Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Book - 1976
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A plane wreck deposits a group of boys, aged six to twelve, on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order on their existence evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts.
Publisher: New York : Coward, [1976, c1962]
ISBN: 9780399501487
Branch Call Number: Fiction Golding TEEN
Characteristics: 243 p. ; 19 cm. ; Berkley ed. 256 p. ; Penguin ed. 182 p. ; Perigee ed. 208 p


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From Library Staff

Recommended by Ammon.

Realizing that you have to grow up always puts a damper on things.

Reasons: profanity, excessive violence

#2 pick by Lucy

This book disturbed and intrigued me from beginning to end. It may have even given me nightmares.

From the critics

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Dec 14, 2019

i read this book as part of the 300 books everyone should read once featured on listopia. i did not care for it. i felt like i was breaking into a story without knowing the characters and the setting and it never got much better. i found it evil and a little creepy. i suppose it ended well enough, but i probably would bother reading it again

Sep 14, 2019

Originally published back in 1954 - "Lord of the Flies" would be the debut work of fiction by British novelist, William Golding.

This novel's intense story focuses in on a group of 30 British boys (between the ages of 6 to 12) who are stranded on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific. Left to themselves (far from modern civilization) these boys descend into savagery as they make a disastrous attempt to govern themselves.

I think it's interesting to note that upon its initial publication back in 1954 - "Lord of the Flies" went out of print (due to poor sales) within a year's time. But, then, quite unexpectedly, it regained popularity and went on to become a best-seller.

There have been 2 screen adaptations of this book, as well (1963 and 1990).

Aug 14, 2019

Lord of the Flies impacted me more when I read it in school than on rereading. When I read it first, I wasn't much older than the children of the book. I empathized with them more and could relate to them. I even remember liking some of the characters. As an adult, I can see that Golding wasn't just telling the story of children surviving on a deserted island, but was actually condemning human nature, and discussing what would happen in an anarchist state. It is bleak an an argument that I don't entirely agree with, but it is worth reading this classic argument. In his book, no character is "good", all of the boys are flawed in some key way that ultimately grows in their situation, causing things to grow worse, reinforcing these negative traits. It is a unique experience to reread the book as an adult, and I would encourage others to do so. It was much more interesting on rereading than on my initial read through.

May 12, 2019

I have read this book twice. This book deals with the subject and the reality of what children would turn out to be if they were not raised and supervised by adults.

Apr 21, 2019

Of all the classic books you have to read in school, this one of the best. I loved this book and it felt like it was actually worth discussing more in depth. Even without annotating it to death, it is still a fun and interesting read.

Mar 17, 2019

Suspenseful, intriguing novel with solid messages about violence.

Feb 19, 2019

Interesting story about power and human nature. I’m glad this was given as an assignment in high school. It’s a classic that everyone should read.

Dec 15, 2018

Read this book for my english project and it was quite fascinating. This story was about Young boys who crashed on an island and left to govern themselves. This ended up in chaos and destruction on the island by the boys. It gave a clever insight on how humans have the capacity for evil within themselves.

Nov 27, 2018

Though this book is really disturbing to read, I love the ideas it presents. It’s very intriguing to read about a “what if” scenario, especially when the characters are a bunch of boys for whom it’s very easy to feel empathy and worry for. It’s rich in description and allegory, and has a plot that is easy to follow and unfolds naturally. The increasing sensation of dread and anticipation throughout the novel aligns perfectly with the events of the plot and makes me rush through the pages to finish the novel every time I read. Overall, a really intriguing novel with ideas interesting to ponder. @ClockworkReader of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This was a book that I read for school that had me weirded out. It started relatively light and was fairly normal but gradually became a violent with murder. The boys fall into savagery was weird for me and really made me uncomfortable but on the other hand I also thought it was interesting because I thought it was realistic. It also had me thinking on whether or not I would be able to deal with such a situation at hand and what I would do if I was in Ralph's situation specifically. Another thing that was interesting in the book is its portrayal of how humans interact in a place with no rules, this really let me appreciate the rules and ethics we have set in place in society to protect ourselves even more than normal and allowed me to do so consciously. I dont know what age group I would recommend this book too but I do think its worth a read, as I believe it can let you appreciate the things we have and because it shows the importance of maintaining our ethic or using them even in places where they are not enforced. @BookYourBooks of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Lord of the Flies is the strangest book I had the misfortune of reading. The kids are wild, unusual, and the best characters are killed off. For starters, let me say that as a young South Asian, I can't relate to these boys or characters. How they act and how they see the way of life is not in my capacity for me to understand, therefore making it dull and uneasy about enjoying this given story. Understandably it is set during ww2. Thus I can acknowledge there wouldn't be any non-white people to be represented and lots of white supremacist dialogue. But despite all that, we don't live in this time and era where that is normalized. We've grown as a society and have created a mixing pot of different races and ethnic backgrounds. To be forced to read this in school or still upheld as a classic novel in the year 2019 is unjust. The story itself is already non-original and is taken from previous books erasing discriminatory language and storylines against Indigenous people. Essentially, Lord of the Flies is not nearly as compelling or exciting as so many classic readers try to push. It's an okay story. 3/5 Stars. @moonlightbae of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

In my opinion I thought this book was a very good read, just a little slow in the beginning. I read it for school and was expecting to have to push myself to read it but it surprised me. I liked the diversity of characters and the play of good and evil. As I read along the characters grew and changed which kept my interest to the end. It was brutal in parts but that helped the story to feel more real and keep me interested in the outcome. I wanted to know what would happen so I read it very quickly. The wording took me a while to adjust too but the story was good. If it was easier to read I would have given it a 5 stars. I agree with others that it is a classic. I have never ready anything else like it and even though it was written along time ago it still could happen today as it deals with human nature, good and evil. 4/5 Stars. @McRee of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

