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23 February 2010 @ 06:27 pm
#7  
Lord of the Flies, William Golding

... so THAT was fucking creepy.



In case, like me, you put off reading this book because EW FLIES:
A bunch of schoolboys are marooned on a tropical island after a plane crash. The story concerns the struggle between rational Ralph, who wants to keep a fire burning in hopes of rescue, and Jack, who just wants to kill things. Pigs, humans, he's pretty easy on that score.

I really just have one major point to make about this book, and it is:

IF IT WAS A BUNCH OF GIRLS DUMPED ON THE ISLAND, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. They'd have made clothes out of leaves and makeup out of mud and organised a cooking AND a fire-tending rota and they would have stayed under the trees for shelter, duh, and done something AMAZING with the flowers. Also, they'd most likely have invented sunscreen.

Was the point that Jack was going to have Ralph's head cut off and put on a stick? I had this image of him being roasted alive on a spit that was run through two bits of him (you know, 'sharpened at both ends'?) and ... cannibalism beats symbolism, if you catch my drift.

I was EXTREMELY annoyed that Ralph didn't end up dying. After all THAT - the interminable miasma of impending doom hanging over the whole proceedings - they were rescued?! I gathered from the hints that the rest of the world had blown itself up with nuclear warfare - which, you know, CHEERFUL.

Liked this, though:

The sun in the west was a drop of burning gold that slid nearer and nearer the sill of the world.

You don't hear stuff like that on Survivor!



Previously, on Book Glomp 2010:
The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
I'll take you there, Joyce Carol Oates
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The School for Husbands, Moliere
On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks
The Famished Road, Ben Okri
 
 
 
fugitive from an mgmt videoyeats on February 23rd, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
oh man. now i sort of wish i could go back and read this for the first time. i don't know who decided that this book fit into the pedagogy of young teenagers -- or what their motivations were.

let me ask you this: did you find it a little, um, homoerotic? when i was in school, we read both lotf and a separate peace together in one term, and looking back on it i am pretty sure our english teacher must have been a closeted slasher who was trying to indoctrinate her kids into the hoyay.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 23rd, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
HOMOEROTIC LIKE WHOA. I didn't bring that up for two reasons:

1. I thought that was just, you know, my worldview. I think it's a secret revolution, like the way women watch Generation Kill JUST to ship Brad/Nate (eg ME), but it does mean I have a bias.

2. My main ship, Ralph/Jack - I imagined them having boyish tumbles on the sand - ended up pretty ICK. I mean, Jack wanted to kill Ralph. That is not what I'd call romantic.

In a way, I'm glad I didn't read books like this as a kid. In another way, the books I did read - all romantic novels - warped me in another direction. Hmm.

Edited at 2010-02-23 07:00 pm (UTC)
rosaliewavesofwood on February 23rd, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Ralph/Simon involves no wanting to kill each other! And there's forearm-stroking, UM. I studied it in English this year, okay, I had to distract myself somehow.
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
True, but it does involve DEATH. I like tragic, but not that tragic!
rosaliewavesofwood on February 24th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
LA LA LA SIMON DOESN'T DIE I CAN'T HEAR YOU
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
Apparently someone already has? I have to say, I don't think I'd read it because I feel the idea has been done to death. I'd much prefer a slashy, non-deathy version of THIS. :P
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
It lead me to read Golding's 'To the Ends of the Earth' trilogy, which is also very good (although Booker-prize winning, beware!).

That's okay! I have a plan and the plan is to read ALL BOOKERS, EVER, and calculate the percentage of good to not-good. However, the plan of finishing those 30 books I bought without reading has still not come to fruition, so don't hold your breath. :P
Sereniaserenia on February 23rd, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
I remember watching the movie in year 9 English. We must've read the book, too. All I remember is how much the entire class laughed when Piggy got killed. Little shits, we were!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I gather that was the intended reaction? However, I could never see Piggy as anything but a lol-obvious stereotype. I pegged him for death the minute he was stupid enough to tell Ralph he DIDN'T want to be called Piggy.
Sereniaserenia on February 24th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
I think it was intended to be a shocking moment, actually - at least, for 13-year-olds.
*sometimesophie on February 24th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Disturbingly enough, this is the book of my heart.
*sometimesophie on February 24th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC)
ALSO. There is actually a re-working of the book with girls. I got given it for Christmas one year and it was absolute crap from what I remember. And I was so FRUSTRATED because it could have been so so good. ;__;
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
I will do it!

... no, not really. Not unless I could publish it. Has it been 50 years since LOTF was published? Anyway, I was saying above, I'd MUCH rather a slash-on-steroids version of it. In fact, maybe I should just get someone to write 'deserted on a desert island NO CANNIBALISM PLZ' fic. :DDD
daybreaqdaybreaq on March 2nd, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
It's possible it doesn't matter (The 50 years I mean. In any case, it's been 56 years. And it might be more than 50 years anyway. I just looked it up on Wikipedia. If Golding obtained a Crown copyright, it lasts 70 years after his death- 1993). Such a project could fall under the categorization of commentary or satire or whatever qualifies as NOT!copyright infringement. In either case, it's really a legal gray area at least.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on March 3rd, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
I've moved on from that project, though! Now I want to write the super-slashy screenplay for Moby Dick. :DDD
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
THAT IS DISTURBING. >:| LEAVE NOW.
a kid on the lookout for transcendenceextemporally on February 24th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
IF IT WAS A BUNCH OF GIRLS DUMPED ON THE ISLAND, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. They'd have made clothes out of leaves and makeup out of mud and organised a cooking AND a fire-tending rota and they would have stayed under the trees for shelter, duh, and done something AMAZING with the flowers. Also, they'd most likely have invented sunscreen.

This made me laugh and laugh. Also, homoerotic what? I missed that the first time round! Must revisit!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
I missed that the first time round! Must revisit!

Be sure to don your slash goggles first! Fortunately for me, mine are permanently welded to my face.
peripatetic extemporizations: Avatar shooting lessonshatoyona on February 24th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
Lol I like your conclusions. I definitely agree. Girls would have done it way better, though there might have been a few catfights.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on February 24th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, undoubtedly. But I doubt anyone would have DIED, and if they had they would have FACED UP TO IT and not gone 'UM UM DANCING? IS THAT WHAT KIDS ARE CALLING IT THESE DAYS?'
peripatetic extemporizationshatoyona on February 24th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah okay, true fact. Haha basically: girls are better.
Trinity Daytrinityday on March 1st, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
You'd never read this book before? Or maybe I just was surprised because I had to read it both in elementary (bad bad idea) and high school.

IF IT WAS A BUNCH OF GIRLS DUMPED ON THE ISLAND, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

And that is why the author didn't have girls in the book.

I gathered from the hints that the rest of the world had blown itself up with nuclear warfare - which, you know, CHEERFUL.

I think it's actually supposed to take place during WWII, so no nuclear worries just yet. But then, I might be confusing it with the fact that Golding was... inspired to write this after hearing about the concentration camps. (If I'm remembering correctly, he was devastated by the idea that men could be so evil towards other men.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on March 3rd, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Nope. The books I read in high school were (count 'em): Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and Silas Marner. Not the books to inspire reading in anyone who otherwise wouldn't, incidentally.

So his solution was to KILL SIMON? Um, okay...