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Reviews Comments: Didn't Enjoy It Lord Of The Flies film/book review by Zalsburry

I guess I'll be the odd one out who says I did not like the book. I have nothing against the people who think this is a classic, I just found this unentertaining.

Slugging through this book was a chore for me. Often, several pages of description went into a mundane task, without even offering clues to the character's thoughts or something else to make it interesting.

I will grant that the characters were believable, but also obnoxious. Piggy was the only character I felt any sympathy towards. I could care less about the fate of any of the other boys. In fact, by the end of the book, I would rather all of the savage little boys die instead of all of them be saved, even though I liked Ralph. At no point did I care what happened to them nor share their motivation. Their terrible personalities alienated me from wanting to find out what happens to them.

There were some lines I seriously liked, and I started enjoying the book more towards the end when things (read: murders) actually started happening. However, I still didn't like this book. I didn't see the supposedly carefully crafted descent into madness that everyone else did. To me, the little boys were the same throughout, save for Ralph, who seemed to forget about the purpose of the fire while still enforcing its upkeeping. Other than him, the biguns were the same, they just acted differently based on leadership. They *seemed* democratic and sensible when they followed everything Ralph said. Then they *seemed* savage and brutal when they followed everything Jack said. I didn't see a difference, only a difference in who they blindly followed.

The other thing that bugged me was how they utterly ignored the littluns. They were hardly ever mentioned, and were left to their own devices. This ignorance to the littluns who needed help was one part of what made me instantly dislike the boys on the island. The other part was their merciless teasing of Piggy, the only character I liked.

It's 2:00 am, and I may rethink some of what I said in the morning, but I seriously did not enjoy this book and don't wish to read it's boringness ever again.


  • LaCapitana
  • 29th Jul 11
I don't really know many people who read the book outside of school. The whole point of the story seemed to be that Humans Are Bastards which is why many of the characters, despite being young children, were portrayed as irredeemable. I've always thought that that was a depressing moral in a story, and it's not one that encourages any kind of action like other other story morals. IIRC, this book was published in the 50s and WWII was still fresh in people's mind so I can understand why the author would have felt that way.

I don't remember it being much of a chore to read because it's pretty short compared to other stuff teachers sometimes assign kids, but I probably wouldn't have read it out of high school and I probably won't read it again unless I have to. I think teachers use it to introduce stuff like symbolism and common themes found in modern lit (War, distrust of human kind, and in my class we discussed the Freudian concept of ID, Ego, and Superego.) I can see why they would use it, but I've never been a fan of books like Lord of the Flies because I don't like the inherent pessimism.

  • Zalsburry
  • 30th Jul 11
Still, there's something to be said for making an inherently bad character, but still making the audience like them. Take, for instance, Sweeney Todd the book. Todd is a mass murderer who cares for almost no one, but due to back story and character depth, I still found myself liking Todd, rooting for him, and wanting to find out what happens to him. In this case, however, not enough depth was given to the characters for me to care for or root for them, so I merely hated them instead for being irredeemable bastards. I bet I'll end up liking this book more than I'll like Frankenstein, Hamlet, Beowulf, and other boring school books. But in middle school, the books I had to read were actually pretty short and enjoyable (House of the Scorpion, Swallowing Stones, Jenna Fox), so this book stood out as bad in comparison. Ick, I dislike studying symbolism. :P But I also don't agree with the trope Humans Are Bastards. Like one of those theorists said (Hobbes, Locke, Roussau, I'm not sure which) I believe humans start out neutral/pure, and their actions decide whether they're good or bad. That was long, sorry for ranting ^—^;
  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 3rd Aug 11
I think the decent into madness is actually less meant to be a change in character and more a change in society, because the concept (removal of structure of authority) of the book is more focussed on interaction than the individual humans.
  • EnigmaticSpirit
  • 3rd Aug 11
This book was just straight-up boring to me. We get it, the society has trouble functioning. I have no problem with symbolism, but for god's sake make it entertaining. High school reading lists need to be updated with something made in the last 20 years instead of the same old stuff that has been read since the teachers went to school.
  • Sorrowman9000
  • 16th Sep 11
@ Enimatic Spirit

While I get where you're coming from, the fact remains that while symbolic works are for the most part boring (Though I actually liked the book, I do admit it has the Tolkienesque flaw of over discribing shit.) , and always shall be part of the curriculum. (Though would it kill them to throw more Pratchett like authors in there?)
  • eveil
  • 16th Sep 11
^No they won't. Curriculums may change over time, and someday, people may decide that LLTF isn't worth reading in a classroom anymore.
  • BlackbirdMizu
  • 6th Nov 11
Yeah, I agree with this review, I never found the book very entertaining. I think the only reason it's persisted as a "classic" is the rather unconventional and somewhat depressing message of the book that we're all animals and can be ruthless and cruel. But granted, it is one thing I liked about the book, even today people aren't always willing to suggest that, particularly with having children as the characters.
  • eveil
  • 7th Nov 11
^Except animals don't act that way at all in real life. Retarded children, maybe.
  • Ninjat126
  • 18th Nov 11
It wasn't entertaining. Sure, it was new and interesting at the time, but there are other, more entertaining stories out there with the same theme.

Even 28DaysLater starts picking up some of the "descent into savagery" themes by the end.
  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 19th Nov 11
I don't know, I think you could find similar behaviour in a lot of parts of the animal kingdom, certainly alpha male, dominance through strength and inability to look at and plan for the long term goals.

Some of it was specially human though, all about world perspective.
  • BagRick
  • 9th Aug 13
Pretentious nerds, the lot of you. :p
  • kay4today
  • 9th Aug 13
Is there any particular reason why you revived a nearly 2 years old review with an useless buzzword?
  • TheWhiteJewel
  • 2nd Oct 13
I'm glad someone sees it the way I did. I was rather disappointed considering this is supposed to be a classic. Youth worn down to their raw instincts and savagery to survive. Morals questioned and what not. I found none of that and it really was a chore for me to read.

Still I can see where people are coming from. But honestly, I think the works inspired by Lord of the Flies were better then the actual Lord of the Flies.

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