Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
This book greatly disappointed me, and I was tempted to abandon it countless times. There was very little plot, and what was there made no sense, and although Lord of the Flies is a story about survival, their actual means of survival were completely forgotten other than the need to hunt for meat, and the prose was the worst I have ever read.
Genres: Classics, Adventure, Young Adult, Horror
Rating: 1.5 stars
William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it’s all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behavior collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Tho critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a classic.
This book greatly disappointed me, and I was tempted to abandon it countless times. There was very little plot, and what was there made no sense, and although Lord of the Flies is a story about survival, their actual means of survival were completely forgotten other than the need to hunt for meat, and the prose was the worst I have ever read. The writing style was extremely basic with the air of trying to sound professional. The dialogue was stupid, repetitive and said absolutely nothing, and the descriptions were boring and failed to put any picture into my head other than doing something else with my time.
So many things were morally wrong with this book. I agree with the comment Tamora Pierce made on Goodreads about this book, that “I don’t believe boys/men are like this; I don’t believe people are like this. I never did. It was well written, but I wanted to take a hot shower afterwards.” How on earth would a pack of little boys be able to go mad and kill each other on a tiny island? I wondered for a time why William Golding had chosen to write his book about young boys aged about 6-12, with no girls on the entire island, but I soon realized that if a single girl was present then the book would have been about 180 pages shorter (out of 182) and they would have been rescued in no time at all!
The only thing that kept me interested in this book was because I was mildly interested in what happens to the boys in the end (or, how they end up killing each other). The Lord of the Flies vaguely reminds me of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins because of the idea of children in an enclosed area battling to the death for their survival (ironic, isn’t it?). However, the big difference lies in the fact that in The Hunger Games a powerful government run by adults is behind the mass killing, while in Lord of the Flies, the responsibility and cause lies completely in the (much younger) children, making it much more violent and horrifying.
I understand that the point of this book is not really about the boy’s survival on the island but about the symbolism of structures of society, but just because symbolism is the key idea doesn’t mean all aspects of good story writing can be forgotten! I know that I will receive a lot of hate for this review, but it is my honest opinion that just because a book is deemed a classic does not mean it is perfect, or in fact better than any other book out there.
Genre Review: Classics
Classics have never been my favorite, but The Lord of the Flies definitely strengthened by disappointment and lack of interest in them. I suppose the only reason I am glad to have read this book and many other classics, is because of their popularity and special place in our culture, I finally understand many references in books and media, and can make and understand many adult jokes about the subject.
But all in all, I don’t believe Lord of the Flies should have joined the ranks of To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984 in the genre of Classics.