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Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Member Name: ryanando
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Advantages: Creepy, chilling, well written modern classic
Disadvantages: Scary...bit of a crap ending
Recently it would seem my health has went tits up. Quite literally. Not only am I just getting out of a rather nasty cold, my body decided to give way on me the other day. Let me set the scene for you:
I am in the changing rooms at the local leisure centre having just spent an hour in the training pool, secretly wishing (only occasionally out loud to my lesbian who was with me) that I could see without my specs since two rather buff blokes decided to jump into the pool. The heat in the cubicles is clearly being controlled by a very frail old lady stuck in an arctic igloo with nothing but half a nipple tassel and last months copy of take a break to keep warm. It is bloody warm.
Having just managed to whip my boxers on, I start to feel incredibly sick. Before my short-ish haired friend in the next cubicle could say "ha ha stop being a girl" I had thrown my cubicle door open and stumbled to the reception desk. At which point I lost all control of my limbs, collapse on the desk and muttered something about needing to spew. When told I'd need to do it on the floor, my inner queen struggled past the fact I couldn't move and demanded to be taken to the toilet.
By the time I got out of the cubicle, I had regained an ounce of composure, standing in my boxers (which, by the way, is surprisingly embarrassing considering I'd been wandering around minutes before in very clingy, wet, swimming shorts) and possibly the hottest lifeguard in...oh...the universe was standing waiting on me appearing so he could make sure I was ok. He helped me back to my friend, now dressed and standing, arms folded with a giant "You idiot" grin on her face. I love friends. After that, I needed some serious cheering up (despite the free bottle of water the hot life guard gave me).
One pack of Beechams Flu Plus, one tub of multi vitamins/minerals, two packets of Paracetamol, two packs of Ibuprofen, two packets of anti histamines, two large boxes of Kleenex balsam tissues, a five pack of Airwaves Gum and a small bottle of Vicks Vapor rub. Throw in a mug of hot chocolate and an apology from the cute guy:- this is what is making me happy at the moment.
I have a feeling I am going to slowly work my way through each product and review my way out of this cold. Isn't that just exciting? Not for me it's not.
Another thing that is cheering me up is the fact I have a holiday looming over me. Two glorious weeks of sunshine and a 3KM white sand beach. Because of this, I went and stocked up on a few books for my trip. Due to the events above, I felt the need to raid my book stash and relax for a bit. So I did!
---One Fly to rule them all---
The Lord Of The Flies was the obvious choice for me. Why not? It's one of those books that everyone knows but doesn't all at the same time. Many have read it, many have heard the jist of the story and seen a million and one parodies (The simpsons one springs to mind). So I decided it was finally time to do it the honour of reading it. That and it had a very pretty orange cover with lots of little tribal stick figures on it. It's also not the heaviest of books, (and I mean weight wise) being quite thin, therefore more appealing when I'm looking for a quick read.
As for the price, I got my copy for £7.99, brand new and shiny from Waterstones. I had to break my budget since it wasn't in their 3 for 2 offer and after seeing on the cover that it's a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, it just encouraged me to spend all my hard earned cash. You can't ignore a NOBEL PRIZE WINNER!!!
---Worlds Quickest Rundown---
Since it's a short book with a rather simple story, I'm not going to tell you too much about what actually happens. Maybe. What? I've not written the whole review yet, I don't know if I'll spoil it!
A plane crashes on an island. The plane just so happens to be full of boys. The boys form a tribe that then splits into two factions. As you may imagine, that's about the point the proverbial hit's the air con.
My first thoughts upon arriving a chapter or two into the book were as follows:
---Wow, Lost ripped this off quite a bit---
Yes, these children are stuck on an island with nothing but their imaginations, any one who is partial to a little bit of television will see Lost stealing some basic ideas. As the children's imagination starts to take over and leadership starts to break down, the book starts getting quite dark. At parts there are some incredibly freaky hallucinations.
---Kids are *%$@^£$£ ---
Being that children will be children, there's a fair bit of bullying goes on. It all starts as Kids just being little buggers but as the book goes on, it becomes a lot more sinister. The occasional jibe turns into full blown bouts of murderous rage, turning people into monsters before your very eyes.
The book starts off quite light considering it picks up after a plane crash. There is very little mention of what actually happened to make the plane crash and the atmosphere is very relaxed. In fact, the whole book does amazingly well at avoiding spoon feeding you the gore and violence. Everything is very subtle, calm and eerie. Your mind does all the work in making this story come to life, the words just unlock the doors.
Personally, I think this is what makes this book so fantastic. The fact you know there are horrific acts being perpetrated without actually being handed a pile of innards on a plate is refreshing. It also builds a very uncomfortable atmosphere. It's almost as if you are a child who has done something wrong and you don't want to tell anyone for fear of being found out.
There are a few niggles I have about the book. Firstly would be the characters. There are, at times, a few too many people to focus on. There are only about three main characters who stand out from the crowd, whereas the others all merge into one. It's not too distracting since the three main characters are the focus for most of the book (imagine that eh?)
Second issue I have is that, as fantastic as all the subtlety is, it can at times become quite confusing. You may find yourself asking in your more slow moments if that person has actually just died or if they just danced and fell down.
My third and last issue is that the book gave me nightmares. Really effing creepy nightmares. Reading it before bed probably didn't help. Throw in the fact that if you shook me, I'd rattle with all the tablets I've been taking to feel better, I was pretty much doomed. I woke up at least four times in one night shouting "PLEASE JUST LISTEN TO THE FAT ONE!!!"
---Shiny Tribal Joy---
Over all I enjoyed the book. I admit, I was a little unimpressed with the ending, but all the pages before the last one or two are filled with pure gold. Well... maybe not GOLD...but something shiny and fantastic. The brilliance of this book lies in your own imagination, a truly psychological thriller type item. It will leave you with a rather uneasy feeling in your gut and we all know that means you had a good night. Thumbs up to William Golding (the author). Go and read this now, if only so you can say you've read a Nobel Prize winning book!
Summary: Kids on an island. Chaos ensues.