Lord of the Flies: (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)

Lord of the Flies: (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)

Paperback Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century

By (author) Sir William Golding

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 211mm x 15mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 1 October 1999
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0140283331
  • ISBN 13: 9780140283334
  • Sales rank: 109,953

Product description

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. 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.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.

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Author information

Born in Cornwall, England, in 1911 and educated at Oxford University, William Gerald Golding's first book, Poems, was published in 1935. Following a stint in the Royal Navy and other diversions during and after World War II, Golding wrote Lord of the Flies while teaching school. This was the first of several novels including Pincher Martin, Free Fall, and The Inheritors and a play, The Brass Butterfly, which led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983.

Review quote

"This brilliant work is a frightening parody on man's return . . . to that state of darkness from which it took him thousands of years to emerge....Superbly written".-- THE NEW YORK TIMES

Flap copy

Few works in literature have received as much popular and critical attention as Nobel Laureate William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Since its publication in 1954, it has amassed a cult following, and has significantly contributed to our dystopian vision of the post-war era. When responding to the novel's dazzling power of intellectual insight, scholars and critics often invoke the works of Shakespeare, Freud, Rousseau, Sartre, Orwell, and Conrad.Golding's aim to "trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature" is elegantly pursued in this gripping adventure tale about 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 attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin, and evil. Part parable, allegory, myth, parody, political treatise, and apocalyptic vision, Lord of the Flies is perhaps the most memorable tale about "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart".