Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Book - 1999
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Penguin Putnam
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature.

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 is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.


Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.

"Lord of the Flies is one of my favorite books. That was a big influence on me as a teenager, I still read it every couple of years." 
—Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games

"As exciting, relevant, and thought-provoking now as it was when Golding published it in 1954."
Stephen King

Baker & Taylor
The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1999
ISBN: 0140283331
9780140283334 (pbk.)
Branch Call Number: Y GOLDING
PR6013.O35 L5 1982
Characteristics: 182 p. ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Also available on Book and Book on CD

A group of schoolboys struggle to survive on an island after their plane crashes. After a while, they're not only hunting wild boar, they're hunting each other.

From the critics

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Feb 01, 2018

This particular audiobook is read by the author - he does it pretty well (far better than Toni Morrison reads her books), especially considering it was recorded in 1977 (I think; I can't quite tell) long before the minor art of reading books for recording was seriously developed. I was surprised by how mild his accent was (it seems Englishmen today have more pronounced accents than they did 40 years ago!). The work itself is exciting and excellently paced; some creative and shocking descriptions, the techniques for which were not overused so one really notices them when they are used; the psychological portraits also are vivid for such a short book.

Nov 08, 2017

This was my first classic book, and can I say I enjoyed it. The context was a bit difficult to understand, but past that, it was a book that shows people how not only William Golding sees the world in his time, but how our world has not changed from his world, and that people will never learn how to treat one another.

Oct 29, 2017

During a wartime evacuation, an airplane crashes on an uninhabited island stranding a small group of young British school boys. Disaster results when the boys attempt to organize their own society on the primitive island. The writing is excellent, and the story raises many important questions about the nature of evil.

Aug 17, 2017

Really great book that shows that a violent nature can dwell even in the best of us. The ending is rather startling and reveals that this violent nature does not just occur on deserted island. Highly graphic, but one of the greatest classics I've read.

Aug 01, 2017

The novel Lord of the Flies provides an interesting outlook on our modern day society. The main overall theme of the story suggests that if an individual is removed from a civilized and modernized society, their personalities greatly impact their actions and what they do to survive. In the story, Golding produces many different characters to show us, the readers, the different types of personalities through several different and unique characters. Several qualities are portrayed such as loyalty, thirsts for power and control, anger, leadership and fear.

Jul 10, 2017

I really loved this book! I loved the idea of being stranded on an island, and how it portrays human emotions that we all feel; jealousy, anger, revenge. A great classic, while still being modern and having a unique twist to it.

GCPL_Teen Jun 29, 2017

While it is a classic, this book may be too grotesque and unrelatable for some readers. Or perhaps the grotesque quality will appeal to you! The quick dissolution of social norms has larger implications for society as a whole, and may cause the reader to consider humanity's potential for descending into chaos. Or you may be grossed out and annoyed by the immaturity of the characters...

May 24, 2017

My kids just read this book and it made their stomachs sick. I am really glad I avoided this when I was a kid to avoid the topic of politics and eating other people!?!?!?! What was this writer thinking?!?!?!? It was also extremely boring to discuss. There was so much symbolism that it made my head hurt. There should be a warning on it saying "Before you read this book be prepared to be sick."

Mar 21, 2017

I didn't like really like this book. The plot was sort of unrealistic and a lot of the events in the book were rather exaggerated. The ending was also kind of depressing.

Mar 19, 2017

The book Lord of the Flies written by William Golding depicts how a group of young boys would act if they were to be stranded after an accident with no help, or supervision. The boys in this book slowly turn from civilized human beings, to something more akin to a savage in the wild. It shows quite well what might happen in the real world if a group were to be stranded for a long time without any signs of rescue. It portrays quite well the worst possible outcome and the darkest side to what may happen if a tragedy like this may occur. This book also shows the readers various point of views on what to do with the many characters with varying personalities having their own take on the issue. Overall, it is a nice read on a society without any regulations, or how one may descent into chaos.
- @somedude of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

William Golding's most famous novel, The Lord of the Flies, is a book that shows what the state of society would turn into in the case of total anarchy - i.e., a dystopia. The plot follows a group of schoolboys as the plane they're traveling on crash lands onto a deserted island. With no adult supervision, the boy's attempts at order soon delve into chaos and murder. While the book does a fantastic job at showing the readers the darkest side of humanity - this is not an idealistic read - it suffers from being too much of a slow burn, and at some points, too much of a bad thing. The tragedy after tragedy becomes relentless, but then again, in a post-Trump presidency era, the book seems more frighteningly real than ever.
- @reallylikesmusicals of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

William Golding’s novel, Lord of The Flies, is not simply about boys who struggle to hold on to their sense of order and civilization, but human’s innate nature. As the boys devolve from innocent British school children to primitive beasts, this haunting and at times disturbing story is meant to show that evil is mankind’s essence. I find this novel to be dark and frightening but especially pertinent to today’s society. As an optimist, I like to believe that humans are naturally good beings but Lord of the Flies does expose the fact that as a society we can be evil at times. 3.7 out of 5.
- @freshprinceofbooks of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

A bunch of boys are stuck on an island and they have to work together to survive. They work on things like making fires to attract attention for rescue, using those fires for warmth and cooking, they go hunting in the jungle for food, collecting water, and other sorts of work. Things did not really work out as well as they all wanted it to be. Later, they split up into two groups and worked separately. One of the groups was into hunting and killing animals. They got too violent over time and things got out of hand. There was lots of violence on that island, and the only thing that mattered anymore was either stay alive, or get killed.
- @redninam of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Aug 17, 2017

Dragonrat703 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 07, 2017

red_giraffe_495 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

Sep 06, 2013

JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

platypus101 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

EuSei Oct 13, 2012

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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Add a Summary

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

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?

Jul 11, 2012

"Sucks to your assmar!"

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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