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A Clockwork Orange

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  494,582 Ratings  ·  10,906 Reviews
A vicious fifteen-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film of the same title.

In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders hi
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Paperback, 212 pages
Published April 17th 1995 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1962)
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Daniel Weaver It's only tricky for the first chapter. The author uses a fictional registry of words, so it's expected to refer to a glossary to figure it out.…moreIt's only tricky for the first chapter. The author uses a fictional registry of words, so it's expected to refer to a glossary to figure it out. Luckily, the set of words used is pretty small and they are reused often. After you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty fun to read.

The name of the registry is Nadsat at and you can use the following glossary:
http://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appen...(less)
Claudia Cutino I was in the same position as you, and I really enjoyed the book just as much as the film. The thing is that the film is actually quite different from…moreI was in the same position as you, and I really enjoyed the book just as much as the film. The thing is that the film is actually quite different from the book, because it excludes certain scenes from the book. If you want the whole "A Clockwork Orange experience" then having read the book as well as watching the film is a must!

The book allows you to truly get to know Alex and feel like him too, this is something that the film can only do to an degree. You'll find that having watched the film will help you understand a lot of the book, especially some of the Nadsat. (less)

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Martine
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind a bit of a challenge
A Clockwork Orange is one of those books which everyone has heard of but which few people have actually read –- mostly, I think, because it is preceded by a reputation of shocking ultra-violence. I’m not going to deny here that the book contains violence. It features lengthy descriptions of heinous crimes, and they’re vivid descriptions, full of excitement. (Burgess later wrote in his autobiography: ‘I was sickened by my own excitement at setting it down.’) Yet it does not glorify violence, nor ...more
Cecily
How to review an infamous book about which so much has already been said? By avoiding reading others’ thoughts until I’ve written mine.

There are horrors in this book, but there is beauty too, and so much to think about. The ends of the book justify the means of its execution, even if the same is not true of what happens in the story.

Book vs Film, and Omission of Final Chapter

I saw the film first, and read the book shortly afterwards. Usually a bad idea, but in this case, being familiar with the
...more
Bookdragon Sean
Rebellion can take on many forms and in A Clockwork Orange it takes on the form of language: the spoken word.

All societies have their constraints, though breaking through them is often difficult. What the “poor” disaffected youth do here is create their own system of communication that is so utterly theirs. Every word carries history, and by destroying such words the youngster are proposing a break from tradition: they are proposing something new. This idea is captured when they attack the “b
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Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
In 1960 Anthony Burgess was 43 and had written 4 novels and had a proper job teaching in the British Colonial Service in Malaya and Brunei. Then he had a collapse and the story gets complicated. But I like the first cool version AB told, which was that he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and given a year to live. Since as you know he lived a further 33 years, we may conclude the doctors were not entirely correct. However - the doctor tells you you have a year to live - what do you d ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent, favorites
This book was sweet. The way russian was used to show the distopian future was one of the coolest literary devices I have seen. Because I was so enthralled by it, I often read parts more than once to make sure I was getting the meaning right. Everyone should read this book, and then read it again to make sure they got it.
Lyn
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
"What's it going to be then, eh?" A linguistic adventure, O my brothers.

I had seen the Kubrick film and so reading the novella was on the list. I very much enjoyed it, was surprised to learn that American publishers and Kubrick had omitted the crucial last chapter that provides some moral denouement to the ultra-violence.

