In a wilderness of heat, stillness and sea mists, a ball is held on a ship becalmed halfway to Australia. In this surreal, fête-like atmosphere the passengers dance and flirt, while beneath them thickets of weed like green hair spread over the hull.
The sequel to Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, the second volume in Golding's acclaimed sea trilogy, is imbued with his extraordinary sense of menace. Half-mad with fear, with drink, with love and opium, everyone on this leaky, unsound hulk is 'going to pieces'. And in a nightmarish climax the very planks seem to twist themselves alive as the ship begins to come apart at the seams.
To the Ends of the Earth
To the Ends of the Earth is the 'Sea Trilogy' title for three of Golding's most gripping - and funniest - novels: Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, and Fire Down Below. BBC 2 broadcast a three-part television dramatisation of the trilogy in May-June 2005. The adaptation starred Benedict Cumberbatch, Sam Neill, Victoria Hamilton and Jared Harris, and was filmed partly in South Africa, near Capetown.
BBC TV adaptation of Golding's 'To the Ends of the Earth'
John Carey's new biography of William Golding
Drawing almost entirely on materials that have never before been made public, John Carey, the distinguished writer and critic, sheds new light on Golding. Through hundreds of letters, unpublished works and Golding's intimate journals, Carey draws a revelatory and definitive portrait of an extraordinary man. In an absorbing and compelling narrative, he reveals a many-sided figure: a war-hero, a reclusive depressive who considered himself a 'monster', a family man, a victim of fears and phobias who battled against alcoholism, and a writer who trusted the imagination above all things.
Follow the link below to hear 'audio snippets' where Carey reads from his highly praised new biography.
William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies