Lord of the Flies by William Golding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Golding's sense of immediacy is what makes "Lord of the Flies" a classic. He sticks to prose that matches the education levels and worldviews of his protagonists, a group of schoolboys who crash land on an island and disastrously attempt to forge a society of their own.
He seeks to unearth the depths of greed, domination and inhumanity that are hardwired into even the most seemingly innocuous among us.
The experiment is a success. The novel is fast-paced, accessible and thought-provoking. There are a few nagging faults that weigh it down a bit, though. His characters alternate from behaving like devious, cruel adults in one scene and helpless overgrown toddlers the next.
The range is jarring, conveniently shifting to suit the changing needs of the narrative. This causes the tone to run all over the place, and veer toward crass emotional manipulation. But that doesn't stop it from hitting hard. His gripping, brooding tale of innocence loss strikes the stark reveal that innocence was never really there.
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