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20 Unmissable Books Like “Lord of the Flies” for Adventure Seekers

Embark on a journey with books like Lord of the Flies. Explore themes of survival, power, and humanity. Find your next thought-provoking read!
by The Blinkist Team | Apr 26 2024

20 Intense Books Like Lord of the Flies - Adventure Awaits

“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is more than just a story about boys stranded on an uninhabited island; it’s a profound exploration of humanity, power, and civilization’s fragile veneer. Its themes of survival, societal breakdown, and the inherent darkness within people have resonated with readers for decades.

If you’re captivated by these daunting yet intriguing concepts and are searching for similar literary adventures that question morality and human nature, you’ve landed in the perfect spot. Below, discover a carefully curated list of 20 books that share these elements, promising to take you on journeys as compelling and thought-provoking as “Lord of the Flies.”

Top 20 best books to read if you liked “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding


1. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

In a dystopian future, children are forced into a televised death match, exploring themes of survival, societal control, and rebellion.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Survival in a controlled environment.
  • The examination of societal structures.
  • The darkness of human nature when pushed to the limit.


2. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

A father and son journey through a post-apocalyptic world, showcasing the lengths one will go to protect those they love.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Themes of survival in a harsh, unforgiving landscape.
  • The exploration of the bonds of humanity amidst desolation.
  • A stark, haunting look at civilization’s remnants.


3. “Battle Royale” by Koushun Takami

Students are forced to fight to the death on an island in a government-sanctioned competition, highlighting themes of conformity and rebellion.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • A survival narrative in an isolated setting.
  • The loss of innocence and the descent into savagery.
  • Commentary on government and societal control.


4. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

Survivors of a global pandemic navigate a world stripped of its modern conveniences, questioning art, memory, and civilization.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Survival in a post-civilization setting.
  • Themes of what remains of culture after societal collapse.
  • The interconnectedness of humanity in times of crisis.


5. “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

Marlow’s journey into the African interior and his meeting with Kurtz explores the darkness of human nature and imperialism.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The exploration of savagery versus civilization.
  • A deep dive into the human psyche and morals.
  • The corrupting power of unchecked authority.


6. “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner

Teens wake up in a mysterious, changing maze, with no memory of the outside world, forced to band together to survive.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Themes of memory, identity, and survival.
  • The dynamics of group leadership and society formation.
  • The fight against a controlling power.


7. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell

A group of farm animals overthrow their human farmer, hoping to create a utopian society, which instead reveals a grim reflection on power and corruption.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The breakdown of utopian ideals.
  • Themes of power, control, and corruption.
  • Satirical exploration of societal structures.


8. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

In a seemingly perfect, if colorless, community, a boy discovers the dark truths that underpin his society.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The questioning of societal norms and control.
  • The loss of innocence as knowledge is gained.
  • Themes of utopia versus reality.


9. “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

In a society divided by personality types, one girl discovers she doesn’t fit into the rigid structure and uncovers a plot threatening everyone.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The struggle for identity in a prescribed society.
  • Survival in a dystopian setting.
  • The challenge against oppressive systems.


10. “The Beach” by Alex Garland

A backpacker in Thailand finds a secretive island community that isn’t the paradise it appears to be, exploring themes of paradise lost and the flaws of utopia.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • An isolated setting becomes the backdrop for societal breakdown.
  • Themes of paradise versus reality.
  • The dark side of human nature when outside societal norms.


11. “Wool” by Hugh Howey

In a post-apocalyptic future, humanity lives in a giant silo underground, with strict rules for survival and the taboo against wanting to go outside.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Survival under a controlled, oppressive society.
  • The curiosity and rebellion against societal rules.
  • Exploration of hope and human nature.


12. “Coral Island” by R. M. Ballantyne

An unsuspecting adventure story centered on three boys marooned on a deserted, tropical paradise. Just as in “Lord of the Flies”, civilisation is peeled away as these boys grapple with survival, establishing a transient society amidst their raw surroundings.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Marooned children on a deserted island
  • A picture of shifting human morality
  • The strength and bond of friendships when faced with adversity


13. “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess

A violent youth and his gang’s adventures raise questions about free will, the state’s power, and the nature of evil.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The exploration of violence and free will.
  • The role of authority and societal control.
  • The intrinsic aspects of human nature, good and bad.


14. “1984” by George Orwell

A dystopian tale of government surveillance, public manipulation, and the erasure of individuality, illustrating the extreme consequences of political and social control.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The examination of control, power, and freedom.
  • The bleak view of human nature under totalitarian rule.
  • Themes of rebellion and the human spirit.


15. “The Passage” by Justin Cronin

A government experiment gone wrong turns many into vampire-like creatures, and the survivors must adapt to a new world.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Survival in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • The reformation of society and the concept of family.
  • The resilience of human nature amidst terror.


16. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley


A future society, engineered for happiness and harmony, reveals the cost of maintaining such a meticulously designed utopia.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Dystopian perspective on a “perfect” society.
  • The individual’s fight against societal norms.
  • Themes of control, free will, and the human condition.


17. “The Stand” by Stephen King

After a plague devastates humanity, the survivors are drawn into a final battle between good and evil.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The struggle for survival in a world undone by disaster.
  • The emergence of new societal structures in the aftermath.
  • The inherent fight between good and evil within humanity.


18. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

In a dystopian future, women are subjugated and controlled in a theocratic society, exploring themes of power, gender, and resistance.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • A society built on control and oppression.
  • The rebellion against restrictive roles.
  • Examination of power dynamics and survival.


19. “Life As We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Through diary entries, a teenage girl narrates her family’s survival after a catastrophic event alters the Earth’s climate.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • The day-to-day struggle for survival in a changed world.
  • The dynamics of family and society when pushed to the brink.
  • The resilience and adaptability of human nature.


20. “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Students at a secluded boarding school slowly discover the chilling truth behind their existence and the world outside.

Elements in common with “Lord of the Flies”:

  • Themes of innocence and the loss thereof.
  • The questioning of humanity and ethics.
  • Societal norms and the individual’s place within it.

In conclusion, each of these compelling narratives, while differing in setting and plot, shares the profound exploration into the depths of human nature, survival, and the structures of society that “Lord of the Flies” masterfully presents. Whether you seek a dystopian vision, a survival epic, or a philosophical tale of civilization versus savagery, this list offers a myriad of journeys reflecting the complex, often dark, facets of humanity.

Embark on these adventures, and continue to ponder the enduring questions about our nature and the societies we inhabit. Happy reading!


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