One sentence: Does a good job of being a story and a fable that conveys a message at the same time.
This book quite accurately portrays what might happen to a group of boys marooned on an island by a plane crash. They start off pretty civilized but there is a gradual decline until they become savages. It gives a good reflection of the beast within us, and the theme of civilization as a thin veneer on our inner savage nature is well expressed.
I read this book because it’s a classic that I have heard about so frequently, that I had to assuage my curiosity. If I had read this without preconceptions and just as a story, I doubt if I would have seen the hidden meanings and understood it so well. Unlike The Great Gatsby, it is an interesting story. Seriously, don’t ever read The Great Gatsby. It’s so boring.
Instead of telling you something – like all truly great literature – it makes you feel. When the one boy is accidentally killed, you can feel the shame and remorse of the boys. When the one boy is being hunted by the others, you feel like someone is hunting you. Words are used to great effect. It’s a pity that the skill required to communicate through the written word is so complex and mastered by so few.I think it is because it conveys the human experience and what can be more complicated than that?
Most books are just books, most stories are just stories. The good ones make you feel there, the bad ones just waste your time. Like the original Star Wars Trilogy, this book uses as subject matter universal themes that all humans experience. That is what makes it universally relevant. That is why it is a good story and a good fable.
To happiness, and beyond!