About the Author
Born in Cornwall, England, William Golding started writing at the age of seven. Though he studied natural sciences at Oxford to please his parents, he also studied English and published his first book, a collection of poems, before finishing college. He served in the Royal Navy during World War II, participating in the Normandy invasion. Golding's other novels include Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors, The Spire, Rites of Passage (Booker Prize), and The Double Tongue.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The novel has been described as "A dark and powerful portrait of one man's will", as it deals with the construction of the 404-foot high spire of Salisbury Cathedral; the vision of the fictional Dean Jocelin. There exists a mix of pagan and religious imagery. For example, near the end of the novel Jocelin declares "it's like the apple-tree!", making a reference to the Garden of Eden and Humanity's first sin of temptation but also perhaps the pagan ideas that have been constantly threaded into Jocelin's mind as he spends more and more time up in the Spire, raised above the ground (and further away from his church and his role as God's voice on earth). I found it to be a thoroughly depressing read. Golding's world view leads him to create fictional characters who are without a doubt unworthy or our pity much less our sympathy. As such I found them completely unrealistic.