Rites of Passage

William Golding


I’m up to 1980 in my quest to read all the Booker Prize winners in order. I would not have read this book otherwise, and finished it only because of my commitment to myself. I confess to so skimming.

Set in the early days of the 19th century, this journal of a minor official on his way to Australia is mostly tedious posturing by a young man very pleased with himself. He writes of his superiority to the other passengers. One in particular is a Mr Colley, a clergyman. Only toward the end of the book do we find out that Mr Colley also kept a journal, and his account is very different from Mr Talbot’s.

Actually nothing much happens in the book, and I didn’t care very much about any of the characters.



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