Their day on earth had long been over, and only eight of them were left: six adults, a small girl, and an infant. They were the last members of the doomed race we call Neanderthal man. Golding's powerful, profound and haunting novel about these essentially gentle innocents and what happened to them after their encounter with another race of beings: beings somewhat like yet strangely different from them, and so both terrifying and fascinating; beings incomprehensibly skilled and sophisticated, but cruel, guilt-ridden, and already somewhat corrupt; beings whose descendants would name their species Homo sapiens.
Sir William Gerald Golding (1911–1993) was a British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies. He was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth.
In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".