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Close Quarters by William Golding, Ronald Blythe

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With a beautiful new cover and an introduction by writer, essayist and editor Ronald Blythe Close Quarters is the masterful and thought-provoking second volume of William Golding's Sea Trilogy, charting the long journey of an aging decrepit warship on its voyage from England to Australia in the early years of the 19th century.

These William Golding books have been re-published, with new covers and introductions from current authors, as part of the ongoing events marking the centenary of Golding’s birth in 1911.

To read an extract go down to Waterstone's or your local bookshop. Here at Lovereading we're unable to show an extract due to online rights not being available from William Golding Limited.


Close Quarters by William Golding, Ronald Blythe

In a wilderness of heat, stillness and sea mists, a ball is held on a ship becalmed halfway to Australia. In this surreal, fete-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.


'It tells an utterly absorbing tale, in language of immense force and subtlety.' Financial Times

'No living writer has represented the fragility of man's experience so marvellously as Golding.' AS Byatt

'A stunning piece of writing, as exciting as any thriller.' Sunday Times

About the Author

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. His first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th November 2013


William Golding, Ronald Blythe

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Faber & Faber


320 pages


Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
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Historical fiction



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