Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Publication Date: This Edition: August 1997; Originally: 1954
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian
Summary (from back of book): Lord of the Flies is an adventure tale in its purest form, a thrilling and elegantly told account of a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys begin to forge their own society, their own rules, their own rituals. With this seemingly romantic premise, through the seemingly innocent acts of children, Golding exposes the duality of human nature itself - the dark, eternal divide between order and chaos, intellect and instinct, structure and savagery. The book's terrifying escalation of violence seems as inevitable as it is chilling. It engrosses, it challenges, and it reveals.
Review: This is one of those books that, once you read it you wonder why the heck you hadn't read it sooner. I had certainly heard of The Lord of the Flies - my brother actually had a beat up copy in high school that I'm not sure he ever read.
To put it succinctly, this starts out as an amazing tale of adventure that evolves into so much more than I imagined. It's fascinating to follow along with the group of boys who are stranded on an unknown island and what they go through while trying to survive. It really made me think about what I would do at that age in a similar situation - being young, no adults to tell you what to do, scary things in the forest that keep you awake at night, and deciding who is going to take the role of leader...and whether or not you'll listen to him.
And then there is the dissent and the violence. It is chilling. There were parts where I was reading and almost holding my breath because I felt like I was in the shoes of the character, terrified about what could happen next. Almost as if I were watching all the events unfold right in front of me.
In the words of Golding himself, "the theme is an attempt to trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature."
If you are like me and have apparently been living under a rock all these years not having read this book, add it to your wishlist. In my opinion it is definitely worth it.