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A Clockwork Orange
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Buddy Reads > A Clockwork Orange (February 1, 2015)

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Kandice I hope more of you will join us. If you need time to get the book, just say so here. This is an incredibly dense book which can take some time to get through, despite the low number of pages.

It should make for very interesting conversation.

If anyone is interested, I would like to watch the movie when the majority of us have finished the book and discuss that as well.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Not sure if I will be able to start the 1st - but I'll jump in when I can!


message 3: by Ana (last edited Jan 25, 2015 11:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Yeah it's a shame I can't join in, but I order my books through bookdepository for the very much appreciated free delivery and they take around a month to arrive, 3 weeks if I am lucky :(

I think when I order it I am going to get this edition: A Clockwork Orange It's only a couple more euros and seems worth the extra stuff, since you guys say it's so deep: This is a fully restored edition of Anthony Burgess' original text of A Clockwork Orange, with a glossary of the teen slang 'Nadsat', explanatory notes, pages from the original typescript, interviews, articles and reviews Edited by Andrew Biswell. With a Foreword by Martin Amis 'It is a horrorshow story...'

Happy reading!


Edit: Looks like it's a new edition, coming out in 4 days. I preordered it but please go on with the buddy read, I'll be happy to read your comments whenever I get to it. If you can please mention in your comments what chapter you are commenting on, so I can view the spoilers as I go along ^_^


message 4: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Can everyone please post which day would be most convenient for them to start this?


Kandice I think we agreed on February 1, but anyone can join in anytime they like. It's not homework or anything! :D


Kandice I have my copy, but if everyone wants to put off reading until the 2nd week of February, I'd rather wait. I have a couple others I need to read for club/groups so can certainly use the time.

Ana, you got the deluxe, annotated version, or something, right? I once sat at a ComicCon panel about Nasdat and would love to buy something like that if it turns out to be worth it. Let me know.


message 7: by Ana (last edited Jan 28, 2015 08:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Yep, waiting for it to arrive, it got shipped today. It wasn't expensive at all in bookdepository. I think it costs around 10€ now, was cheaper before when I preordered it.

And yeah, I would prefer if the interested people actually posted their availability, as I have not seen anyone other than you saying they wanted to start that early. If the book is that interesting then I think the more the merrier. It is so much more interesting to comment as we go along than after everyone is done, I think... So if everyone could post I would appreciate it.

I'd like to join in, but don't want everyone to wait for me (again). But if I am not the only one wanting to wait then I'd like to know.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments I am all for waiting until at least the 6th or 7th, or even a little later if necessary.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments Actually, I prefer Feb. 1st. I think I will have finished my current book by then, and have some others books I want to read just after for another group read.

But anyway, seeing the length of the book, and if it is really as good as it is, I will probably read it in one go. It will therefore be hard for me to comment as I go. So I'll just start first, and join in the discussion even if it starts later.


Kandice It's one that stays with you, so I don't think we'll have any problem keeping the conversation going regardless of when people finish.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments That's what I heard from friends who've read it too. So I don't really think either that a very defined date is as important as other books.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments I've just started the book. I have read much of it yet, but it's both horrifying and fascinating. It's a hard read, because of the words used and the themes, but it's difficult to put down.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments I need to wait a couple more days! Keep posting your thoughts, though.


Kandice I was going to wait a couple of days to begin as well in the hopes that Ana's copy will arrive. I've read it before, so can still participate.

The language, Nasdat, is difficult at first on purpose. Like you said, it begins in a horrifying way and doesn't let up. That language allows you to keep reading because by the time your brain has "translated" you're well on your way to the next horror and so don't put it down.


message 15: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Aww thanks Kandice but please don't keep from reading it because of me, I really have no idea when it will arrive :(


Melaslithos | 1645 comments Yes, sorry, I started on it first since I have other reads planned after, for other groups.

And Kandice, I totally agree with what you are saying about the special language. It keeps you detached enough from what is happening.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments Just finished part 2.

(view spoiler)


Kandice Melaslithos wrote: "Just finished part 2.

It's the part where Alex is being conditionned.

It's impressive how quickly the Pavlovian conditionning to violence settles. I made a few researches, and it does look like i..."


I looked into it a LOT when I first read this book and that was before the internet. It does seem simple. Almost too simple.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments All right, I finally bought it and plan on starting Sunday after I finish up Timebound!


Kandice I plan on starting tomorrow evening. Sorry it took so long, but I hope anyone who has started is enjoying it, if that's a word that can be applied to Alex's tale...there must be a more suitable way to phrase it. O_o


Melaslithos | 1645 comments I just finished the book and wow.

(view spoiler)


Kandice Melaslithos wrote: "I just finished the book and wow.

[spoilers removed]"


I read the first couple of pages this morning, but plan on really digging in tonight. Have you seen the movie? If you have access to it, it's definitely worth the time.


Kandice Not sure if this is spoilerish, so I'll mark it. (view spoiler)


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments For a change, I'm not looking at the spoilers! I'M NOT LOOKING!

I started on Sunday and only got through a few pages (we were running around) and for some reason it reminds me of Neuromancer.


Kandice Leigh wrote: "For a change, I'm not looking at the spoilers! I'M NOT LOOKING!

I started on Sunday and only got through a few pages (we were running around) and for some reason it reminds me of [book:Neuromancer..."


I haven't read that, but I'll have to look it up.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Ummmm. Read the synopsis and reviews first. You might love it. My husband loved it. And I really, really tried to read it so I could love it, too.


