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Lord of the Flies | [William Golding]

Lord of the Flies

Marooned on a tropical island, alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, and devoid of adult supervision or rules, a group of British boys begins to forge a society with its own unique rules and rituals.
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Publisher's Summary

Get ready for 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, and 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.

©1954 William Golding; (P)2002 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Lord of the Flies gives the reader a lucid and chillingly objective mirror to our modern society. William Golding's narration is as impartial as his work, yet his grumbly, grandfatherly voice, complete with mid-sentence sniffs and swallows, is intimate." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (862 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 09-19-11
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 09-19-11 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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    "A Beautiful, Terrible Glimpse into Our Beast Heart"

    Although I had read The Lord of the Flies in junior high, I was grabbed and devastated by this audiobook of the novel (read by author William Golding). The British schoolboys who crash land on a deserted coral island and then try to survive to be rescued are in way over their heads. With ruthless yet caring inevitability Golding develops the conflict between society, rules, responsibility, tolerance, the individual, and ???doing what???s right??? on the one hand and savagery, play, violence, superstition, the mob, and might-makes-right on the other.

    Some listeners have complained about Golding???s reading, but I believe it is a privilege to listen to a great author read his own classic novel, especially because Golding is an excellent reader. He does not change his voice like an actor (e.g. Tim Curry) to speak in a distinctly different voice for each character. Instead, he reads throughout with his own appealing, civilized, and sad voice, matching and enhancing whatever emotions his characters are feeling when they speak. You can hear him take deep breaths now and then, but that only humanizes him and makes it more like a ???live,??? personal, and private reading.

    Things like the conch, the fire, and the beast become powerful symbols. The characters are compelling???I found myself marveling at (and appalled by) how accurately Golding captures the essence of boyhood and how boys imaginatively and cruelly, fairly and unfairly play and fight and love and hate and think. I remembered my own childhood ???games??? of army, how my friends and I would meet in council to choose scenarios and teams and spend all day hunting each other over the desert mountains behind our houses, lying in wait in ambushes with which to kill each other, with guns and rocks, until the sun started setting and we???d have to go home. Only of course the boys on the coral island can???t go home when the sun sets. I care for Ralph, Piggy, and Simon, and grieve so much for them. ???I got the conch!???

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Chicago, IL, United States 08-31-11
    Charles Chicago, IL, United States 08-31-11 Member Since 2004
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    "a great listen"

    This book is both beautiful and terrifying; timeless and of its time (post world war 2, mid 50s). It gives real insight into the human condition. If you have not read it, or even if you have, I highly recommend this recorded version.

    I have listened to hundreds of audio books over the past few years and often refer to reviews, but this is the first one I've written. Some of the other reviewers do not like the naration, which is by the author. The naration has a "matter of fact" quality and is not a dramatization. But in my opinion, this does not detract from the story. As the author states in his concluding remorks, "it is not what the author brings to the story, but what the reader takes from it that matters." His calm tone makes this reading all the more powerfull.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon SHERMAN OAKS, CA, United States 06-01-11
    Shannon SHERMAN OAKS, CA, United States 06-01-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Chilling Classic Still Timely"

    I did this book with 6 16-17 year old boys and it was a huge book for them. So worth it to revisit as an adult. Very timely. Creepy, harsh and gritty. Only down side was lots of sexual references which I had forgotten.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Minneapolis, MN, United States 11-08-10
    Paul Minneapolis, MN, United States 11-08-10 Member Since 2009
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    "OK, but..."

    As noted, author not great reader. Doesn't change voices for different characters, so hard to tell who's saying what at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARC DUBE 07-10-10
    MARC DUBE 07-10-10
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    "Great Book.....Great Listen"

    I read this story as a child and loved it then. It was riveting and disturbing at the same time. Mr Golding created a great story of the differences we face in our world of diversity. Good intentions turned ugly by man's own lust for power. The cruelty of life can be seen on a school playground or a deserted island. By understanding the conflict the author portrays to us, we better understand ourselves. Complex beings prone to external influences in a cruel universe, but always enlightened to a sense of reality.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vince Barrett 04-29-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Worth reading"

    I vaguely remember seeing the movie and after hearing the reference in another book, I thought I would give it a listen. I figured that the author would provide insight into the book that other narrators couldn't provide, but I wasn't impressed with him. His voice got old after a while.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Austin, TX, United States 05-02-09
    Lisa Austin, TX, United States 05-02-09 Member Since 2008
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    "What an incredible treat!"

    Listening to this author read his work is a special treat, adding a wonderful new dimension to this already powerful novel. I read this novel as a 7th grader and am now enjoying experiencing it with my 7th grade son during our daily commute. I wish I'd had the opportunity to hear Golding read his novel before I read it. Truly a magnificent and insightful work.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, USA 01-16-08
    Dennis COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, USA 01-16-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Great Book"

    The recording is good and the pace is leisurely. The author reads this book and he has an English accent. I think that his accent and narration is perfect for the setting of the story. Even though he doesn't do characterizations (different voices), I was able to get into the characters. The symbolism of the story is what truly makes this book a classic. As a bonus, the author comments on his writing at the end. I recommend this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Swansea, IL, USA 12-26-07
    Kyle Swansea, IL, USA 12-26-07
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    "Awesome"

    This is a great book, and this is the perfect audiobook for it.
    It's actually read by the author, which is pretty awesome. And it's really nice, because the author refuses to do voices and stuff, which usually ruins an audiobook for me. :)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Dawn Fort Smith, AR, USA 08-27-07
    Dawn Fort Smith, AR, USA 08-27-07
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    "Wonderfully relevant!"

    This is one of my all time favorites! The illustrated struggle between man and himself is personified by the beasts in nature and the beast within his own soul! I home school my gifted son (11) and I am so glad that I chose this book for his in-class reading. I know that I don't have to mention the convenience of listening to a book, but the ability to follow along to the voice of the author is a special treat! Further, William Golding has a knack for reading his story almost as well as it is written!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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