Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Banned Book Week: Lord of the Flies and Giveaway




Sheila of Book Journey is running a week-long event over on her blog for Banned Book Week. For more posts and giveaways, stop by her blog and check it out.



In honor of Banned Book Week, I am reviewing Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The premise of this book is widely known. A group of young boys end up stranded on an island. No adults around. I'm sure you can imagine what happens next.

Before beginning it, I supposed that this book would be an interesting piece of literature discussing human nature, but what I was surprised to find was how much I enjoyed the writing. As well as the writing, I found the different characters fascinating. No real back stories are introduced, but you can get a good feel for their different personalities. It took about a quarter of the book for me to get into it (luckily that isn't very many pages), but I couldn't turn the pages fast enough at the end.

After finishing it for the first time this past Sunday, I am still confused as to why this book was banned. There is death, but nothing particularly graphic about it. I love the introduction in my copy. It's by Stephen King and he has an anecdote about the first time he read Lord of the Flies. He was a young boy and mostly read adventure type books, but asked the librarian (of the little Bookmobile) if she had any books about how kids really are. She thought for a second and brought him a copy of Lord of the Flies. She told him that if anyone asked, he found the book himself (not surprising considering this post is for Banned Book Week).

Stephen King said he devoured the book and felt satisfied that it was a book about how kids really are. King later learned that writing a book about how boys would really behave is what Golding set out to do when writing Lord of the Flies. I wish it wasn't how human would really behave, but I think it is. It's my opinion that there is potential for good and evil in each of us. Deep down, what are we really like when all the rules and supervision disappear? Maybe that is what makes some people uncomfortable with this novel. There isn't always a happy ending for everyone and sometimes humans can do really despicable things. If you haven't read it, I hope you will. 


Now for the real reason you're here--the Giveaway! For one lucky reader, I'll be giving away a new copy of the edition shown above of Lord of the Flies with the introduction by Stephen King.

Rules for Entering
  1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite banned or challenged book.
  2. Include your email address (for use in contacting the winner).
  3. You must be 13 years or older to enter.
  4. Book Depository must ship to your address.
The giveaway will close midnight Sunday, October 7. After selecting the winner at random, I will contact them by email. The winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Random.org selected #2 Sheila (Book Journey) as the winner.
Congratulations!


35 comments:

  1. thanks for this giveaway. To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite banned book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Favorite banned books are the Harry Potter books. I have never read this one and have to admit - I really didn't know what it was about - the title made me think it was creepier then you describe :)

    Thanks so much for being a part of banned book week - now this is another one I need to read.

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    1. Sheila, I love the Harry Potter books too. Lord of the Flies isn't too creepy. Maybe a little disturbing in the end, but nothing that gave me nightmares even after reading it at night. Someone mentioned there's a movie. I think that would be more difficult to actually watch.

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    2. Good to know - I do need to read this one ;)

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  3. oops email - journey throughbooks@gmail.com

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  4. My favorite is Gone With the Wind!

    mittens0831 at aol dot com

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  5. I LOVE To Kill A Mockingbird. :)

    Thanks for a great giveaway!
    songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

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  6. Oh darnit!

    Twitter: @poshpow :)

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  7. Oo I wonder if he had this book in mind when he wrote The Body? It has been so long since I read this book, I barely remember it. I will have to reread it!

    I love your review!

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    1. And my email is quixoticmagpie@gmail.com. :)

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  8. One of my favorites is Of Mice and Men.
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

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  9. My favorite banned book is Fahrenheit 451... however, I'm pretty sure I'm out of range for the giveaway. :(

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    1. Ryan, sorry to hear that. Does Book Depository not ship to your location? I really enjoyed Fahrenheit 451 when I read it a few years back.

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  10. Hmmm, my favorite banned book has to be To Kill a Mockingbird. I re-read and reviewed Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume to celebrate BBW and I enjoyed it so much!

    I haven't read The Lord of the Flies in many years but I remember it very fondly and I loved hearing about Stephen King writing an intro for it!

    @jenhartling
    jhartling74@aol.com

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    1. Jennifer, I need to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird. It's been 10 years since my last read.

      I really loved the Stephen King intro. It's less technical and there's less analysis than some introductions, but I found it really interesting.

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  11. Roald Dahl's The Witches, a book I am surprised to see on the list...because of misogyny? It's one of my favorite children's books, and one I can't help re-read every year.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox
    lilianxchengATgmail.com

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    1. Lilian, I didn't realize The Witches was on the list. I loved that one as a child and even read it to my own children earlier this year.

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  12. I read this so long ago but perhaps I am due for a reread. I remember the movie version (the more modern one) more than the book and it still haunts me. I thought of this book only this past weekend during my son's birthday party -- when they were being like "kids really are." : )

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    1. Jenners, I didn't realize there was a movie. I'll have to check it out. I'd imagine it would be pretty disturbing. Funny about the birthday party. Kids can be unbelievably wonderful at times, but they aren't always little angels.

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  13. +JMJ+

    That's a tricky question to answer, because I really don't like defining any book as a "Banned Book." It's a label that seems to obscure everything else about the book--especially the things that actually matter--and that tells us less about the book than about the people who don't like it. And I've read a couple of books with the dubious honour of having been banned that were just mediocre. =/

    I'm reminded of the recent controversy over IKEA's Saudi Arabian catalogue: all the women in the ads had been digitally removed. There is one sense in which the original catalogue has "banned" status. But that doesn't automatically make it something worth studying or celebrating.

    Having ranted at your innocent self, I think I now owe you a straight answer! =) My favourite book that happens to have been banned is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. And coincidentally, it always reminds me of The Lord of the Flies! I think even Stephen King would agree that Cormier's novel portrays children as they really are. And sadly, the view isn't pretty. But yes, it's one we are better off seeing.

    I've seen one film adaptation of William Golding's novel, but never read the book, so I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you for this chance! =)

    PS -- Have you read or watched The Mist? I've seen the movie based on King's short story, which definitely portrays people as we really are. One of the characters can't believe how quickly society and civilisation break down when people are isolated from the rest of the world and start making their own rules. The movie, which has a different ending from the original story, is chilling on many, many levels.

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    1. +JMJ+

      My e-mail address is altaemoeniaRomae [at] Gmail [dot] com. =) Thanks again!

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    2. Enbrethiliel, I always love your thoughtful comments. I don't take it personally. I agree with you. Simply because a book is banned doesn't mean that it is worth reading. I guess this week just encourages people to speak out about censorship. I find it interesting that I find very few objectionable things in many of the books that are banned. It's often just personal taste or beliefs. There are some books on the list that I will not read because of content, but I don't think I should force others to adhere to my ideas of what is appropriate.

      I haven't the Chocolate War, but if it reminds you of Lord of the Flies, I may have to check it out. I haven't read The Mist, but given Stephen King's introduction, I'm not surprised that he has written something that is probably inspired by the idea of children behaving as they really do.

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  15. I have quite a few favorite banned books: THE HUNGER GAMES, HARRY POTTER, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE COLOR PURPLE ...

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. This is actually one of my favorite banned books. I think its message is amazingly powerful! I wish I had been required to read it in high school.

    thewellreadredhead at gmail dot com

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  17. A book I last read when I was at school, I can't help but wonder what my perspective on it would be now.

    My favourite banned book would probably be All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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  18. Whoops, forgot to leave my email address.

    tracy.terry1@yahoo.co.uk

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  19. My favorite is The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
    Thanks for the chance!
    Jesse
    jesse.kimmelfreeman@gmail.com

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  20. No need to enter me.
    I am glad I read The Lord of the Flies as an adult. I was attempting to 'catch up' on the classics that I am 'supposed' to have read and this was unexpectedly moving. And I'm always amazed when I hear about people hating this book - and I wonder if it was because they 'had to' read it in school.
    You might enjoy Beauty Queens by Libba Bray - I'm listening to the audio and it really is funny. It's satire of a bunch of beauty queens who crash land on an island...

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    1. I'm glad I read it as an adult too. I probably wouldn't like it as much if I'd read it as a teen. I too found it moving. The ending with Sam and Eric, Piggy, and Ralph. Broke my heart.

      I'll have to check out Beauty Queens. Interesting take on the stuck on a deserted island. I could use a funny book after all of my scary RIP reads.

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  21. I've read both positive and negative reviews of this book and it's been on my "to buy" list for the longest while. Harry Potter will always be one of my favourites and I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Thank you! :)
    visabellad(at)gmail.com

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  22. I read this a long time ago but have always planned to re read it as as a teenager I don't remember there being anything special about it but as an adult i am intrigued.
    I'd love to win a copy.

    My favourite banned books are by Judy Blume - Forever and Are You There God? It's me, Margaret simply because they made such a difference to me as a young girl.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    bookd.out at gmail dot com

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  23. Kristi, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog last week- nice to meet you! Thanks also for the review- it's been awhile since I've read Lord of the Flies. Perhaps it's time for my 12 year old son to have a shot at it. I know I'm too late for the giveaway, but I just wanted to say Hi!

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  24. First--I adore that cover and I adore that Stephen King wrote the forward. Especially after reading about his children in IT--I think he has a keen sense for how children do behave and think in certain situations.

    Second--I really need to re-read this. I read it about 10 years ago (after failing to read it as assigned in high school) and remember liking it. It is frightening to think how humans, children even, might act when push comes to.

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  25. Even though it is disturbing, Lord of the Flies is a profound book, and a favorite of mine for making me think, it made an impact.

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