Somewhere over the ocean, a plane carrying British children being evacuated from a war zone crashes on a deserted island. The only survivors are several young boys of varying ages. When the boys realize that no adults survived the crash they band together to look after themselves, elected Ralph as their leader. At first they work together as a team-hunting, building shelters and making a fire so that someone might spot them and rescue them. Soon things start to go wrong as a power struggle ensues between Ralph and Jack, and the boys fear the island is haunted by a mysterious beast. The boys take sides between Jack and Ralph and soon they are fighting to survive not just the elements, but eachother.
My first thought upon meeting Ralph and seeing how he treated Piggy was wow what a little jerk this kid is! Then we meet Jack and he is even worse than Ralph. They actually seemed like a relatively normal group of boys. First they see it all as one big adventure and there is the bullying and one-uping that happens with groups of boys. Once the novelty of it all wore off and things started to move from a semblance of order to total anarchy was where the story got interesting. I couldn't believe how completely most of the boys devolved into total savagery and turned against their own. I hope that if any group of kids faced this situation in real life it wouldn't go nearly as badly as it did for these kids.
The book got a little wierd in spots. For example, the boy Simon having the conversation with the "Lord of the Flies". I couldn't really figure out what was going on there. Also the book mentions an atom bomb as the reason for the kids being evacuated from Britain in the first place but Golding kind of left that tidbit hanging out there and didn't really explain what was going on in the world. The book also doesn't give much of timeline as to when the plane crashed and when they were finally discovered on the island. I wondered if they were there for days? weeks? months? I was curious just how long it took the boys to go from normal to total monsters.
It was a simple and entertaining enough read. I just didn't like it as much as many of the other classics I've read. Also as a side note-did anyone else think that this had some kind of sci fi theme where someone turns into a fly when they first read the title? This is what I thought the first time I heard it.....