Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding. It discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British school-boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results. Its stances on the already controversial subjects of human nature and individual welfare versus the common good earned it position 70 on the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently challenged Books of 1990–2000. The novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.
Published in 1954, Lord of the Flies was Golding's first novel, and although it was not a great success at the time — selling fewer than three thousand copies in the United States during 1955 before going out of print — it soon went on to become a bestseller, and by the early 1960s was required reading in many schools and colleges. It was adapted to film in 1963 by Peter Brook, and again in 1990 by Harry Hook (see "Film adaptations").
The title is said to be a reference to the Hebrew name Beelzebub (בעל זבוב, Ba'al-zvuv, "god of the fly", "host of the fly" or literally "Lord of Flies"), a name sometimes used as a synonym for Satan. (Wikipedia)
I'm planning to teach Golding's novel this semester, Fall 2008. It's proving to be an exceedingly interesting and complex novel.