Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1980 Booker Prize Winner

Rites of Passage by William Golding


Publisher: Faber & Faber

Length: 288 pages

About: 19th Century journal of sea passage to Australia

Style: 1st person in form of a journal

Where: At sea

When: 1800s


Publisher’s synopsis:

In the early 1800s, Edmund Talbot, a young and rather priggish Englishman, takes passage on a boat heading for Australia where he is to be an official in the colonial government. In addition to Talbot, many of the eccentric passengers—a sexually predatory sailor, the aging coquette Miss Zenobia Brocklebank, the ship’s tyrannical captain—undergo profound changes in the course of the voyage, during which a naive clergyman is victimised and, finally, pushed to suicide.



‘ “My good man” said I,”what is this stink?”
He stuck his sharp nose up and peered round as if he might see the stink in the darkness rather than nose it.
“Stink, sir? What stink, sir?”
“There’s nothing Captain Anderson could do either, sir,” said he. “It’s sand and gravel you see.” 

Our anchor has been plucked out of the sand and gravel of Old England.




Before reading Rites of Passage, I was curious to know how it had triumphed over both Anthony Burgess's Earthly Powers and JL Carr's glorious A Month in the Country in the 1980 Booker. Now, I can only assume that it beat them up. This book is a brute. It's also a canny fighter, employing the most devious feints before landing its punches.

Guardian Books Blog, Sam Jordison, 15th April 2009 for full review click here


Not so good:

I enjoyed Lord of the Flies far more than this. That said, I did appreciated the style of writing in this book (even though every character annoyed me in some way to no end), and the culmination of events was quite awful. I also liked seeing events from the two different perspectives., Tantan, 19th January 2005 for full review click here


About the author

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911. During World War II, Golding served in the Royal Navy in command of a rocket ship. In 1939 he moved to Salisbury, where he began teaching English and philosophy. Lord of the Flies, his first novel, was published in 1954. It was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. He retired from teaching in 1962. After that, he lived in Wiltshire, listing his recreations as music, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek. William Golding died in 1993.





























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Age guide: 12






Novels by same author:


2005 Mini TV Series based on the triology Rites of Passage, Close quarters and Fire Down below called To The Ends of The Earth



2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


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