שם המחבר\ת: william golding
Samuel ('Sammy') Mountjoy, a talented painter but a directionless and unhappy man, is a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II. Recently some inmates escaped from his camp. A Gestapo officer, Dr. Halde, interviews Sammy in an attempt to find out about the escape organisation; when Sammy denies knowing anything, Halde has him locked in a small store-room, awaiting possible torture. Under the pressure of the darkness, isolation and horrified anticipation he gradually breaks down; in a series of long flashbacks, he wonders what brought him to his current state, and in particular, how he lost his freedom.
As a very young child he was happy, despite living in a slum and never knowing his father. He was adopted by the local priest and attended day school and grammar school, where he was torn between two diametrically opposed parent-figures – the kindly science master Nick Shales and the sadistic Rowena Pringle, who taught religious studies. He also fell desperately in love with a girl in his class, Beatrice Ifor. Whilst a student at art college he managed to become Beatrice's fiancé, and eventually her lover, but when she was unable to return his violent passion he grew bored with her and married another woman. After some years he found that Beatrice had gone incurably insane.
The novel alternates these flashbacks with Sammy's increasing terror and despair. Then, just as he loses all self-control and cries for help, he is abruptly released by the camp commandant, who apologises, outraged that an officer should have been humiliated like this.