A Clockwork Orange
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
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
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".
Part 1: Alex's world Alex is a 15-year-old livin ...more
It reminds me of many overrated classics that form 3 stages or categories of boredom.
Books that ...more
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 ...more
As far as an enjoyable reading experience goes, I'd say this one is the bottom of the barrel. It's hard to be inside the head of someone who is, for no apparent reason, just an absolutely evil piece of shit.
Now, that's not to say this isn't a worthwhile read.
However, I'm trying really hard to figure out what the point of this book was and coming up with a blank. Like, was there a moral to this story? I don't think so.
The concept was an interesting one, though.
A young psychopath volunteers t ...more
There are these dystopian visionary books that slowly but steadily move from speculative fiction into the field of painfully realistic portrayals of life as we know and suffer it. Huxley, Orwell and Atwood all saw our ordeal coming, and they created the mood and terror for our era long before we could follow their tracks in the daily news spit out in vicious bits and pieces.
Recently a retired teac ...more
First time round I didn't really think that much of this.
For three main reasons.
1. Despite this being something of an 'essential' read before you hit adulthood I wasn't much of a reader then. Maybe two or three books a year. What did I know?
2. I hadn't seen the film (this time around it made a massive difference having Kubrick's visionary masterpiece swirling around in my head).
3. I read a tatty old 70s copy of the novel that looked like it had crawled through a warzone before hiding in someo ...more
The speculative fiction core of this tale is pretty spot on and the issues Anthony Burgess raises are timeless. The questions in and around crime and punishment still test us a ...more
And the novel....It's DARK. While slow going at first, it didn't take long to get the drift of the slang, nadsat talk....all the teens use it, but I recommend staying with it without long interruption once you start.
"It's a stinking world because it lets the young get on to the old like you done, and there's no law nor order no more. I'm not one bit scared of you, my boyos, because I'm too drunk to feel the pain if you hit me and if...more
The nadsat language is a little confusing and irritating at the start but with the help of an onli ...more
It may be horrible to be good. [...] Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?
The audience and the intended affect:
A Linguist's goldmine
A Russian's source of confusion
A Brit's comedy
A Psychologist's topic for conversation
A composer's pride & joy
A criminal's nightmare
My one brain cell's reason for suicide
And this gal's🙋♀️ complete loss for words as to wtf she just read.
A terrible grahzny vonny world, really, O...more
In a dystopian world set in the future, where criminals take over the dark, Alex is a juvenile delinquent who talks using an invented slang called Nadsat.
A Clockwork Orange might just the biggest turnaround I’ve ever had in terms of initially hating a book... and then becoming a fan of it by the end. After buying a copy and flicking through it, and seeing some of the writing, I messaged @ab_reads to say “why the hell am I putting myself through this? I should hav ...more
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
Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.Regular readers of my reviews know that I’m always on the lookout for that rare situation: the movie that’s better than the book. I keep a running list of them on my profile page, but it’s still less than 10 movies long. But onto that list ...more
Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?
What's it going to be then, eh?
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
I loved this movie as a kid a million years ago. I’m not sure about now, waiting to watch it somewhere just to see. The book was pretty much: NO! Although, I do love making up my own words and punctuation and shite. But still: NO!
I do love the way what’s his head looks in the movie though - so there’s that 😉
Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 ...more
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 ...more
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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 ...more