Wednesday, September 19, 2007

William Golding

September 19 is the birthday of the man who wrote Lord of the Flies (1954), William Golding, born in Cornwall, England (1911). He wrote Lord of the Flies after fighting in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The novel tells the story of a group of boys stranded on a desert island who struggle for survival. One of the boys tries to establish a democracy, but a bunch of boys break off from the main group and it turns into violent anarchy. The book was rejected by 21 publishers before it finally came out in 1954.

From the Writer's Almanac

The book was made into a film twice, once in 1963 and again in 1990. Both films got poor reviews. In his review in 1990 Roger Ebert wrote:

"William Golding's Lord of the Flies is, or used to be, a staple of everyone's teenage reading experience, a harrowing fable about how ordinary kids revert to savagery when they are marooned on a deserted island. The story is less poignant nowadays than it once was, if only because events take place every day on our mean streets that are more horrifying than anything the little monsters do to one another on Golding's island.

"When Peter Brook made the first film version of the novel in 1963, most viewers no doubt identified with the character of Ralph, the little liberal humanist, instead of with Jack, the little free market economist. These days, I imagine the audiences are more evenly divided."

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