'I must not let madness steal up on me and take me by surprise'.

Pincher Martin

Drowning in the freezing North Atlantic, Christopher Hadley Martin, temporary lieutenant, happens upon a grotesque rock, an island that appears only on weather charts. To drink there is a pool of rain water; to eat there are weeds and sea anemones. Through the long hours with only himself to talk to, Martin must try to assemble the truth of his fate, piece by terrible piece.

‘This is a novel by an author at the peak of his ability, uncompromising in the pursuit of the story he wishes to tell’. – Philippa Gregory

Judy explains the 'twists' in Golding's enigmatic novel.

Listen to Judy Golding discussing Pincher Martin

View Judy Golding introducing Pincher Martin


Disaster at sea

Pincher Martin features a shipwreck and in a strange twist of fate, Golding suffered a disaster at sea just after writing the novel. Golding, his wife Ann, […]



As many of Golding’s novels feature aspects of survival, hunger is a recurrent theme.

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'Words may, through the devotion, the skill, the passion and the luck of writers, prove to be the most powerful thing in the world'.

William Golding, Nobel Lecture, 1983