Book Review: Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Too much of anything can be bad. Maybe that’s why people seek balance. But how much is the right amount? And who decides? To what extent can rules create amicable living, before a feeling of “being chained by rules” takes over and we want to break free of them?

Of many books I’ve heard of but not read, this book was one. It made me curious about it, and perhaps the time had come. As I read the book, these questions came. In the book, a group of young boys are stranded on an uninhabited island without any grownups nearby. So they form a band of their own. There’s an elected leader Ralph, a talkative yet wise chubby boy nicknamed “Piggy” and a seemingly dominant character Jack who wants to lead but when outnumbered in the vote, is offered the position of Chief of the Hunters. They form rules, decide on what has to be done etc. There’s friendliness to begin with, knowing the important thing is to keep a fire going so someone sees their presence and comes to rescue them. But over time, that sensibility begins to dwindle. A possible “rescue” is lost when the hunters let the fire go untended. Arguments begin to happen, and the friendliness dissipates leading to a power struggle.

I like the idea behind the novel. It demonstrates a power struggle, how the calmest of heads can become panicked in the face of fear and chaos, and how prioritizing one’s idea as the only idea can lead to those chaos. The idea definitely had promise, but the way it was put across was very bland. There’s mostly dialogue, an over-description of the island itself and no pace to keep the pages turning quickly. It might even be easy to confuse one boy for another at times. The intent of the novel is lost because of it, I feel. The saving grace is that the pace does pick up in the second half of the book, and that the ending is quite good, like a philosophical conclusion to an otherwise boring essay. The ending did make sense.

The story is disturbing, no doubt about that. And on some level, it is understandable too. But the idea, at the end of the book, remained only partially executed because it was that boring. I can understand why it’s called a classic, and perhaps if I read it again, it might make more sense. But that day is still a long, long way away.


A Score Of 5 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: Lord of the Flies
Author(s): William Golding Genre: Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: 9780571200535 Publisher: Faber

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
13th February 2018)

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