It was only at the very end of the book, and I’m not going to give away the ending, that you sat up and thought about what Golding had done. For a few moments on the train on the way to work I just looked out of the window and pulled the final scenes together.
Golding left you wondering whether or not the lucky ones where those that die in war rather than limp on waiting to be rescued and also about the human costs of war. But that comes in a way as a relief because having expressed the desire the other day to see what happens to the stranded survivor you almost wish you could turn away your eyes as he goes slowly but very surely mad. The turning point seems to be a change in the weather with a thunder storm turning his world into a dark and lightning streaked hell. The wind also plays a part pushing him into the sea with such a thud he is convinced for a while somebody hit him.
But as the end nears the ghosts of the past become stronger and the hallucinations more real.
Golding does something clever with the point of view at this point and splitting Martin into mind and body he takes up the story clearly out of the body turning Martin into something of a third person although still connected via the mouth between mind and body.
Close to the end you feel that this has been as tortuous to read as it has been to live for Martin but the twist at the end and the thoughts it leaves you with were worth reading for.
A review will follow soon…