The Novels of William Golding

Howard S. Babb



210 pp. 6x9

$24.95 paper 978-0-8142-0187-9
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Although the novels by William Golding have often attained a remarkable popular success, and been generally esteemed by critics, Mr. Babb’s book is the first to examine the forms and meaning in all of Golding’s fiction up through The Pyramid.

In Mr. Babb’s judgment, these novels represent a major achievement in contemporary literature, and he defines the achievement through analyzing the thematic developments from book to book as well as the narrative structures, techniques, and styles realized within the separate novels.

Of special innterest is the attention paid to the endings of Golding’s works, for his conclusions have often been regarded as the unfortunate fractures in the illusion of reality created through the rest of the novel. Mr. Babb defends them, however, as integral parts of the fictional structure, as devices by which Golding brings his themes home to the reader.

All of Golding’s novels, Mr. Babb finds, are devoted to exploring the true nature of man’s existence, what it means to be human. Each of his works attests to the superb honesty of a fiercely intelligent and compelling storyteller who refuses ever to represent his characters as transcending the limitations of the human condition.

Howard S. Babb, author of Jane Austen’s Novels: The Fabric of Dialogue, is chairman of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.