Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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I have no words to describe this book; simply stunning, incredibly disturbing yet it was such a delight to read.

This book had been on my radar for quite some time and I had been meaning to read it and then I got sent this by my Twitter friend who said she wanted to hear my thoughts on this, so here you go;

I must admit the litany of descriptions of the island made me hold up a little bit. I had to reread the same part over and over in an attempt to visualize what the island looks like and what paths the characters are taking, etc, etc… it got me stumped. That said, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and the plot is magnificent – incredibly dark and heavy, it made me feel sick in the stomach. I cannot say anything but AMAZING.

What I found quite disturbing and jarring was Jack’s transformation from a boy to nothing but a bloodthirsty savage; he is gradually stripped away from his rationality and fair judgement, and gets obsessed with hunting and even becomes capable of a horrific murder – it literally sent chills down my spine. So unnerving, so spine-chilling.

You may find the first half is kind of slow at first but the latter half is definitely a page-turner. I loved how the creepiness begins to crawl into every sentence and each scene and how the descriptions get more and more graphic as the story moves on. The jolt definitely comes in the latter half and it only gets intensified from there.

The cast of characters and the dynamics are just brilliant. In my personal opinion, the main two characters, Ralph and Jack are at the opposites end of the spectrum; Ralph represents rationality and order while Jack savagery and feral instinct and I found it really well done, simply stunning.
The power struggle happens in the latter half is also gripping, too. Despite Ralph’s attempt to bring order to the group and hold everyone together again, the small society crumbles and the assembly ends up a complete flop; Jack starts to gain ground and eventually assumes power – he literally reigns  as an invincible sovereign in the uninhibited island with the charismatic authority. This gradual power transfer is written so perfectly, it’s just glorious and riveting.

The last four chapters may be too graphic and horrific to read; I actually had to put it down so many times and take a breather to calm down. My heart was beating so fast that I thought I could hear my heart was bumping against my rib cage.

Could this really happen to kids, or us were we left to our own devices with no adult supervision or intervention?
Could our mind really be grawed at and overtaken by our own inherit feral instinct?

Such idea like those made me think, really THINK.
I honestly don’t want to admit it, I really want to refuse, but I also know it CAN happen and that’s what I found the most horrendous.

Nevertheless, I can also say that’s where things start to happen and the plot becomes intense and captivating. It’s gory, yes, but it’s like watching a horror movie between your fingers – you cannot stand the goriness but you want to see how things unfold.  That’s what happened to me.

Like I mentioned, I did struggle to grasp the story and took me some time to get into the flow, but I am now glad that I made it to the end.
Since the writing is rather graphic, this is definitely not for the faint of heart, this is not for everyone, but I think this story will stick with me and I’m sure I’ll come back to this at least more than once. I quite enjoyed it.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

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Title: NOS4A2

Author: Joe Hill

Length: 686 pages (Paperback)


 

I actually suspended reading this book rationalizing that I probably wouldn’t have enough time to single-mindedly tackle this book with my substantially increased workload. (I had been putting so many hours into overtime at the time) But I subsequently resumed reading after finishing Dark Matter. I probably had something like a horror rash. (I don’t even know if such a word does exist though.)

This book is certainly a tome and it took me nearly a whole week to finish, but can I just tell you?

This is just amazing!!

I must admit I was being a bit impatient and almost gave up continuing to read at some point in the early part of the book because I am a kind of person who wants a constant stream of craziness and creepiness when it comes to horror books.

However, as I proceeded deeper into the book, I came to understand Joe Hill is one of those authors who takes a lot of time and spends a lot of pages on carefully, intricately and thoroughly building up his own world and it worked just amazingly.
The plot is well-crafted, I would say it is built to perfection. Everything is tied beautifully in the end; the book ends with a positive note yet a waft of creepiness is still there. I can’t help but wonder what happens next.

The writing is also amazing. I don’t know how much deeper I should get into this, but some chapters don’t end in a complete sentence.  Joe Hill ends some chapters in the mid sentence and moves onto the next chapter. I seriously did a double-take wondering if they were misprints.
The CAPS are also used very effectively to intensify the creepiness and eeriness and the dialogues reflect each character’s personality really well.

This is something I felt when I finished ‘The Fireman’ last October but didn’t touched on my post. I think he is spectacular in the human-drama department as well. Like I already said, his writing intensifies whatever feel that exists in the sentence or the paragraph – he makes what’s already eerie even eerier and creepier.
By the same token, his writing intensifies the dramatic feel that a particular scene has in there. The last dialogue between Lou and Vic just wrecked me. How dramatic and poignant. My heart was ripped in two.

All the characters are so fleshed out and the descriptions how each character’s path entwines and entangles are quite engaging.

I was a bit concerned whether I would get to keep track of the story because of its length, but what I found great about Joe Hill is that he throws in some keys or triggers when a certain character reappears in the story and those triggers invoke my memory and help me not to lose train of my thoughts.

Although this is not a kind of book that you can expect a constant spine-tingling feeling throughout the book -at least for me-, but the creepiness definitely seeps out of the sentence throughout the book, from beginning to end.

And let me warn you – when the jolt comes, it comes BIG TIME, like a massive explosion. So buckle up and brace yourself for the ensuing jolt.
This is definitely worth a read – despite its length.