So this is a weird one, friends. Lord of Flies is a book that is both strange and deep, much like Animal Farm, showcasing the the evils that can spawn in the hearts of man without the threat of society’s consequence. During the dawn of WW2, a plane full of English boys crash lands on a island in the middle of nowhere. They are the only human inhabitants. Our character is Ralph, a carefree young lad transfixed with the promise of no grown ups and a island to explore. Soon he meets Piggy, a fat, asthmatic boy in glasses who acts as a thread to rationality to the story. Together they find a conch shell in the sand; Ralph blows on it to summon the others. Others come forth, including a band of black clad choir group led by Jack Merridew. Ralph and Jack, two of the oldest, old a vote to see who leads the group. Ralph is voted chief, while Jack takes point of leading hunters for food. The goal is simple: build and maintain a fire on top of the island and survive. Ralph quickly discovers the hardships of chiefdom- the fire isn’t easy to keep up, fear spreads among the little ones of a monster that lives on the island eating the children, and ultimately his tumultuous clashing with Jack, who slowly falls into madness and overthrows Ralph by violent force.
By itself Lord of the Flies is a hard book to classify; it exhibits pieces of psychological horror, parable like animal farm, and straight up adventure epic. It’s a very slow burn, but like many good stories of this kind, once the eerie and dark parts begin it escalates nicely. My favorite aspect is Jack’s slow descent into madness and how he throws away much of morality behind clay paint he wears, feeling disconnected enough not to be affected by the blood he starts enjoying spilling. I enjoy the grim look at man’s action without consequence. My only gripe is yes this is a slow ass burn and not even a big book. A lot of detail goes into the scenery and setting, much like the novel for The Shining which is fine but sometimes, ok more than sometimes, hurts the pacing. Absolutely worth a read if you ever wondered what a cross between Children of the Corn and Gilligan’s Island would be like.
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