William Golding

William Golding was an English novelist, playwright, and poet best known for his 1954 novel 'Lord of the Flies'. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983. Golding's works often explore the dark side of human nature and the complexity of social and psychological issues.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Lord of the Flies

    A group of British boys are stranded on an uninhabited island after their plane crashes during wartime. Initially, they attempt to establish order, creating rules and electing a leader. However, as time passes, their civility erodes, and they descend into savagery and chaos. The struggle for power intensifies, leading to violence and death. The novel explores themes of innocence, the inherent evil in mankind, and the thin veneer of civilization.

    The 55th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Rites of Passage

    "Rites of Passage" is a historical novel that explores the journey of a young aristocrat, Edmund Talbot, who is traveling from England to Australia in the early 19th century. The story is told through Talbot's journal entries, which provide a detailed account of life aboard the ship, including the social dynamics, the harsh conditions, and the psychological struggles faced by the passengers and crew. The novel also delves into themes of class, power, and the human condition, culminating in a tragic event that forces Talbot to confront his own prejudices and assumptions.

    The 2004th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Pincher Martin

    The novel centers on a naval officer who, after his ship is torpedoed during wartime, finds himself struggling to survive on an isolated rock in the North Atlantic. As he battles the elements and the limits of human endurance, the narrative delves into his past, revealing the nature of his character through flashbacks and hallucinations. The protagonist's fight for survival becomes not only a physical battle but also a psychological journey, exploring themes of isolation, identity, and the human will to live. The story takes a metaphysical turn, culminating in a twist that challenges the reader's perception of reality and the protagonist's true fate.

    The 2400th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Darkness Visible

    "Darkness Visible" is a haunting and introspective novel that delves into the depths of human nature and the struggle between good and evil. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows a group of survivors as they navigate the darkness that has consumed their society. As they grapple with their own inner demons, the characters are forced to confront the harsh realities of their existence and the moral choices they must make to survive. With its vivid imagery and thought-provoking themes, this gripping tale explores the fragile line between civilization and savagery.

    The 8297th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Inheritors

    This novel offers a unique perspective on the dawn of human consciousness, telling the story of a group of Neanderthals who encounter a new and advanced species, Homo sapiens. Through the eyes of these early humans, the book explores themes of survival, communication, and the often brutal nature of evolution. As the Neanderthals struggle to understand and coexist with these newcomers, their simple and trusting way of life is challenged, leading to a poignant reflection on the inevitable march of progress and the displacement of one world by another.

    The 9875th Greatest Book of All Time