Book Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding #HSReadingRedo


2 disco balls

First published: September 17, 1954 by Faber & Faber
Category: Classics, Fiction, Young Adult

Lord of the Flies was Book 6 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. All I know is that after this one I am reading a book for leisure before I pick up another book from my “homework” reading list. I need a classics break!

The following 28 second video will tell you all you need to know about Lord of the Flies. Thank you, Running Out of Pages for reminding me of this scene, it perfectly summed up my reading experience.

I did not have the stomach for this book. I should have remembered from high school but I must have wiped the memories of reading this one from my mind (and for good reason!). Today I ask myself, did we really need to read this in high school? How messed up! (I really wanted to curse here, but trying to keep it PG)

Goodreads Synopsis: 3.66 average rating
When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality – and brutal savagery – of their situation sets in. The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be. Often compared to Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies also represents a coming-of-age story of innocence lost.

img_2221First, lay off Piggy will you. Second, I hate Jack and Roger. My blood boiled most of this book. And, these boys did not turn into savages, they were savages from the start. Which I guess was the message it was trying to send. Some are savages and some aren’t, you don’t become one: you are one.

I also wasn’t a fan of the writing. It was too descriptive for its own good sometimes, but I couldn’t conjure up an image of these descriptions in my head. And lets talk dialogue, half the time I had no clue who was talking and it would jump from one thing to the next. I couldn’t easily decipher if they were friends or enemies, mad or sad: one minute they were, the next sentence they weren’t. Again, I wouldn’t want to be friends with Jack or Roger any how so who cares.

Am I being my overly dramatic self here or did you feel the same way? Did you have to read this in school, or did you watch the movie? Do tell!


Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Stream the Amazon US movie
Stream the Amazon UK movie


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28 thoughts on “Book Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding #HSReadingRedo

  1. Lord of the Flies isn’t my favorite, but I like it, and I taught it a few times. The story isn’t pleasant, and the characters aren’t either, but they aren’t supposed to be. I think you’re pretty much supposed to feel for Simon and Piggy, and that’s it. Anyway, I think it’s a valuable book to teach, at least to Pre-AP or AP students. It’s a great book to teach symbolism and allegory with. However, now that I’m not a teacher, I don’t think I’ll pick it up again haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading it as a teenager and adult were very different. Since I am older (and hopefully wiser) I found my emotions to be stronger and wanted to protect Simon and Piggy. I knew the messaging, but kind of felt that the writing was not strong compared to other books I have read. Regardless this book can spark much conversation, which not all books can do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When we were kids, we didn’t criticize the subtle nuances in books like we do now. Perhaps it’s because we hadn’t read as much as kids as we have now. I too get utterly frustrated with dubious dialogue. I like Lord of the Flies from a psychological standpoint, but literary standpoint I did not. Too many writing problems.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I read this almost 20 years ago, so i don’t remember most things. I remember i did enjoy it tho, and that there were characters i thought were a bunch of a-holes and not cuz they got stranded on an island 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is funny what we used to be able to stomach but can’t as we get older — these days, I can hardly tolerate graphic anything any more and especially violence and hate that is too realistic. I had to read this in high school (like, 35 years ago), and I loved it. Read it again in my 20s – loved it. I think the writing is brilliant and the story is disturbing, but I won’t read it again. Too much humanity there and it makes me sad. (And PIGGY!) Thank you for an insightful review and perspective — you nailed it: those boys were a mess long before that plane crashed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I just love Lord of the Flies! I loved it more innocently in high school, and reading it as an adult brought all the feels! Yes it is extremely cruel, but I loved how that element created emotions that really connected me with the characters and engaged me with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review! Glad to finally find someone else who didn’t enjoy this book. We had it in high school, but not compulsory reading. From whatever bits I’d skimmed through, I didn’t find a single character endearing in any way. Also, the overall tone of the novel just wasn’t for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t read this yet. And I don’t think I will – especially now that it sounds like not much worthy of my time lol. I haven’t read classic English novels much as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Had to study this at school. I actually read it again lately, still didn’t like it! But I think it’s an important book which rather blatantly illustrates how civilisation is based on savagery and how the elite in society oppress the vulnerable. Or something 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never read nor seen Lord of the Flies, I do know about it though as my older sisters had to read it for their English class at school and kept on telling me everything that happened in the book – Luckily I got Jane Eyre. Great review. Pity it didn’t live up to your expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s been a long time since I’ve read this, but I remember being slightly horrified. And, yes, poor Piggy. I saw the movie too, which I would not recommend unless you want to double-up on the disturbing factor. On the plus side, it’s given us a great phrase for any human-turned-savage situation. It’s Lord of the Flies out there!

    Liked by 1 person

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