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Although I had read The Lord of the Flies in junior high, I was grabbed and devastated by this audiobook of the novel (read by author William Golding). The British schoolboys who crash land on a deserted coral island and then try to survive to be rescued are in way over their heads. With ruthless yet caring inevitability Golding develops the conflict between society, rules, responsibility, tolerance, the individual, and ???doing what???s right??? on the one hand and savagery, play, violence, superstition, the mob, and might-makes-right on the other.
Some listeners have complained about Golding???s reading, but I believe it is a privilege to listen to a great author read his own classic novel, especially because Golding is an excellent reader. He does not change his voice like an actor (e.g. Tim Curry) to speak in a distinctly different voice for each character. Instead, he reads throughout with his own appealing, civilized, and sad voice, matching and enhancing whatever emotions his characters are feeling when they speak. You can hear him take deep breaths now and then, but that only humanizes him and makes it more like a ???live,??? personal, and private reading.
Things like the conch, the fire, and the beast become powerful symbols. The characters are compelling???I found myself marveling at (and appalled by) how accurately Golding captures the essence of boyhood and how boys imaginatively and cruelly, fairly and unfairly play and fight and love and hate and think. I remembered my own childhood ???games??? of army, how my friends and I would meet in council to choose scenarios and teams and spend all day hunting each other over the desert mountains behind our houses, lying in wait in ambushes with which to kill each other, with guns and rocks, until the sun started setting and we???d have to go home. Only of course the boys on the coral island can???t go home when the sun sets. I care for Ralph, Piggy, and Simon, and grieve so much for them. ???I got the conch!???
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I love this tale. Read it years ago and so looked forward to hearing it. However, the author should NOT have read this book. Had some difficulties with his lack of expressions. Quality of sound improved a little after chapter 5. I hope that some day it is re-done with a different narrator (unabridged of course!).
71 of 79 people found this review helpful