What books were you required to read in school? If you are like most Americans, it may have included The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, and Lord of the Flies. Each of these books has a fascinating backstory. Each has become embedded in the culture through the millions of formative minds that read them. But only one is a bloody dystopia in which students themselves carry out the violence: Lord of the Flies.
I recently revisited the book as I worked on my current novel, The Green Tower. I figured I could learn from another chaotic struggle in a jungle. But Lord of the Flies is much more than that. Here are three things that have turned this novel into a classic that has endured—long before books like Hunger Games made dystopia cliché.Read More