The Pyramid was published in 1967 and comprises three interlinked stories set in the fictional south-west town of Stilbourne. The book marks the end of the first period of William Golding’s published writing career as novelist, which began in 1954 with Lord of the Flies.

After completing The Pyramid, Golding didn’t write another novel until Darkness Visible (1979), swiftly followed by the Booker Prize-winning Rites of Passage (1980). The Paper Men, published in 1984, came after this extraordinary reinvention of his career and, as with all Golding’s novels, told yet another kind of story in yet another new form. But it’s possible to see fascinating links between The Pyramid and The Paper Men, particularly in the way Golding adopts an ostensible realist style, complicated by his typically radical approach to genre. Both books have comedic moments, although these are darker in the later novel. Golding also displays a playful side in his approach to autobiography, by teasingly incorporating details that could apply to his own life.

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