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- Publisher: FABER & FABER
- Format: Paperback | 208 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 192mm x 16mm | 159g
- Publication date: 7 April 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0571225454
- ISBN 13: 9780571225453
- Sales rank: 205,677
Drowning in the freezing North Atlantic, Christopher Hadley Martin, temporary lieutenant, happens upon a grotesque rock, an island that appears only on weather charts. To drink there is a pool of rain water; to eat there are weeds and sea-anemones. Through the long hours with only himself to talk to, Martin must try to assemble the truth of his fate, piece by terrible piece. From the author of "Lord of the Flies", "Pincher Martin" is a terrifying and unforgettable journey into one man's mind.
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William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, and also took part in the pursuit of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-Day invasion, and later at the island of Welcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961. Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993. The Double Tongue, a novel left in draft at his death, was published in June 1995.
By Mark Thwaite 10 Dec 2008
Whenever William Golding's name is invoked, we recall his dystopian, best-selling classic Lord of the Flies. That novel, first published in 1954, has sold millions of copies worldwide, including more than 25 million in English alone. But Golding's skill as a truly modern writer is better showcased in his most perfectly realised work, his masterful third novel Pincher Martin. The story of a shipwrecked sailor, set at the time of World War Two, it is also an existential quest into our anti-hero Christopher Martin's sense of himself, of his past actions (including violently forcing himself on a female friend) and his gathering awareness of what is really happening to him as he tries to survive on an outcrop in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, drinking from rock pools, eating whatever he can find, and fighting for his life and his sanity.