Kandice I love how even though he uses this made us slang, it really makes sense. I've read the book before. First time was in '82 and then 2 or 3 times since. It took about 10 pages for me to remember. I didn't allow myself to look at the glossary and it all came back.

Burgess was a genius. Really. I may not agree with his philosophy, and if you read his memoirs it's obvious he was a little...wack, but he was also a genius.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments I found the slang quite easy to understand. It took e a few pages, but I quickly was in it.

I don't know if it's because Burgess is really good at what he is writting, or maybe because as a non native speaker, I am used to guessing the meaning of words I don't know. I never looked at a glossary once (anyway, I don't have one in my edition).

I've heard that Burgess had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Maybe that didn't help with his "wackiness"?


message 29: by Kandice (last edited Feb 09, 2015 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kandice He was also very, very paranoid, which could have had something to do with the tumor as well.

While he was away at war his wife was gang raped by four men. He wavered between believing it and thinking she said it to cover up her own infidelity. This was before he wrote ACW so it seems that must have influenced his writing.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments That is absolutely horrendous. I hated that scene. How could take the view point of the aggressors after that and my goodness...what did his wife feel about this book?


Kandice Leigh wrote: "That is absolutely horrendous. I hated that scene. How could take the view point of the aggressors after that and my goodness...what did his wife feel about this book?"

The "memoir" I read was just about him, but it seemed as if she never forgave him. Can you blame her?


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments No, I don't blame her. I'm just surprised he didn't have an 'accident' shortly after writing the book.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments I didn't know that. But that kinds of explain where his "inspiration" comes from.

I don't think it's a surprise that he tries to take the POV of the aggressors. Maybe it's a way to try to exorcice what happen? Try to understand there mind, to try to understand what happen? And when you understand, it's kind of "less horrible", more "rational"?


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Yes, but on the other hand, he is stepping into the aggressors' shoes by viewing the woman as less than a human being and justifying the violence. She was dumb enough to open the door, Dim deserves a little fun, etc. Maybe it's therapy for him, but for his wife? It does explain the 'inspiration' as you say!


Kandice The fact that he didn't really believe his wife changes things too. I guess it would have depended on what he believed at the actual time he was writing.

Changes the motivation quite a bit depending!


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Feel free to share any other interesting facts you come across!


Kandice Burgess absolutely hated Kubrick's movie. I find that interesting since it is one of the closest page to screen adaptations I have ever seen.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Now that is interesting. Did he say why or give specifics? Too violent, perhaps?

My dad is loaning me his DVD so I can watch it when I'm done reading.


message 39: by Kandice (last edited Feb 09, 2015 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kandice He felt that actually "seeing" the violence made it more palpable. He said the most popular novel going only had a small amount of influence over it's readers, but film was a major influence, especially in America.

It has also been said by others, including his wife, that he sold the film rights to book for only a few hundred dollars and was always ticked off by how much money the film actually made with him never receiving a penny for it.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments I have never seen the film, but I will try to get it.

I think I've mentionned this before, but I am actually much more impressed by books than film. Picturing ourselves what is happening is much worse than seeing it I feel, but I guess that depends on people.


Kandice I am almost always, always more impressed with books, but I love seeing someone else's vision of what I read. In some cases the film is an improvement. The Cider House Rules and Ella Enchanted are just two examples of that. Both books were amazing, but the movies streamlined and actually improved the floe. In my opinion.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments There are some exceptions to the rule, as always, but most often when a movie is based on a book the book is far superior.

As for Burgess not getting much money for his book, that seems like cosmic justice to me. Maybe if he had been nicer to his wife, the universe would have told him to get a better lawyer before selling the rights for peanuts.


message 43: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
I have not gotten to the book itself in this version. So far the preface says way too much about the book itself -.- I know a lot of what is going to happen now, not happy.

I am now reading about Burgess' influences.


Melaslithos | 1645 comments I always read the preface AFTER I read the book.


message 45: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
They don't usually tell too much about the book, at least not the ones I have read so far. I think I may give it a day or at least several hours till i pick it up again.


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Prefaces can have major spoilers, they assume that since the book has been out so long, nothing in it is a surprise for the readers. I read The Haunting of Hill House recently and it gave away over half the story. Of course, I didn't mind as much as you would have, Ana!


message 47: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana (anaslair) | 2312 comments Mod
Eheh yeah Leigh, I am sure not a spoiler fan!
I have so much to do today I will most likely be able to set it aside in my brain, eheh.
I am sure I will be plenty busy figuring out the slang. The few quotes included in the preface blew my mind. As a non native english speaker this is going to be hard. Some lines always seemed poetic too (never thought I would be associating slang with poetic).


Leigh Stuart | 348 comments Quite frankly, it's tougher than I thought it would be. But you do sort of get used to it, and the main actions are pretty obvious. Just go with the flow or use the glossary if you have one.


Kandice I think the slang is easy to figure out because Burgess wrote it that way on purpose. I have asked a few people who only saw the movie (never read) and they say they had no trouble understanding, BUT in a movie you can SEE what's happening so have all those visual clues.

I don't get as upset as some at spoilers, especially when it isn't something like a Whodonit being spoiled. This book seems more about the message than the story, but I'm sorry you were spoiled by the preface.

Leigh is probably right. This book has been around so long, they probably just think everyone knows at least the premise.

Damned publishers. *sigh*


Melaslithos | 1645 comments Regarding the slang, I did find that it was quite easy to figure out. You could see where the words where coming from and how they evolved from our current use to the NasDat use. It was quite logical in a way.


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