Lord of the Flies
By: William Golding
Setting: An unknown island
Format: 225 pages
Verdict: (Everyone has to read it some day. But for those of you who feel like reading it for fun, you can SKIP IT)
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, killing, savegry...)
The basic premise: A bunch of shipwrecked boys with no adults in sight, start killing each other and turning into savages. Yes, I'm talking about the book that every kid of at least this generation had (or has at least) to read this book for school. I just finished it myself, and not to say it was the worst book I've ever read, but considering there has been many books about the downfall of civilization, this one dosen't reach its potential. Yes, hate me, I dared to not like this book.
Original? Fairly. But notice the PG-13 rating. The book is too kind on this violence, I say if you're going to go with savagrey, flaunt it. Golding takes this too kindly. We are talking about the end of democracy amoung a group of boys who want to kill each other. I admit that too much would ruin it, but there needs to be more to really notice a considerable, awful change.
Which brings me to another point: Ralph to me wasn't so much as "good guy" than as a "bad." Had Jack not shown up the way he had, I would have been totally convinced that Ralph was going to be the one that's going to create all the mess that happened in this book. At first he acts like a selfish brat. Maybe Golding meant Ralph to be this way so that the reader can sense the destruction ahead I don't know, but the way he treated Piggy, and acted so selfishly, made me lose all the sympathy for him. Well, sometimes I did but I didn't feel a lot, because he continues to brush off Piggy's asthma and continues to not listen to Piggy just because he's not like him or Jack or anybody.
Simon is the same way, SPOILER HERE!! I felt sad that he died, but only BECAUSE he died. SPOILER OVER. I never connected with him as a character, Golding didn't really develop his personality that well. So in the end I really didn't care for him that much. Now granted there are some great scenes with him and the Lord of the Flies but there is very little for me to enjoy in his character. Actually, none of them were really enjoyable except for Piggy and Samneric, who had the most complex of personalities, the ones that I actually liked. I told you about Ralph, but Jack seemed a little too unrealistically evil, even for an allegorical novel I found no qualities that I felt, jeez I would really like to know what's going on in this character's head.
The story itself is intriguing but again, I didn't feel like this was a major break out novel. The writing has no special quality to it, I didn't find myself ENTRANCED by it. The plot never leaps forward because of this non-exciting writing and un-connectable characters. I know some of you will comment on this post and say, "It's an allegory, you're not supposed to take it seriously!" Yes well, in all books, including allegory's, the rules of liking a novel because of character, plot and writing, the rules also apply.
Now, it's not ALL bad. There are some wonderful scenes that I wouldn't change (The killing of the sow scene, the Lord of the Flies scene...) that were wonderfully gory and creepy. And I did get a chance to compare characters to other people in real life, it is a very original idea, you have to give Golding that. It's not totally unlikely there are no fantastical scenes save a few of course but none of it is really based in the paranormal. But at the same time, the book never really ties together, and those scenes fail to save it.
Sorry any kids who didn't read this book yet: You are going to have to read it soon. Now, some of my friends absolutely hated this book, that's a bit of an exaggeration. And I can see, going into the Nobel Peace judges (or whatever you call them) why the author won a Nobel for the book. But can I say even CHECK IT OUT even if you want to read it for fun? No. It's not that good enough a classic. This one, I'm afraid, is going to get a SKIP.