Dedicated to classics and hits.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding


Book Review
Lord of the Flies (1954)
 by William Golding

   For an English language Nobel Prize in Literature (1980), William Golding isn't particularly well read.  He does, however, have Lord of the Flies which I believe is read by every junior high school student or high school student in the English speaking world.  You could argue that Lord of the Flies is the first book in the genre of YA dystopian literature- certainly for several generations of students up until The Hunger Games generation, Lord of the Flies was 100% likely to the first work a student would encounter that could plausibly fit the description of a literary dystopia.

  Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, 1984- those are the three books that birthed dystopian fiction as a category of literature and a subject for popular fiction.  I still own my high school copy of Lord of the Flies.  I think. I can picture the cover art and my name written inside in pencil.  This time, I listened to the audiobook, read by Golding himself(!)  It also features an insightful introduction, also by the author himself, who defies those who would saddle Lord of the Flies with one, single meaning.  Golding makes clear that Lord of the Flies can mean whatever the reader thinks it means, and that readers should not allow themselves to be bullied by teachers or parents who tell them what to think about this book.

   I could barely remember the plot outline of Lord of the Flies, other then, "kids, island, Piggy, murder, rescue." The Audiobook was a rollicking adventure- there was little time to consider deeper meaning in the way the book is typically taught in American schools.  Hearing it in the voice of Golding himself was fantastic.  Paul Auster read one of his books in the Audiobook format, but Golding, a Nobel Prize winner is special.

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