The destinies of three mysterious lost children entwine in this James Tait Black Memorial Prize-winning fable by the radical Nobel Laureate and author of Lord of the Flies.
A figure had condensed out of the shuddering backdrop of the glare.
He is born in fire: a naked child in the blood-red flames of London's Blitz. Miraculously saved but grotesquely burned, this mysterious orphan is named Matty. Doomed to a life of torment, he becomes a wanderer, a spiritual seeker after unknown redemption.
They are also lost children: neglected twins, as exquisitely beautiful as they are loveless and sinful. Toni explores political terrorism; Sophy, sexual dominance and violent criminality.
But their destinies will soon collide in an apocalyptic climax - one that illuminates the inner and outer darkness of modern humanity.
'Exceptional ... Irresistibly transcendent ... Golding seduces us. He transfixes, bewitches and confounds us.' Nicola Barker
'Extraordinary ... A hallucinatory, incantatory force ... The most powerful, and strangest, of all Golding's novels, and one of the great masterpieces of the twentieth-century English novel.' Philip Hensher
'A master craftsman in his particular sort of magic ... Golding's best book ... Wonderfully creepy ... A remarkable achievement.' London Review of Books
'A vision of elemental reality so vivid we seem to hallucinate the scenes ... Magic.' New York Times Book Review
'An intensity of vision without parallel.' TLS
'One of the most moving books I've ever read.' The Times
'Brilliantly spooky ... Written with great insight and a surprising humour, it is a thorough pleasure.' Atlantic Monthly