As disturbingly good as this is, one aspect that always comes back to me is Burgess' creation of and use of the Nadsat language. This provides color and mystery to the narrativ
...more
Henry Avila
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the near future, in an Utopian socialist country, England, where everyone has to work ( except the ill or old), whether the job makes any sense, or not, a group of teenagers like to party without limits, at night. Alex, the leader, George 2nd in command, Pete the most sane and the big dim, Dim, he's good with his boots, fun loving kids. Your humble narrator, Alex, will tell this story my brothers ...First they see an ancient man, leaving the library carrying books, very suspicious, nobody goe ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Like many I suppose, I saw Kubrick's film long ago without having read the book until now. Part punk rock version of Finnegans Wake, part scalding criticism of UK society in the 50s, Burgess' dystopian Center is a real "horrorshow" (in a non-ACO interpretation of the word) of violence. Alex is a terrifying character - every bit as evil as the Joker or Anton Chigurh whose state-sponsored brainwashing is equally disturbing. The prison chaplain's pleas for free choice tend to exemplify the theme of ...more
J.L.   Sutton
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange is a fantastic, thought-provoking and immersive read! Don’t be put off by the invented slang. It comes very easily once you begin reading, and adds to the experience. Besides recommending this book, I do have a final thought concerning chapter 21, the chapter which was left out of the published American edition of the novel as well as the iconic film by Stanley Kubrick. I understand Burgess’s desire to show change in his young anti-hero, Alex; however, the tr ...more
MJ Nicholls
A favourite of my late teens, still a favourite now. The brutality of male blooming and the private patois of our teenhood . . . splattered across this brilliant moral satire, abundant in vibrant, bursting language and a structural perfection: Shakespearean, dammit. Goddamn Shakespearean! nadsat is second only to the language in Riddley Walker for a perfectly rendered invented language that is consistent within the novel’s own internal logic. This book is musical! This book sings, swings, cries ...more
Reading Corner
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, classics
This is a dark, compelling read with massive amounts of violent acts and imagery that run throughout the novel. They are definitely vividly described but in one way the violence is slightly censored with the use of the nadsat language, a language teenagers use in the novel. The book doesn't promote violence but instead explores the idea of violence entwined with youth and the morality of free will.

The nadsat language is a little confusing and irritating at the start but with the help of an onli
...more
Fernando
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
El 2017 ha sido el año que dediqué en parte a leer varios clásicos y novelas contemporáneas que me faltaban, como “El guardián entre el centeno” de J.D. Salinger, “Robinson Crusoe” de Daniel Defoe, “El inspector” de Nikólai Gógol, “Crónica del pájaro que da cuerda al mundo” de Haruki Murakami, “La caída” de Albert Camus, “Resurrección” de Lev Tolstói, “Los viajes de Gulliver” de Jonathan Swift, “La piedra lunar” de Wilkie Collins y muy especialmente “Don Quijote de la Mancha” de Miguel de Cervan ...more
Lindsay
Jul 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: British lit fans, Anthony Burgess fans, people who've seen the movie, scifi fans
Shelves: european-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jilly
I read this as part of a reading challenge. I've never seen the movie either, and now that I've read it, I don't think I want to.


This is what it would take to make me watch a movie that includes this as a scene.

It's really hard to review this book because it has been studied, picked apart, and written about for years and years. So, I'm going to approach it as I would any book: what an average American shlub thinks about it. No scholarly dissertation, no thesis, no talking about the symbolism. Ju
...more
Matthias
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews, favorites
Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,


A Clockwork Orange. That title has stuck to my mind for a big part of my life, without ever making sense to me. The only image I had in association with these words, not having seen the movie but only some references to it, was a guy forced to keep his eyes open, forced to watch horrible images of extreme violence accompanied with music so loud it made his ears bleed. I could not make sense of that title, oh no. I was afraid of that title and o
...more
R.K. Gold
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
The intro to this book made me awfully sad, even more so when I loved the book. The fact that this was perhaps Anthony Burgess' most memorable piece and that he was so ambivalent about it kind of twists my stomach in knots. It's why I felt so guilty giving it a perfect 5 star rating, but I really had no choice. I thought it was brilliant. The entire book had me emotionally attached. I felt angry at the world surrounding Alex and despised almost all he encountered while gnawing at the back of my ...more
F
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seen-movie, uk
Loved this.
Had to print off a dictionary for the slang but eventually found I didn't need one as I quickly picked up on the language.
Very disturbing.
Forrest
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The American Review:

At times, I find beauty in dissonance. Take, for example, my eclectic music collection. I have my share of soothing music: new age, quiet electronica, and so forth. I have some popular mainstream music, mostly from the '80s. Some funk, some reggae, ska, a bit of trance and techno. Yes, there's the heavy metal, punk, classic rock from my youth, and even a little progressive death metal. And, amongst it all, a good dose of 20th century classical pieces by such composers as Geor
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Brad
'What's it going to be then, eh?'

