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When "Lord of the Flies" appeared in 1954 it received unprecedented reviews for a first novel. Critics used such phrases as "beautifully writeen, tragic and provocative... vivid and enthralling... this beautiful and desperate book... completely convincing and often very frightening... its progress is magnificient... like a fragment of nightmare... a dizzy climax of terror... the terrible spell of this book..." E.M. Forster chose it as the Outstanding Novel of the Year. "Time and Tide" touched upon perhaps the most important facet of this book when it said, "It is not only a first-rate adventure but a parable of our times, " and articles on this and subsequent Golding novels have stressed these twin aspects of Golding: a consummate control of the novel form, and a superb all-encompassing vision of reality which communicates itself with a power reminiscent of Conrad.
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Lord of the Flies , William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island, is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: "He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet." Golding's gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition. --Jennifer HubertReview:
"Lord of the Flies is one of my favorite books. I still read it every couple of years."
--Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games trilogy
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