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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable Food For Thought
Any book this cynical is bound to cause criticism. It did from me when I read it as a kid in my English class, long ago. I was offended by the notion that we are all savages but for our civilized restraints, but then I thought on the dark side of human nature as I'd observed it around me and I realized it had its truth. If you take the book is more a question than an...
Published 8 months ago by Neurosky

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but kind of disapointed
The story starts out showing how children are left to fend for themselves and try to make adult decisions. A fire is started and kills one of the children, showing how no matter what the circumstance a child is left to act like it only knows how to. The counch shell is also introduced and will be a "telephone" for the children and also a sign of power later in...
Published on Dec 3 2003 by Shelli Schlafhauser


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable Food For Thought, Nov. 30 2014
By 
Neurosky "neurosky" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
Any book this cynical is bound to cause criticism. It did from me when I read it as a kid in my English class, long ago. I was offended by the notion that we are all savages but for our civilized restraints, but then I thought on the dark side of human nature as I'd observed it around me and I realized it had its truth. If you take the book is more a question than an assertion, it's not so offensive. Anything which examines moral, societal or sociological questions catches my interest; as it stirs thought.

As for the quality of the writing, it is a classic story and the story stays with you a long time after you've read it. I've seen at least a couple adaptations of it, but nothing comes close to matching the novel. It horrifies you because it's not talking about a boogie-man who hides in your closet or a monster who swims in a lake; it's scary because it's talking about the horrors of our own inherit nature: kill or be killed. On some level, the animal side of our nature still resides, sparked by crisis or isolation. It is our good nature, protected by learned morals and upbringing, which allow us to be better human beings (and for some, spirituality or intellectualism.) What if all such affects were removed from young and impressionable children? It's uncomfortable food for thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Thought-Provoking Classic!, June 14 2005
By 
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Audio Cassette)
I recently taught this novel to the Seniors at Tampa Bay Tech High School. When I first introduced the title, they were turned off. But somehow we got through it, and once they understood the symbolism and the theme, they got into it.
This novel is not only a classic, it is part of many high school curriculum agendas. For Hillsborough County in Florida, it is the requirement for Seniors. I even read this book as a Senior in 1989.
I have always loved this novel because I really appreciate Golding's artistry and style. He has an incredible vocabulary and yet the story flows in a very easy-to-read and simple manner. The themes are dark, which makes sense considering that the novel came out in 1954 - a very cynical time in the literary world.
In LOTF, Golding presented a story loaded with irony, symbolism, and theme. Man's dark nature, chaos and war, and the loss of innocence are the major themes that run through the novel. Golding was trying to explain that the problems in society are based on human nature, not political structures. I'm sure that Karl Marx would agree with Golding's philosophies at this point in time.
It has a good plot, even though the beginning is focused on character development. There is a lot of action, and a lot of foreshadowing elements. It's basically about a group of boys, who crash land on a deserted island during wartime, and have to survive on their own while they await rescue.
Each of the characters in the novel symbolically represent some figure in society. There's Ralph, who is the elected leader, and Jack who wanted to be the leader and gains control through manipulating the younger/weaker boys with fear and bullying tactics. The human nature conflict is best represented in the struggle for power or control that these two boys face. There is Piggy, Ralph's right-hand man, who represents Reason, Rational thought, and Civilization. Jack naturally despises Piggy. Jack's right-hand man would be Roger, who symbolizes any terrorist or warmonger. And then there is Simon, who strives for the truth, doesn't take sides and always offers to help. He is the Christ-figure in the novel representing love and faith and is "sacrificed" to the beast.
I find it very interesting how Golding poses that first we lose our faith or ability to love, and then we lose our reason. Very profound and even optimistic philosophy for such a dark look at life.
The ending is compelling and unforgettable. The ultimate philosophical question is what Golding asks through Jack's character, "Aren't there any grownups?" And perhaps Golding agrees with Ralph's answer, "No."
I highly recommend this masterpiece if you haven't read it. It's a quick and easy read, only 190 pages, and it's definitely a novel that you won't forget. It gets you thinking and makes for great philosophical discussion. And it will haunt you. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Golding, but very much on my mind since I purchased a copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an original, lonesome (but also funny) little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic That's Bound to Get You to Think Barbaric Thoughts..., April 3 2015
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Paperback)
Yeah, I can surely tell you that I've never read a book like this. This was eerie, absurd but super-symbolic and written beautifully. Thank goodness I didn't read this on my own or else I would've gotten so confused and absolutely lost in my own mind. Everything would've been a blur and I wouldn't understand what the conch actually represented symbolically.

