode parodying the book.

    I’ve never read it but I think it’s the same for a lot of older things (books, films), what was seen as horrible and bad back in the day is far more common place and tame now, even deemed normal with people constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable. Also, the world has changed, terrorism, child terrorists, etc and when the world is far more horrific than fiction it lessens the impact of what you’re reading.

    Like

  12. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Fantastic review Lashaan! I read this years ago and remember how unsettled I felt afterwards. It was some seriously heavy food for thought to digest. I love that you acknowledge that the time of its release surely made it more impactful. I find it imperative to consider the dating of titles such as this when exploring them. We live in an age where media has exposed us to so many horrors and films and books freely explore what was once the taboo. It puts it into perspective when we stop to keep these factors in mind. I should reread this one and see what affect it has on me now versus my first read.

    Like

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