A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange discussion


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Read book OR watch film first

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message 1: by Charlie (last edited Jan 24, 2015 02:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Charlie Slight Spoiler.Hi Im at the part in the book where Alex has just reasserted his control over his droogs towards the start of the book. It seems good but I am struggling with the language a little bit. In fact no I am struggling on a scale of 1-10, 10 being terrible 6.5. Just wondering would it be easier to watch the film first? A reviewer said it would help.... thanks


Steve I read the book first. I remember struggling with the earlier part of it with it's weird slang. But roughly 30 or 40 pages in, I have grown used to it and stopped struggling. I think it was amazing how the author got me so accustomed to this slang and that it was one of the strongest (and memorable) aspects of the book. So, while it may seem difficult at first, I would say it would be worth it to keep at it.

And the slang is used in the movie too. Reading the book first might actually help you understand what the characters in the movie are talking about.


message 3: by The (new) - rated it 4 stars

The I used this glossary on first read: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/clockwo...

I've never seen the movie, but using the glossary should bring you up to 100% understanding. After a while you won't need to refer to it anyway. Happy reading! It's an incredible book.


Belma I also found it a bit dificult at first but after a while you get used to the slang and it gets easier for you to understand what he means.
i watched the movie right after i read the book.


Charlie Yeah the film does look good. I'm just wondering what does Alex actually do to the boy and girl he takes up to his bedroom? I didn't really find it clear


Papaphilly I saw the film first. I do not think it actually matters in this case except the film will make the book less intense. The book is much more personal than the movie and you climb into his head much deeper.


Duane IMNTBHO, the book is a masterpiece, and the movie is... ummmm... worthless. In all (undeserved) fairness I'd have to say that if Kubrick had made a movie that really replicated the book, nobody would have understood it; there are important subtleties in the book that I don't think could be replicated in a movie

FWIMBW I would recommend, get a copy with a glossary for the Nadsat "dialect" and WITHOUT the lame "cop-out" last chapter, and just read it very slowly making sure you understand what's happening the whole way along...


message 8: by Feliks (last edited Jan 25, 2015 08:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks Book first, then movie. The movie is not essential, but will complement the read and is simply ...fun.

No film by anyone of his Kubrick's caliber is ever worthless. He's too strong in photography. For that aspect alone it is an experience to savor. Then, there's the music, too.

If the film had to be done, he was the best choice to direct. I saw the flick presented as part of a college course (intellectual heritage req') and it rocked. The class had a field day with it.


Carolina Morales You can try to finish the book and then check the movie out to fill any blank.


message 10: by Duane (last edited Jan 27, 2015 07:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Duane Feliks wrote: "No film by anyone of Kubrick's caliber is ever worthless. He's too strong in photography..."

Yeah, you're right (And I *HATE* when that happens...)...

But (like Schlemielberg) he's got an astounding ability to extract mediocrity from something that COULD have been great... (And I submit "Full Metal Jacket" and "Private Ryan" as proof on behalf of BOTH of them.) Same goes for that "Star Wars" whatsisname.

Now, take Guillermo del Toro, by way of comparison - THERE'S somebody who DOESN'T screw up once he gets going. Or that guy who made "District 9"... But of course they're not nearly the kind of Colossi Satanding Astride The Movie Industry (And pissing all over it) as are those other luminaries... If Del Toro (or even Polanski) had made "Clockwork Orange", we would really have had something...

OH - And - By the way... Did I ever ask you WHY you defenestrated Savinkov??


message 11: by Julie (new) - rated it 1 star

Julie Jones Neither. They both suck.


Jonathan I watched the film before reading the book, and I'd say that it benefited me. I still had to adjust to Burgess' Nadsat language in the novel, but I had become familiar with a number of terms (e.g. viddy, moloko & droog), making the transition a little easier.


Terry Senora I studied this book and the movie while in High School too many years ago and hating it then. Since it is still talked about now I revisited it and still find that I hate it now not because it is disturbing or the language used or the oft mentioned rape scene but perhaps because I wondered what it takes to make a classic a classic.


Camilla Maffezzini Literature and Cinema are two Arts that sometimes find it difficult to communicate.
I have read the book first and then watched the movie: both of them are actually pretty good.
Nevertheless, I think the film didn't really manage to convey the final message of the book, which is more profound and intellectually interesting.
I would anyway enjoy both; maybe I would first read the book, just to get closer to the fabulous world of violence, freedom and Beethoven.


Duane heh heh heh... I think if you're willing to sack the Beethoven (About which I think Burgess was mistaken, but let's not sweat the details) you can have the rest if you trawl deep enough

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66apC...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAo4D...


Alyssa I watched the movie first and I think it make the book much easier to read. When hearing it in the movie I was able to pick up on meanings by tone of voice and other context. Both book and movie are very good in my opinion, but the movie presents the story in a very different way.


Cecily I invariably like to read a book before seeing an adaptation, but I didn't think this was something I wanted to watch or read. I did then see the film and immediately wanted to read the book. I agree with Alyssa and Jonathan that it does make it easier to follow the language of the book. On the other had, the violence in the film is FAR more graphic (because you actually see it, rather than it being veiled in Nadsat). Several times, I nearly gave up on the film, but I'm glad I didn't, otherwise I'd never have read the book.


message 18: by Eric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eric Shamblen I'd say read the book first, even if it's more work to do so. Enjoy the puzzle of the language rather than resisting or avoiding it - it's an important part of the world the author was trying to create, just like Newspeak in 1984.


Cecily You're probably right, Eric. It's certainly what Burgess wanted: he didn't even want the book published with a glossary.

I think the trick is to try to relax and keep going, letting the lingo seep in - rather as one would in a foreign country with no translator on hand.


Papaphilly Cecily wrote: "You're probably right, Eric. It's certainly what Burgess wanted: he didn't even want the book published with a glossary.

I think the trick is to try to relax and keep going, letting the lingo seep..."


I had problems at first with eh language, but it disappeared quickly as I became used to it. It is kind of like listening to the kids today and their choice of idioms.


message 21: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg My rule is that if faced with the choice, I read the book first. Reason is that the book is usually better. There are so few exceptions: the original Carrie film comes to mind, better than King's original book.


Charlie Greg wrote: "My rule is that if faced with the choice, I read the book first. Reason is that the book is usually better. There are so few exceptions: the original Carrie film comes to mind, better than King's o..."
I really hated that book


Papaphilly Greg wrote: "My rule is that if faced with the choice, I read the book first. Reason is that the book is usually better. There are so few exceptions: the original Carrie film comes to mind, better than King's o..."

Funny thing, I thought both movie versions were terrible and the book was much better. Just goes to show.


Philip Steve wrote: "I read the book first. I remember struggling with the earlier part of it with it's weird slang. But roughly 30 or 40 pages in, I have grown used to it and stopped struggling. I think it was amazing..."

I completely agree with your sentiment. I read the book first and the slang was much easier to understand in the movie because I had become accustomed to how they spoke and what it all means.

BOOK > MOVIE


message 25: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Mclimans Read the book first, otherwise you will end up reading the entire thing in Malcolm McDowell's voice.


Adriana I saw the movie years ago when I was 15, and found it immensely disturbing, to the point where I blocked out much of it. I just finished reading the book, and found it to be much deeper than I expected. Yes, the slang is difficult at first, but it gets easier.

So my advice: read the book.


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