William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a book that I feel has always been there. It's a classic that's constantly spoken about, whether the person is young or old, and many read it at school since teachers "adore the complications of it." It's also a novel that's imperfect, where the movies were horrible and I feel that nothing is able to showcase it back to its original form. I have mixed feelings with the outcome, but I feel in an overall matter, it's mostly positive, especially looking at the facts that I've never read anything else like it.

Crash-landed on a mysterious island, Ralph, Piggy, Simon and Jack and the choir boys were on a plane heading away from the war when an atom bomb struck the plane and got it to crash. They don't know where they are or who are their acquaintances, but all they know is that they have to survive. At first, things are going pretty smooth compared to later, where animals are killed and the boys go against each other at their own personal war.

The emotion that I felt throughout wasn't like any other that I felt in other books. Some of my friends from school feel that this wasn't a book that's very emotional, but I did shed tears here and there and I wanted to run to some of the boys, and help them and let them know that things eventually would turn out for the better. Golding got us to understand the dark side of humanity, the savage side that every person who has walked the face of the earth has somewhere inside of them, where some can bring it out quicker than others.

"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."

Can you understand that quote if you haven't read the book already? I would predict that you cannot, and I'm secretly high-fiveing you there, my friend. This is such a difficult book to read, and although it's short, I felt that when you read it, you'll need tons of time to analyze it and go through it all with complete understanding. I bet that if I go back and re-read it all over again, I would spot some things that I hadn't the first time. Shocking, right?

I have to say that when I began this, I wasn't all too happy with me having to read it. Until about the sixth chapter, this was pretty boring and I felt that it was just a simple story about many boys trying to survive on a stranded island with hallucinations and paranoia. That's it. Until the sixth chapter, the plot was horrible but the writing was fantastic, and I knew that things would eventually get better but I didn't have high hopes at the same time. After that, HOLY S***.

Yeah, then all of the religious allegorical s*** came and we were all left with tears and my teacher even cried and the war-party between Ralph, Jack and Roger came along and I died. I was addicted after that, and I forgot about all of the theoretical symbolic stuff and went on with the storyline and plot because I just couldn't believe what the hell was happening. APOCALYPSE? I do seriously think that that's what Golding was trying to stuff into our minds, people. But in the end, I believe that everyone can have a different opinion on what this book meant to them. To me, it was something like the Stanford University experiment that was taken place in 1971 where people went mental after being put into the situation of authority all around them. It just took a matter of days for the prisoners to begin going mad.

And that's what happened to the boys on the island. They began killing and seeing things. A pig for godssake spoke to them. This isn't fantasy, people, it was a mental illness that everyone seemed to get and they slowly turned barbaric. I believe that if you're put into a situation where your whole life is actually taken away from you before your eyes, your whole sense of civilization is actually able to dissipate in a matter of moments when you don't expect it.

My favourite character? Piggy. Most would say Simon, as he was represented as a Jesus-like figure, and I surely loved him too. But Piggy was someone who actually had his head on his shoulders. Yes, he was unconfident because of Jack, but he knew what he was doing, and I admired him for that. He was hilarious and brought some fun and a sense of humour into the book. Although Ralph hadn't known it by the end, but Piggy was the only one who'd provide him with a real friendship and a connection. Without him, Ralph would've never survived and since Piggy was intelligence and the conch was law, you can't have a government (Ralph) without intelligence and law, right?

Next off, the ending. Yes, I did love it, but it surely was too predictable and cliché. We obviously knew that Ralph and the others would get into a war-like situation and have their lives at stake, but then that happened and they all lived happily ever after. I can't tell you the exact situation, but I expected Golding to add in something more symbolic and suspenseful, though we actually should've known more about the conditions of the war and what their lives turned out to be later. A companion would surely be appreciated by yours truly. Jack and Roger went to an asylum, I'm sure, though.

All in all, although I despited Jack and Roger and had problems with connecting to the plot in the beginning, I was really impressed with the outcome of this classic. You can seriously have a discussion on the themes and meaning with just about anyone, even if they haven't read the book. The message hit me hard, and now I'm really considering to look into more psychological learning stuff, because hey, studying the effects of a ruined civilization and its effects on humans is pretty wicked if you ask me. GEEZ, I'm saying, because this book was messed up, but awesome at the same time. It's really cool to look at stories that authors can come up with, just with a snap of their fingers. Is there more to this than what we see at eye-level? Hah, I'm not sure, but then you'd have to meet up with the Lord of the Flies then, and risk the paranoia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE ORIGINAL IDEA OF PRISTINE SURVIVAL, March 24 2008
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This being a classic most of us had to read in school, I dared commenting on some plot points - so,
***** *** ** * WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD * ** *** *****

A number of phospholipids left alone in solution will self-organize into a double-layer membrane. A number of differentiated cells carry the inherent capability of self-organize into a semblance of tissue. Do humans carry a similar inherent tendency to self-organize into organized societies? And at what price?

