'My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are grey faces that peer over my shoulder'.

Free Fall

Somehow, somewhere, Sammy Mountjoy has lost his freedom, the faculty of freewill ‘that cannot be debated but only experienced, like a colour or the taste of potatoes’. As he retraces his life in an effort to discover why he no longer has the power to choose and decide for himself, the narrative moves between England and a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany.

'I set out to write a patternless novel'.

Listen to William Golding discussing Free Fall

View Judy Golding introducing Free Fall


Alec Golding

Golding’s father (Albert) Alec Golding was the basis for the character of Nick Shales in Free Fall. Alec died in December 1958 after Golding wrote the […]

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Rotten Row

In Free Fall, Sammy and his ‘Ma’ live on Rotten Row, ‘right in the heart of the Garden of England’; ‘a slum’ with a wooden […]

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William Golding’s Early Life

William Golding was born on 19th September, 1911, at his grandparents’ house in Newquay, Cornwall. The house, called Karenza – Cornish for ‘love’ – was aptly named […]