Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Review: Lord of the Flies

Disclaimer: I read this novel, and the novels in the upcoming reviews, quite a while ago (mostly during the summer). Therefore, these reviews will be a little bit short and simple because I took no notes etc.

Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Genre: Young adult / Classic
Year: 1954
Pages: 202

A plane crashes on an island. Only children survive. For them, this first appears a utopia: no adult supervision, Ultimate freedom. This changes quickly. Fights about who is to lead. The youngest children scared for a 'monster'. The perfect world collapses into a nightmare.
     While I was aware of the horrifying turn the novel would make later on, the beginning of the novel felt like an adventure story. Perhaps I had understood other people wrongly, maybe this was not such a haunting story. Obviously, I was too naive, and the tone of the story changed quickly.
     In the very beginning, already, there is the notion of power, of leadership. Who is to lead the group? Even when we've only been introduced to two characters, there is already a clear 'superior'. When more children come together, this battle becomes even more intense. Without authority, the children immediately decided some structure was needed, tasks also are divided. However, this results in multiple quarrels. Reading the novel critically, the novel never starts out as an excitin adventure, it's already a dramatic horror story to begin with.
    The structure they impose on themselves may delude the reader into thinking the children have it all together. Alright, there is a struggle on whom is to do what, but there's no real harm in that. Quickly, though, the children turn into savages, and the slight order they had is turned around. They split up into two camps who fight eachother brutally and this is when any reader will be disgusted and terrified.
     A few things bothered me about this novel, probably all related to the fact that it is a children's book. The writing style was, to me, uncompelling, and resulted in me having a hard time reading the novel quickly as I was unable to concentrate for too long. I cannot truly remember what it was about the style, but I feel like it is likely a result of Golding's eyed audience. This is also the case in terms of morals: they are too obvious which annoyed me.
    However, Golding makes up for this by writing no single sentence without allusions. Any sentence can be analysed, and on each page one can write a three thousand word essay. This is interesting and extremely entertaining, but only to a certain extend. I could not be bothered to actually look into each word in great depth, as that would slow down my reading so much, and honestly, I can only bring myself to doing that for some of my favourite novels, and this one is not one.
     I do feel everyone should have read it. It is a classic, and it is rightly so.

Monday, 24 November 2014

November Book Haul

I decided to make a little post about the few books I bought a while back in Amsterdam.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
I must admit that this is a title buy. I don't know too much about it, other than that it's set in Guernsey and during the Second World War.

The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer
"I'll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name's Simon. I think you're going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he'll be dead. And he was never the same after that"
The blurb is really all I know about this one, and it sounds so intriguing to me. Also, a lot of people on booktube have been reading and loving it.

Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi
This is the second book in the Shatter Me trilogy. I can't tell you too much about it without spoiling the first book, so if you care to know what the first book is about, check out my review.

Cinder - Marissa Meyer
This is the first one in a series of retellings of fairy tales. In this one, Cinder(ella) is a mechanic in New Beijing, but also a cyborg. When a disease is spreading, Cinder's life changes dramatically.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
I actually did not buy this book in Amsterdam, but I thought I'd include it in here. This is basically a history of Anglo-Saxon times, written back then. Obviously, this has been translated. I've read a few entries in Old English back when I took a course on that, and I was excited  when I found this for a few Euros in an antique book store.