This is the first of two studies of Golding appearing almost simultaneously and it is in many ways the more readable. It makes several definite points and comparisons with considerable excitement and dramatic power. The authors begin with a charming description of Golding's childhood writings, and a little of his later career. They then appraise each of the five novels at some length. It is the authors' contention that each novel has been a ""reaction"" to specific other novels; for example Free Fall versus Camus' The Fall. Parallels are worked out and/or footnoted in an engaging literary-detective-story fashion, and the plots of the novels are also summarized, pitting Golding's sense of the ugly ""cloacal"" darkness in humans against his regenerative, redemptive themes of hope and rebirth...The interpretation-evaluation is at all times a pleasure to read.