©1954 William Golding; (P)2002 Random House, Inc.
"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)
I love this tale. Read it years ago and so looked forward to hearing it. However, the author should NOT have read this book. Had some difficulties with his lack of expressions. Quality of sound improved a little after chapter 5. I hope that some day it is re-done with a different narrator (unabridged of course!).
An awful narration -- the worst narration I have ever experienced. The author should have thought twice before deciding to narrate. A professional narrator would have brought the whole essence of this beautifully written story alive. What a shame!
The book is awesome, we all know it is. The problem is that the author narrated the book. That was a huge mistake. I couldn't listen to it. I ended up just reading it because there was no other option for audio available at audible. The voice has a slight English accent, no problem there but it is very monotone with little variation on character voice. I would listen to an excerpt before purchasing.
My first "read" of this book is in listening to this audio version. Although the writing is good, frankly, the narrator's voice lulls me to sleep. He sounds like he has marbles in his mouth much of the time. I respect the author highly, but not as a narrator. I am struggling to pay attention, wading through this classic.
While this is a very admirable book, the voice of the author is dreadful. The book should be done again in a voice with a more natural flow and some enthusiasm. This flat tone coming from the author of a book who's story he should know, almost puts one to sleep. We could not listen to it after 10 minutes. I got the book for my grandchildren to listen to thinking they would enjoy it as I had enjoyed reading the book.
A good idea to have Mr. Golding read his book, but in the end authors are not necessarily voice actors. I felt that Mr. Golding did not bring the passion and horror that is needed to really bring this story to life. Very shocking plot movements, read by an (very obviously) old man in monotone English voice made for an almost comical juxtaposition, one that took away from the story.
Although the 5 minutes or so commentary by the author were interesting, I recommend having this read by someone else.
Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.
First of all, let me say that I agree with the criticism of the narration. After listening to somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 audiobooks, I can say without reservation that this is the worst narration I've heard. There are times when it is great to have the author read the book, but this was not one of them. Little to no expressiveness in the voice, even when dealing with dialog in situations dealing with life & death.
Sadly, I cannot tell whether the poor narration affected my view of the book. This was one "classic" that I was left scratching my head, wondering why it is a classic. At 5 disks, one track, the story doesn't really get moving much until midway into the 4th disk. I will say that the last disk is interesting, but in my opinion, didn't make up for the rest of the book. After hearing so much about how great this book was, I was greatly disappointed. Ranks far below classics such as "Oliver Twist", "Wuthering Heights", "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and others that really live up to their billing. In my opinion, this one did not.
One other positive was the author's commentary on his writing of the book and the meaning of the book in both a prologue and appendix. This was interesting in spots.
I had never read this book as a teen but am glad I gave it a listen. It has so much to say about what savages human beings are. It's not just a story for kids. Some grown-ups in positions of power should have to read or listen to it. I really like hearing authors read their literature.
I used to work as a wildland firefighter. The way their society degrades mirrors fire camp as the tour reaches twenty-plus days. I think everyone who has worked in a "high testosterone" occupation will see parallels between this book and their work environment. I think it actually applies to a lot more situations ? it was just obvious from my perspective. I could even match the characters in the book to the characters I have worked with. Anyway, I recommend this book to everyone.
Lord of the Flies inspired vigorous debate in my high school English class, and the Peter Brook film version certainly did the book justice. It's interesting sometimes to turn to a piece of literature that you know already and experience it as an audiobook. In this case, I didn't see the Peter Brook film as I listened, nor did I have the same response to the book that I had as a student. This was a completely fresh take on a classic that remains controversial in its assertion that a society built and populated by mankind is destined to fail because innate human weakness will triumph over higher notions. It's a chilling view, and I, for one, can't prove that Golding was wrong. We have only faith in human goodness to keep anarchy from prevailing. Is that faith only possible when one can afford it?
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