That was me, that is your humble commentator, sitting down to pass my glazzies over a book eemyaed A Clockwork Orange I'd sobirated from the biblio. I was ready to be tolchocked in my litso, to have my mozg pried out of my gulliver, to feel that sickening drop in the yarbles when falling from a great tower block; I expected to be preached to by that nadmenny veck A. Burgess in all his high goloss; I expected to loathe Alex and all his malenky malchick droogs. But
...more
Maria Clara
Pues al final me ha gustado más de de que esperaba. El gran problema que he tenido con este libro (aparte del glosario) es que odio la violencia y más si es gratuita.
Parthiban Sekar
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, favorites
How many times in a day do we hear Be-Yourself, I-am-what-I-am, and all those statutory reminders calling upon our self-control, decision-making, and ever-active inner agent which is none other than the entity that makes us us? When we grow up, we are all constantly being told or reminded or warned to find our own place in the society, not to get lost in the crowd, and most importantly, to be/become what we always want to be/become. And it is the choices we make during moral dilemmas diversifi ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
437. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novel by English writer Anthony Burgess, published in 1962. Set in a near future English society featuring a subculture of extreme youth violence, the teenage protagonist, Alex, narrates his violent exploits and his experiences with state authorities intent on reforming him. The book is partially written in a Russian-influenced argot called "Nadsat".
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یازدهم ماه اکتبر سال 2002 میلادی
عنوان: پرتقال کوکی؛
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Anne
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-english
Actual rating: 3.5 🌟's

Despite me "only" giving this book a rating of 3.5 stars, I completely understand why it is considered a masterpiece.
The reasoning behind my rating is the writing style - which just so happens to also be the thing that makes this novel so special and unforgettable. The fact that the author was able to be consistent with this made-up dialect throughout the entire work, seriously needs to be admired. For me, however, it was quite hard to get into the book and stay focused du
...more
Francesca
This book is incredible. The themes of the story are still as relevant as they were then. Ethics, morality, choice, are still important topics that are discussed regularly throughout life. I'm aware of the controversial nature of this book due to the violence that takes place but after reading it, I can't help but wonder if part of the reason it was banned was due to the probably (sadly and worryingly) quite accurate depiction of governments. This is a very thought-provoking read.

The character o
...more
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
Hmmm... This is going to be a challenge because I find A Clockwork Orange a tricky book.

I'll start by saying that last week I read Prince of Thorns, a book about a 14 years old boy (Jorg) who kills, rapes and does pretty much everything he wants. This book is about a 15 years old boy (Alex) who rapes, kills and does pretty much everything he wants. And to think people found Jorg disturbing. Jorg has a reason and a goal. Alex is just... heck if I know what he's about. I guess he's just enjoying h
...more
Justin
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Below is a stream of consciousness report of each part of the book:

Part 1: What the hell?! People actually like this book. Like, this is considered one of the best books of the twentieth century by real people? Is anything really going to happen or is this guy and his droogs just going to wander the streets committing random acts of violence? Thank God the violence is depicted with these silly words to make it more cartoonish and silly, but, man, this... this is insane. Oh wait, a malchick isn't
...more
Alex Farrand
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: movies, classics
Let me start off that this book has been sitting on my bookshelf, unread, since my husband came back from California a few years ago. He hasn't even read the book, but insisted on having it. I guess Heath Ledger read this book to figure out how to play the Joker. By and by curiosity has struck me into reading it.

Well this book is horribly good. I was between 4 and 5 stars, but the violence made me cringe. Which is a good thing to make a book so vivid in the writing, but mentally I was not prepar
...more
Madeline
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
“I believe that we should read only those book that bite and sting us. If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? Because it will make us happy, you tell me? My God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and the books that make us happy we could, if necessary, write ourselves. What we need are books that affect us like some really grievous misfortune, like the death of one whom we loved more than ourselves, as if we were banished to distant forests ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
**DISCLAIMER: If you HAVE NOT seen the movie, there will be spoilers**



There is a darkness in the world. For the most part that darkness is kept locked down, chained within the breast of the beast, forced to co-exist with and focus on the goodness. Whether this be by fear of reperucission or a personal desire to force it away depends on the person it lives within. Sometimes the chains, the rules and the fear are not enough. Sometimes the beast wins it's freedom into the world. In Anthony Burgess'
...more
Gabrielle
I once had a truly lovely roommate. In my mind, I now think of her as the Yoga Bunny: yes, because she was a yoga instructor, but also because she was the kind of adorable hippy who wants to believe that deep down, everyone is nice and that if you love one another enough, the world’s problems will eventually solve themselves. She was kind, generous and polite to a fault and I do not mean to make fun of her: I really love her very much, but her world view always seemed terribly naïve and somewhat ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Anthony Burgess was a British novelist, critic and composer. He was also a librettist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, travel writer, broadcaster, translator, linguist and educationalist. Born in Manchester, he lived for long periods in Southeast Asia, the USA and Mediterranean Europe as well as in Eng
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More about Anthony Burgess

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“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?” 1031 likes
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