Books Like Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies by William Golding was published in 1954 and soon became required reading in a number of schools and colleges. The plot, which sees a group of British boys survive a plane crash only to end up on an isolated island. Although all of them are well-educated, it doesn’t take long for them to descend into savagery after attempting to govern themselves. The novel went on to influence many other books and media, while three film adaptations based on the book were released over the years. Readers who enjoyed the themes explored in the William Golding classic might also enjoy the following books like Lord of the Flies
by R. M. Ballantyne
The Coral Island is an 1858 novel by R. M. Ballantyne that deserves a special mention because it was the direct inspiration for William Golding when he wrote Lord of the Flies. However, Golding inverted the morality of the story in his novel, which means that The Coral Island is about children who encounter evil, instead of giving in to the evil nature within themselves. The protagonist of The Coral Island is a 15-year-old named Ralph Rover. It is told in a retrospective manner by Ralph as he reflects on how he was shipwrecked on a coral reef with two other boys during his youth. The three boys are sole survivors and have to rely on their wits and each other to survive the ordeal. They face many dangers during their adventures, including cannibals and pirates, but unlike the boys in Lord of the Flies, the ordeal leaves them older and wiser.
by George Orwell
The classic allegorical novella by George Orwell, Animal Farm, was first published in 1945 and shares some themes with Lord of the Flies. Just like the society that the boys in Lord of the Flies attempted to form quickly descended into madness, so does the efforts of the animals in Animal Farm. In this tale, the animals of Manor Farm drive the alcoholic owner away and adopt the "Seven Commandments of Animalism" as they attempt to run the place themselves. Predictably, it's not long before their decree of "All animals are equal" is forgotten as the pigs grab leadership positions to benefit themselves. This corruption continues to spread as the pigs gain more power and corruption, greed and betrayal run rampant.
by Richard Hughes
A High Wind in Jamaica by Welsh writer Richard Hughes was published in 1929 and is considered to be amongst the books that paved the way for Lord of the Flies. In this story, a group of children from Jamaica leave for their original home in England after a hurricane destroys their home. During the voyage, the children are captured by pirates, but they manage to become part of the crew who generally treats them with indifference. However, over the course of the story, some of the children are killed by accident, injured, attacked and even forced to kill others before they are eventually released by the pirates months later. At the time of its release, the novel shocked critics due to the way that the children were treated and the horrors that they experienced.
by Koushun Takami
Battle Royale, the debut novel by Koushun Takami, was published in 1999 and has been described as a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century. It is set in a terrifying alternate history where Japan was victorious in World War 2 and its government is now in control of everything. As part of their military program, the government randomly selects classes of third-year junior high school students who are then kidnapped, taken to a remote location and then forced to kill one another. To ensure that the students obey the command to kill each other they are forced to wear metal collars around their necks that will detonate after three days or if they try to escape.
by James Morris
Instead of a remote island, the setting for Feel Me Fall by James Morris is the jungles of the Amazon. The protagonist is Emily Duran, a young girl who finds herself stranded there along with her friends after a plane crash. Before the crash, the group of teens had a familiar pecking order, but this all changes while they are lost and losing hope deep in the jungles. In addition to having to survive the elements, the group also struggles with power, secrets, lies, and betrayals. Eventually, only Emily emerges from the ordeal alive and while in her hospital bed, she follows the advice of her counselor and starts writing her journal about the events. The result is a story set in the present that also chronicles what happened in the jungle as well as in the past.
by Kenzaburo Oe
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe was first published in 1958, but it wasn't until 1995 that an English translation was available. The book also features a group of teenage boys who have to fend for themselves, but here it is outside forces that tear them apart. The story is set in World War II Japan where a group of boys from a reformatory are evacuated to a remote mountain village. Unfortunately for the boys, the local peasants fear and detest them. Then, when plague breaks out, the peasants barricade the boys in and flee the village. However, the group still attempts to live their lives with self-respect and tribal valor and even takes in a deserter from the army and a young girl who was also abandoned. Tragically, despite their best efforts, the boys still end up having to deal with plenty of tragic situations, especially when the villagers return and threaten them to keep quiet about how they were abandoned.