HCL_featured Sep 19, 2018

"Challenged at the Sully Buttes, SD High School (1981). Challenged at the Owen, NC High School (1981) because the book is "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal." from www.ala.org American Library Association

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Add Age Suitability
Aug 14, 2019

pataustin11 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 11, 2018

brookebixby thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 99

May 11, 2018

Its_ya_boi_Emmitt thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

Aug 17, 2017

Dragonrat703 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 07, 2017

NanoB1t thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 04, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 16, 2015

blue_zebra_421 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 17, 2014

Bubblechau thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

mauve_mosquito_3 Jul 15, 2014

mauve_mosquito_3 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 14, 2014

TiaunaMass thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Add a Summary
Jun 11, 2018

In William Golding’s allegory novel Lord of the Flies, a group of boys are on an uninhabited island and have to govern themselves. A plane was shot down over the island. Some of the group of British schoolboys survived. Without adult supervision, they try to set rules for the island. A set of twins, Sam and Eric, mistake a dead pilot parachuting down to the island for a beast. Jack, thinks he is the rightful ‘chief’, calls for a hunt for the beast. Ralph, the ‘chief’, accuse Jack of not wanting to be rescued. Ralph joins the hunt and they do the "kill the pig" chant multiple times. After a while, the boys were under the impression that Simon was the beast and decided to kill him. Ralph and Piggy tried to justify their part of the murder. They said it was motivated by fear and instinct. Piggy questioned Jack about being sensible: “Which is better-to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is” (180)? Piggy was hit and he fell down the mountains until he hit the beach. The impact killed Piggy. Jack declared himself chief then he calls for a hunt on Ralph. Ralph realized that the schoolboys that arrived on the Island are now savages. Ralph hides until he noticed the other boys are setting the forest on fire to try to smoke him out. If they continue to do this, the fire will destroy all the fruit on the Island. A naval officer arrived on his ship. He thought the boys have been playing games to which he scolds them for not behaving more organized and responsible. Ralph wept for the end of the boy’s innocence and the death of Piggy.
Overall, I had a few favorite quotes. Of Course, I like that one kid calling people “wacco[s]” (27). I just enjoyed the quote about letting the fire go out: “They let the bloody fire go out” (68). The quote about fear just was really cool: “The thing is-fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream” (82). Personally, I enjoyed some childish fights and comments. Ralph and Jack arguing about who will be the chief. Also, when they call each other names “‘Who’s a thief?’ ‘You are’” (177)! In my honest opinion, it was not the best book I have read. I only enjoyed a few quotes and a few sections. The only reasons I would recommend this book is because it is an easy and short read; the book took me about two hours to read. Other than that I do not recommend reading it.

Aug 17, 2017

Schoolboys are stranded on an island together. Attempts at a civilized society are made, but as the hope of rescue grows farther away, as the terror of beasts and monsters takes control, the society is fractured. The boys deteriorate into a violent, brutal mob, praising and fearing a "beast" and brutally punishing those against them.

sakib_0 Jun 29, 2014

golding reenacts WWII in this book by showing how many young boys crash down into a mysterious island in a plane,and revert to savagery as their hope of survival

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

A number of English school boys suffered from a plane accident causing them to get stranded in an uninhibited island. The period was maybe during the World War II. Trying to be civilized, they elected a leader for themselves as well started the division of tasks (hunters, fire-watchers, etc). Things turned bad when there's a power struggle between the group leaders, worsened by various sightings of a monster in the island. No, don't think about "Lost" because this is way different.

tt14 Jun 18, 2012

This novel is about a group of young English boys who miraculously survived a plane crash. They are all alone in this mysterious and inhabited island of lagoons, cliffs, hills, wild pigs, flies and boulders. The author used many literary techniques to add zest to his novel. Character development, defined as a positive or heroic transformation in a character, is so well suited to Piggy – a protagonist in the novel.

Nov 05, 2011

A bunch of boys are stranded on an island and kill each other....

FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

A group of school boys are the only survivors when their plane crashes on a deserted island. Forced to survive alone without adult authority the boys regress and form murderous tribes.

Mar 24, 2009

A airliner crash leaving a groups of school children to defence for themselves. Due to conflicts the break into to groups. See how primary school students cope with no adult guidance. And will they be able to coperate to get off the island.


Add Notices
Aug 17, 2017

Violence: A pig is killed in a sadistic and brutal way, with its head later stuck on a pike and devoured by flies. A boy is beaten and torn apart by the others, and later another boy is hit by a boulder, flies off a cliff, and has his head bashed open.

Jul 17, 2015

Violence: Since the boys are left stranded on the island, many of them turn into savages.Two boys are killed.

Sep 06, 2013

Violence: A stabbing and a crushing with rock

Nov 19, 2011

Violence: Oh yeah as if the book couldn't get bad enough, 3/4 of the way through they decide to bludgeon a boy to death and then they push another one down a mountain and crush him with a rock....

Jul 06, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Jul 06, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


Add a Quote
Oct 15, 2019

“You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” ~ the Lord of the Flies, page 158

Mar 19, 2019

“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”

Aug 17, 2017

"Maybe there is a beast...maybe it's only us."

sakib_0 Jun 29, 2014

"He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together;
and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance."

Feb 05, 2014

Nobody killed, I hope? Any dead bodies?

tt14 Jun 18, 2012

. “I don’t ask you to be a sport, I’ll say not because you’re strong, but because what’s right’s right. Give me my glasses: I’m going to say – You got to!”

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