Rites of Passage

William Golding


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7 April 2022
ISBN: 9780571371648
336 pages

From the publisher

Introduced by Annie Proulx, lose yourself in an epic naval journey in this Booker Prize-winning historical novel: the first in the acclaimed Sea Trilogy by the author of Lord of the Flies. I grow a little crazy, I think, like all men at sea who live too close to each other and too close thereby to all that is monstrous under the sun and moon . . . Edmund Talbot is sailing to Australia in the early nineteenth century. In his journal, he records mounting tensions aboard the ancient, stinking warship, as officers, sailors, soldiers and emigrants jostle in the cramped darkness below decks. But when something happens to Reverend Colley that brings him into a 'hell of self-degradation', it seems that shame is a force deadlier than the sea itself . . . 'It is the emotional veracity of life at sea that powers Golding's exceptional writing ... The fury, mystery and challenge.' Kate Mosse 'Golding writes the past as present [with] uncanny skill and tremendous intuition.' Ben Okri 'A master at the full stretch of his age and wisdom - necessary, provoking, urgent, rich, complex and rare.' The Times 'Golding's best and most accessible story since Lord of the Flies.' Melvyn Bragg 'An extraordinary novel.' Observer 'A truly noble achievement'. Patrick O'Brien To The Ends of the Earth: A Sea Trilogy - Book One