Lord of the Flies is a 1950 classic and has been very often cited as the perfect portrayal of what prevails when man tries to conquer the wild. A novel miles ahead of its time, it gives us a clear message that, man when left to his own devices can only lead to destruction and chaos. Although this novel was rejected about 20 times before being published and was a total commercial flop due to the extreme brutality and savagery of the content discussed, it served as an inspiration to not one but many prominent authors of the present generation including Stephen King who said “The book is not just entertainment, it’s life or death”. Here is a list of five novels you definitely need to check out if you enjoyed “The Lord of the Flies”:
1. Coral Islands by R M Ballantyne
William Golding, in one of his interviews, admitted that “Coral Islands” by R M Ballantyne served out to be the main source of inspiration for his magnum opus. This book published almost a 100 years before the Lord of the Flies tells us the story of three boys who are shipwrecked on an island along the pacific coast. Initially, these three teenagers are absolutely excited about the prospect of living all by themselves in an adult-free environment but however as they encounter various pirates and Polynesian tribes inhabiting the island, the harsh realities of the struggles of living in the wilderness without any laws soon starts to kick in. This book gives us yet another example on how the battle of man versus wild always results in the wild overpowering and conquering them.
There are numerous similarities between the two books including the names of the main leads in the stories.
2. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
Set in a more dystopian backdrop, this young adult fiction deals with the story of a bunch of teenagers stuck inside a Maze and how together as a group they try to coexist with each other and at the same time find a way of escaping the Maze while battling the dangers it beholds.
This book gives us a more modernized and refined outlook on the different roles people take up in the growth of a civilization and the various conflicts that arise due to this distribution of power throughout the story without disturbing the mystery atmosphere it creates. At the end of the series, the story, however, diverges into something much more than just another young adult fiction giving rise to several questions about the human nature. Overall, the mysterious and eerie nature of the series, intertwined with companionship between the teens turned out to be a commercial success and was critically acclaimed too.
3. The Kite Runner by Khaleed Hosseni
Although this book has not much to do with the Man versus Savagery battle, it indeed does an excellent job portraying the darker shade of adolescence that very few books cover. The story is told by Amir, who recalls the events from 26 years back when he lived with his father and their servants in Afghanistan and how an event from the summer of his adolescent days completely radicalizes his live forever. The horrors he witnessed, still haunts him for most of his adulthood and the story unfolds into a journey of self-realization filled with internal struggle and how he tries to undo the things he had done by going back to the war-engulfed Afghanistan.
This tear-jerker was well received by both fan and the critics and was much acclaimed for throwing light upon the various crime that were committed on an everyday basis against the children of war-countries.
4. Boy Kills Man by Matt Whyman
Set up against the backdrop of present day Medellin, Columbia, ruled by gangs and anti-democratic organization, Boy Kills Man is the story of two street urchins, Sonny and Alberto and how they tried to make it big in life whilst trying their best to stay on the white side. But as soon as Alberto becomes more ambitious, Sonny is left with no choice but to follow his footsteps and soon their colors of black and white muddle together and produce a grey mark on their lives as they start working as child assassins. One of the main ideas discussed in the book is how children could be turned into great weapons with the influence of little malice and how there is nothing more unsettling than a child with a gun. Even though the book is gruesome and horrific at times, it gives a true picture of the naive and easily corruptible nature of children and the ways in which they are exploited all over the world. The book received a good reception throughout the world and is a must read for every fan of “The Lord of the Flies”
5. A Clockwork Orange by Alex Burgees
Yet another book which does an excellent job bringing forth the dark side of growing up is the Clockwork Orange, set up in dystopian England under a totalitarian rule. The story is narrated by the 15 year old protagonist, Alex who is the leader of a teen criminal gang. The gang starts out by doing small thefts, robbery and breaking and entering. However as the story proceeds they start performing more violent and brutal crimes. The story gives us a clear insight on how if a man doesn’t rein control over his violent impulses; he would become the cause of his own destruction. The protagonist of the story, Alex is very often compared to Alex from “The Lord of the Flies”, since both these characters have a very twisted moral compass and they let their evil side run rampant. Due to its extremely dark theme and scenic description of various crimes, the book has been banned throughout several countries including the UK, however, it has been critically acclaimed as a truly terrorizing and haunting masterpiece definitely not for the weak hearted.