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Summary

Skilfully exploring the tension between individuality and conformity, the desire for civilisation versus the lust for power, it is unsurprising that William Golding's debut novel went on to become such a triumph.

A plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. As the boys’ delicate sense of order fades, so their childish dreams are transformed into something more primitive, and their behaviour starts to take on a murderous, savage significance.

©1954 William Golding (P)2012 Faber Audio

What members say

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Not a single word wasted.

Being uneducated and semi-literate, Lord of The Flies has been one of the many books floating around in the ether that was unlikely for me ever to read. It turns out that my nephew, who is also my ward along with his four siblings, must study it for his Junior Certificate state examinations in Ireland. So I got the audiobook. I'm sure, like many people, I have had a vague idea of what it was about. I didn't realise that it was so modern, what with aeroplanes and televisions etc. What impressed me was the simplicity in the style of writing. I'm sure that this book is not abridgeable, unlike Victor Hugo and even my dear sweet Charles Dickens, and in truth William Golding has not wasted a single word. As to Martin Jarvis, here is an actor who can really bring a book to life, he reads beautifully and interprets characters brilliantly. I would highly recommend this audiobook.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ant
  • St Albans, United Kingdom
  • 12-12-13

There's a reason it's a classic

A very well told story of descent into savagery. This is one of those "I really should read" books, which I am very glad I did.
Every part of this story is etched into my mind by the author's descriptive artistry brought to life by Martin Jarvis' exceptional story telling. I can still see Piggy quite clearly when I recollect the book, along with the pig trails in the jungle and the boys camp next to the shallow rock pool.
If you have any desire to read this book then I doubt it will be a disappointment.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • eileen
  • Northampton, United Kingdom
  • 26-04-13

lord of the flies

I read this book when I was 11 and enjoyed it then so I thought that it would be nice to give it another try and I must say it was just as enjoyable this time round, I found that I just had to keep reading until I had finished it. A great read, sad and funny.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philippa
  • Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
  • 23-12-12

Atmospheric

This reading suits perfectly the dramatic story that unfolds. The pace at which the story is told does justice to the powerful atmosphere that Golding creates. I played the death scenes to class while they were studying it and it made the story all the most accessible to them.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carly
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • 01-12-12

Excellent narration

Martin Jarvis did a very good job here, bringing the characters to life. A pleasure to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carrie
  • Galway, Ireland
  • 21-06-14

Wonderful

I really enjoyed this book it gripped me throughout. The reader was fantastic and there was very little that didnt add to the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth a listen

What did you like most about Lord of the Flies?

Excellent narration

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lord of the Flies?

The first kill

Which character – as performed by Martin Jarvis – was your favourite?

Piggy

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

I read this as a teenager, I'm 56 now, but I found I emphasised with the characters because of Martin Jarvis's narration more than I did at first reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting.

Slow start. Moving. Would have liked to know what happened to characters. If justice given.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Classic

A classic. There's surely nothing that can be said about it that hasn't been expressed in some form by somebody else over the past 64 years, but I will say this: Never trust a Jack.

In all seriousness, this wasn't necessarily an enjoyable book (for obvious reasons) but it was a decent little story on an island. As somebody somewhat fascinated by tales of characters washed up on islands - there's a sense of what if? about it - the book certainly delivered. It's not all that deep in its message, the characters are actually paper thin, but it's well told and is all over just as quickly as it began. The perfect length for what it is and Martin Jarvis makes for an enjoyable listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A perfect assessment of human nature!

The narrator is really passionate about this story, you can tell! I missed this at School due absence, but catching up over years later, I am glad I got round to this. Simply perfect!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 20-09-12

Classic - if a bit disturbing.

Another classic that I have been seeking on audio to add to my library for a while. This one because I had read it as a boy and enjoyed it greatly and wanted to add it to my rotating library of repeat listens. It makes it to that list very very easily.

The basic story is probably fairly well known. Group of boys. Desert Island. Add some time and wait for chaos to reign. I remembered that much from my boyhood read but there are layers here that I didn't get as a spotty teen.

And I'm coming to the conclusion that this is what makes a great book great.

Every time you read it it makes you think about some element of it differently and see some feature in a new light. Ostensibly this is a book about how small boys will happily become savages if left without authority. It is also wider, deeper and longer than that if you pause the recoding every now and then and let your mind wander over a scene for a few minutes and think about whatever else it throws into your head. Bit like tasting a good wine where you can (I'm told - cheap plonk man myself) start to seperate out individual notes from the flavour. "I'm getting - the beginnings of religion - the draw of superstition - mans inhumanity to man.........."

That said , if all you want is a good book with a good story well told and well read then this will do that for you too. Just that there is more there if you want it.

Martin Jarvis does an excellent job on the narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ESK
  • 12-11-12

Story of cruel innocence

It's a story of spiralling down into savagery and brutality, a story of making a choice between good and evil, peace and war, God and Satan. The name Lord of the flies is actually translated as Beelzebul, one of the three main fallen angels along with Lucifer and Astaroth.
It is revolting to see how quickly and without compunction children can lose their innocence and become unruly bloodthirsty criminals.
As for the narrator, I was overwhelmed listening to M. Jarvis' performance. His rendition was exceptional.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-06-18

What a messed up book

Imagine an island in the sea, where we boys can be, fish together and be happy and free. Until order collapses and we start raping piglets and killing each other. Jesus Christ, what a messed up book. I mean... God, why? It starts so nice and optimistic, and then suddenly the darkness grows, and we become savages. I liked this book very much, although it is a very dark and disturbing story.
The characters are believable, but I don't think I like any of them. Ralph was kind of a dork sometimes, Piggy was partly annoying and Jack was just straight up evil. Except my man Simon, he was very awesome and asked important questions. I think I would've liked it much better if I had read it when I was a little younger and less experienced, because sometimes the boys truly annoy me with their irrationality. Jesus Christ, who gives a shit about a fucking conch? That's some fascist shit right there.
Golding sometimes writes very long descriptions of actions, which makes it kinda slow, and I have to pay attention to everything that is happening. His message is that we all have the Lord of the Flies within us, which I can understand, but don't know if I agree with. Yes, most of the kids turn to shit, but Ralph, Piggy and Samneric still fight against what they are becoming. I think, if we are kind to each other, help each other and don't rape piglets or kill small boys, we all have a Lord of the Butterflies within us.
The audio is very good, but his voice for Piggy are very annoying.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Phelan Hourigan
  • 21-09-17

Important Ideas but a boring story

I appreciated the writing, themes, and ideas. However, the plot is slow and cumbersomeand I struggled to finish the book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 31-03-17

Really great!

I liked the story quite a lot, apparently it's a classic. The narrative is good, a little silly sometimes, but it's all about kids anyways. A good one for a listen, and one for the old "I've read it" bank

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 25-04-15

Was forced to read this book but it was ok

Decent book, decent story line, better than reading the words.

And I have to add another 10 words to make this count

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Derna
  • 25-03-13

Not a fan of this one.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I have no idea.

What could William Golding have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The voice of piggy grated on my nerves.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Martin Jarvis?

I wouldn't put anyone else through reading this.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and regret.

Any additional comments?

This one just wasn't for me.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful