William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted: "He forgot his words, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet." Golding's gripping novel explores the boundary between human reason and animal instinct, all on the brutal playing field of adolescent competition. --Jennifer Hubert
English novelist Wilfred Barclay, who has known fame, success, and fortune, is in crisis. He faces a drinking problem slipping over the borderline into alcoholism, a dead marriage, and the incurable itch of middle age lust. But the final, unbearable irritation is American Professor of English Literature Rick L. Tucker, who is implacable in his determinition to become The Barclay Man: authorized biographer, editor of the posthumous papers and the recognized authority.
With an introduction by John Gray.
Sammy Mountjoy, artist, rises from poverty and an obscure birth to see his pictures hung in the Tate Gallery. Swept into World War II, he is taken as a prisoner-of-war, threatened with torture, then locked in a cell of total darkness to wait. He emerges from his cell transfigured from his ordeal, and begins to realise what man can be and what he has gradually made of himself through his own choices. But did those accumulated choices also begin to deprive him of his free will?
'A fiercely distinguished book.' Frank Kermode
'It is one of those rare books that should be read by people who don't normally read novels at all. It will stand, I belive, as one of those books against which other books are measures.' Tribune
A one-volume edition of this classic sequence of sea novels set in the early nineteenth century, about a voyage from England to Australia.
Rites of Passage (Winner of the Booker Prize)
'The work of a master at the full stretch of his age and wisdom.' The Times
'A feat of imaginative reconstruction, as vivid as a dream.' Daily Mail
Fire Down Below
'Laden to the waterline with a rich cargo of practicalities and poetry, pain and hilarity, drama and exaltation.' Sunday Times
When the spring came the people - what was left of them - moved back by the old paths from the sea. But this year strange things were happening, terrifying things that had never happened before. Inexplicable sounds and smells; new, unimaginable creatures half glimpsed through the leaves. What the people didn't, and perhaps never would, know, was that the day of their people was already over.
From the author of Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors is a startling recreation of the lost world of the Neanderthals, and a frightening vision of the beginnings of a new age.
With an introduction by Philip Hensher
Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Darkness Visible opens at the height of the London Blitz, when a naked child steps out of an all-consuming fire. Miraculously saved but hideously scarred, soon tormented at school and at work, Matty becomes a wanderer, a seeker after some unknown redemption. Two more lost children await him, twins as exquisite as they are loveless. Toni dabbles in political violence; Sophy, in sexual tyranny. As Golding weaves their destinies together, his book reveals both the inner and outer darkness of our time.
'An intensity of vision without parallel.' TLS
'A vision of elemental reality so vivid we seem to hallucinate the scenes ... Magic.' New York Times Book Review
'One of the most moving books I've ever read.' Myrna Blumberg, The Times
'A brilliantly spooky novel ... Written with great insight and a surprising humour, it is a thorough pleasure to read.' Atlantic Monthly
Oliver is eighteen and wants to enjoy himself before going to university. But this is the 1920s and he lives in Stilbourne, a small English country town where everyone knows what everyone else is getting up to, and where love, lust and rebellion are closely followed by revenge and embarrassment.
Three short novels show Golding at his subtle, ironic, mysterious best. The Scorpion God depicts a challenge to primal authority as the god-ruler of an ancient civilization lingers near death. Clonk Clonk is a graphic account of a crippled youth's triumph over his tormentors in a primitive matriarchal society. Envoy Extraordinary is a tale of Imperial Rome where the emperor loves his illegitimate son more than his own arrogant, loutish heir.
The Double Tongue is William Golding's last and perhaps most superbly imaginative novel. It is a fictional memoir of an aged prophetess at Delphi, the most sacred oracle of ancient Greece, just prior to Greece's domination by the Roman Empire. As a young girl, Arieka is ugly, unconventional, a source of great shame to her uppity parents, who fear they'll never marry her off. But she is saved by Ionides, the High Priest of the Delphic temple, who detects something of a seer (and a friend) in her and whisks her off to the shrine to become the Pythia - the earthly voice of the god Apollo. Arieka has now spent a lifetime at the mercy of a god, a priest, and her devotees, and has witnessed firsthand the decay of Delphi's fortunes and its influence in the world. Her reflections on the mysteries of the oracle, which her own weird gifts embody, are matched by her feminine insight into the human frailties of the High Priest himself, a true Athenian with a wicked sense of humor, whose intriguing against the Romans brings about humiliation and disaster. This extraordinary short novel, left in draft at the author's death in 1993, is a psychological and historical triumph. Golding has created a vivid and comic picture of ancient Greek society as well as an absolutely convincing portrait of a woman's experience, something rare in the Golding oeuvre. Arieka the Pythia is one of his finest creations.
Left in draft at the author's death in 1993, this extraordinary short novel is a psychological and historical triumph. An aged prophetess at Delphi, the most sacred oracle in ancient Greece, looks back over her strange life as the Pythia, the voice of the god Apollo. Golding was the author of Lord of the Flies, and a Nobel Laureate.
A first-hand journal about the Goldings' travels through Egypt, soon after winning the Nobel Prize, living on a motor cruiser on the Nile. Nothing went quite as planned, but William Golding's vivid and honest account of what actually happened, and of what he saw and felt about ancient Egypt and the exasperations of the living present, will delight his innumerable admirers and everyone who visits Egypt.
'One of the funniest anti-travel books I have ever read.' Daily Telegraph
'No previous book brings you so close to Golding the man. It bulges with abstruse knowledge . . . and is often screamingly funny . . . Hugely enjoyable.' The Times