It had been such a long, long time since I last read this book. The mid-1980s, I believe. I’d been wanting to re-read it for the third or fourth time for quite a while, and then one of my AP Lit students kept talking about how it was one of her favorites, so I downloaded the audio edition from audible.com and listened to William Golding read his own famous book.
There were several images or scenes that really stood out in my mind about this book from my first reading in junior high. One was Ralph first blowing the conch. Another was the “beast” and how it moved. Then there was the Lord of the Flies himself (don’t think I noted before that “he” was originally a “she” before becoming Lord of the Flies). The last time we see Piggy stood out. Lastly, there was the scene of Ralph running through the shelters, trying to protect the little’uns … but that isn’t actually in the novel.
The Lord of the Flies holds up as a great novel. I loved it when I was in my early teens and still love it now at the start of my fifth decade. The ending now seems a little too convenient, but if you take into account that the plane the boys were on in the beginning was shot down, perhaps it isn’t so unlikely that … the story can end as it does.
Golding is not a great reader. You regularly hear him slurping up breath and there’s very little intonation to his voice, and now change of vocalization for different characters. However, the audio book is notable for an introduction and closing by Golding. And yes, I’m aware that makes me a nerd, but I don’t care. I like hearing authors talk about their books.
Read this one. Then read it again.