From Stephen King's THE STAND to one of the best TV series ever, LOST, the idea of an isolated group of survivors forming a pristine human society and falling to avoid our dark proclivities has been explored again and again. This 1954 novel was the original telling of it. WILLIAM GOLDING being a Literature Nobelist, it comes to no surprise that his prose is mesmerizing, economic and direct at the same time.

Most societal archetypes and their interactive trajectories are elegantly represented: the benevolent yet eventually dethroned natural leader (Ralph) that is vindicated only after a deus ex machina intervention (the Naval officer); the militaristic idiot that manages to pass as a charismatic necessity (Jack); the technology-dependent intellectual weakling (Piggy) that eventually gets murdered by the brutal dictator (Roger) - who would come up running the show in the end if not stopped by their return to civilization. Reading LORD OF THE FLIES will bring up a great number of familiar societal types. Nevertheless, GOLDING presents a rather deterministic viewpoint.

One does not have to agree with GOLDING's pessimistic myth: we humans are not inherently bound to our societal shackles - and are perfectly capable of both doing the unexpected and surviving without a structured civilization. We existed a long time without it and we can learn again to do so if dictated by necessity. And, keep in mind, according to the Freudian approach, socialization is the root of most...psychosis.

It will keep you thinking long after the last page is turned.

RECOMMENDED!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Thought-Provoking Classic!, May 23 2005
By 
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Audio Cassette)
I recently taught this novel to the Seniors at Tampa Bay Tech High School. When I first introduced the title, they were turned off. But somehow we got through it, and once they understood the symbolism and the theme, they got into it.
This novel is not only a classic, it is part of many high school curriculum agendas. For Hillsborough County in Florida, it is the requirement for Seniors. I even read this book as a Senior in 1989.
I have always loved this novel because I really appreciate Golding's artistry and style. He has an incredible vocabulary and yet the story flows in a very easy-to-read and simple manner. The themes are dark, which makes sense considering that the novel came out in 1954 - a very cynical time in the literary world.
In LOTF, Golding presented a story loaded with irony, symbolism, and theme. Man's dark nature, chaos and war, and the loss of innocence are the major themes that run through the novel. Golding was trying to explain that the problems in society are based on human nature, not political structures. I'm sure that Karl Marx would agree with Golding's philosophies at this point in time.
It has a good plot, even though the beginning is focused on character development. There is a lot of action, and a lot of foreshadowing elements. It's basically about a group of boys, who crash land on a deserted island during wartime, and have to survive on their own while they await rescue.
Each of the characters in the novel symbolically represent some figure in society. There's Ralph, who is the elected leader, and Jack who wanted to be the leader and gains control through manipulating the younger/weaker boys with fear and bullying tactics. The human nature conflict is best represented in the struggle for power or control that these two boys face. There is Piggy, Ralph's right-hand man, who represents Reason, Rational thought, and Civilization. Jack naturally despises Piggy. Jack's right-hand man would be Roger, who symbolizes any terrorist or warmonger. And then there is Simon, who strives for the truth, doesn't take sides and always offers to help. He is the Christ-figure in the novel representing love and faith and is "sacrificed" to the beast.
I find it very interesting how Golding poses that first we lose our faith or ability to love, and then we lose our reason. Very profound and even optimistic philosophy for such a dark look at life.
The ending is compelling and unforgettable. The ultimate philosophical question is what Golding asks through Jack's character, "Aren't there any grownups?" And perhaps Golding agrees with Ralph's answer, "No."
I highly recommend this masterpiece if you haven't read it. It's a quick and easy read, only 190 pages, and it's definitely a novel that you won't forget. It gets you thinking and makes for great philosophical discussion. And it will haunt you. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Golding, but very much on my mind since I purchased a copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an original, lonesome (but also funny) little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lordly book, Jan. 25 2005
By 
Book (Vancouver) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lord Of The Flies (Hardcover)
THE LORD OF THE FLIES, by William Golding, is an interesting book. About thirty boys between the age of six to ten years of age are trapped on a deserted island. Now, we all know what happens to boys their age when they are left alone in an empty classroom. Here they are, alone on an island, with absolutely NO GROWNUPS!!! The three main characters, Ralph, Jack, and Simon are very ironic. Ralph is a rich boy who is immediately elected leader over all of the boys. Jack is another rich boy, and he is the one who immediately starts breaking all the rules that the other boys have set up. Simon is a boy who is symbolic of Jesus. But another one of the characters is a boy called Piggy. Right from the beginning, you can see a conflict between Jack and Piggy. Piggy is poor, has asthma, and is almost blind and uses glasses. Jack teases him and makes the other boys tease him too. Can the adults come to save the boys before they completely lose it? I would recommend this book to all people, except for children under the age of twelve. It is truly an enchanting and thrilling book. Must also recommend THE CHILDREN'S CORNER by Jackson McCrae.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Flies--Review, Nov. 17 2004
