“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.” – 3.5/5 stars!
Attention! This book contains: shiny conchs, flies, broken glasses, fruit, fires, pig heads, smoke and a set of rules.
I read this for the first time when I was in seventh grade and I remember thinking “what the hell did I just read?”. I’ve been thinking about it because more than a decade has passed and I forgot most of the story. It’s unfair to rate a book like this without giving it a fair shot, so I thought I should read it again now that I’m older. Also, I never saw the movie so I had almost zero memories of what the story was about. So… I finally picked it up.
The story is about a group of boys who gets stuck on a deserted island. They have no adults around, so they had to organize themselves to find food, build shelters and create smoke to signal their presence in case a boat passes by the island. Needless to say that things go south very easily when they understand how free they are. Their made up society quickly falls apart and savagery takes place instead.
So my thoughts after adult Neide read this are: I was honestly surprised to find out that my experience wasn’t that much better compared with the first time I read the book. Sure, I understood things on a different level now, but I completely understand why young Neide didn’t like the book as much. It’s not really about the story, but how slow paced and descriptive it is. I got bored so many times that at some point I just wanted the book to be over. I do appreciate the story and I honestly really liked the concept and the meaning behind it: it’s almost a reminder of how fragile our society and rules we live by are. It’s a very smart approach to the concept of utopia, society and the true nature of humanity. I still think it’s worth picking it because it is a memorable book, but if you don’t like very descriptive books, you may find this one a bit dreadful and slow paced.