This review is from: Lord Of The Flies (Hardcover)
Given the current state of the world, and especially current events as of this writing, it's hard to say that LORD OF THE FLIES is shocking. But it is, in its own way, and hopefully will remain so. In this Golding novel, society is held up for us to look at, through the actions of a few stranded boys on an island. Metaphors abound, and for good reason: Golding is trying to teach us something by putting our own society's evils on display via a group of gone-wild adolescents. And it works. The unfortunate thing is that we, as a society, seemed to not have learned the lesson Golding was trying to teach. This is a classic, stellar book with a superb message--if only we would listen. Would also recommend two other books as we read them in lit class: Cannery Row by Steinbeck, Bark of the Dogwood (I think this one's getting banned), and Of Mice and Men.
Also, you must read the new and shocking CHILDREN'S CORNER by Jackson McCrae. Great short stories-an easy read and makes a great book report.
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5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS Book, Dec 17 2003
By 
Nick (Marietta,GA,USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lord Of The Flies (Hardcover)
William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, is a story of details, adventure, and conflict. William Golding uses his excellent skills of being able to switch looks that he creates on characters by using a hefty amount of details. The details provide readers with the feelings of other characters. When I read books, I enjoy books that have plenty of details that make your reading more vivid in your imagination and allow you to feel as if you are in the story too. I like how Golding creates different adventures inside one big adventure to make the novel have more excitement and more creativity. William Golding is known for his outstanding conflicts in his stories. His books always have more conflicts than others because his are more enjoyable. For instance William has a conflict between the setting and a conflict between the characters. Most authors just have conflict in the characters. I enjoyed this book more than most books and that is why I recommend you to read this. If you enjoy action and like plenty of details then this is the book for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but kind of disapointed, Dec 3 2003
By 
Shelli Schlafhauser (MARS PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lord Of The Flies (Hardcover)
The story starts out showing how children are left to fend for themselves and try to make adult decisions. A fire is started and kills one of the children, showing how no matter what the circumstance a child is left to act like it only knows how to. The counch shell is also introduced and will be a "telephone" for the children and also a sign of power later in the novel. I wasn't to impressed with the slow developments of the first 2 chapters, there was alot of focus put on the children and not enough time spent describing the setting. The characters were highly detailed. Piggy is introduced almost as the adult figure, while there is Ralph who is more the neutral party, and Jack who is the complete opposite of Piggy. They introduce Simon to be like the conscience figure of the group stating how the only beast on the island was the boys themselves. It seems as though Golding attempts to show us almost a battle of good vs evil though out the book until the final chapter as we see the counch being destroyed and Piggy the only one with intelligence being killed. Ralph dodges numerous attacks through out the end chapters to be saved by a navy officer who comes to the island after seeing the smoke. I would have liked to see something happen at the end to the boys who were part of Jacks tribe, or at least see something happen to Jack. The story ends with alot of answered questions in my mind on what happens to the boys, having something to show us what later because of the boys would have been very nice. The story was fairly easy reading with some exception to the early chapters. There was a definate lack of interesting material. The later chapter from the point of the beating death of Simon to the last chapter was much more action packed and really does a good job of filling your imagination. I would have given it a higher rating but the slow begin is why I give it 3 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS ONE TO HEAR OVER AND OVER AGAIN!, Dec 11 2002
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lord of the Flies (Audio Cassette)
It's often a distinct pleasure to listen to an audio book read by the author, as the writer of a story can bring an added depth, a richness that eludes voice performers. Such is certainly the case with this reading by the incomparable Cornwallian William Golding, the recipient of the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature.
"Lord of the Flies" has become a contemporary classic since its publication in 1954. Who can forget this thrilling adventure of British school boys marooned on a tropical island? After their plane is wrecked on a deserted spot the boys must manage to survive.
Initially, the boys use their only resources - themselves, as there is no adult supervision. They make their own rules and way of life. But camaraderie is short lived as some of the boys follow Jack who would rather swim and play, while others are drawn to Ralph as he attempts to bring about order and delegate responsibility.
Throughout the years "Lord of the Flies" has been called a lesson in politics, a parable, and even a myth. Whatever the delineation it is timeless.
William Golding recorded his tale in a London studio in 1976. We're fortunate it has been remastered and re-released for our listening pleasure today. It is not a recording to be played and tossed aside; it is one to hear over and over again.
- Gail Cooke
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Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Paperback - Jan. 7 1958)
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