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Book Discussions > Clockwork Orange

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Lynne - The Book Squirrel (squirrelsend) | 3606 comments Well I am sorry to report this will not be added to my 50 books in a year (ok make that 150)! I tried to start it last night at work and again this morning and I just couldn't get past the 2nd page!

What a load of Rap with capital C! How did he get in the top 50 authors!! Or is it me?


message 2: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Ha, it's certainly a bit of a challenge isn't it? The language does make it hard going - I had a similar problem reading Everything Is Illuminated.

I think I'll finish it. It's rare for me to abandon a book and it is for you too isn't it? You must have really hated it!


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (squirrelsend) | 3606 comments I loathed it! I hardly ever not finish a book ever. I have 3 now listed on here. I really could not get into it at all. I kept having to check the glossary every other sentence, sometime word!

I tend to look up words I don't know the meaning of if the dictionary is close by or write it down and look up later. I started this habit ages ago and it has proved useful.

I have now just started a proofreading and editing course and I am brushing up on my grammar etc, so my dictionary is now on view all the time now.


message 4: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3324 comments Mod
I've just ordered my copy from the library, so I should get it next week....


message 5: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 532 comments Mod
I've been trying to get hold of mine for ages! None of the second hand bookshops have it and none of the local libraries have it. I may have to buy it!


message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo I found it really hard to get into aswell but ended up guessing most of the words because i didn't want to keep having to refer to the glossary. I'm glad i read it but i don't think i will read it again.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (squirrelsend) | 3606 comments Zoe don't buy it! I have a copy here you can have, its listed on readitswapit but can soon take it off!

I am happy to send it to you, no problem, email me if you want it.


message 8: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I've finished this book. How is everyone getting on with it?


message 9: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3324 comments Mod
Just picked it up from the library, will start it when I've finished Breaking Dawn - now there's a contrast.....


message 10: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Can't argue with that! Serious change of gear - it's good to move on to something completely different though...

PS. Hate to disappoint but there is no "sculpted, incandescent chest" or "glittering marble skin" in A Clockwork Orange. I know you're gutted, but couldn't bear for you not to be warned!


message 11: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3324 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Can't argue with that! Serious change of gear - it's good to move on to something completely different though...

PS. Hate to disappoint but there is no "sculpted, incandescent chest" or "glitter..."


Lol! Can't believe how crazy the plot has got (Breaking Dawn) - so many vampires, so little time. Glad it's the last one in the series, I'll draw a big sigh of relief, once I've finished it...

Somehow I think A Clockwork Orange will feel like a cold shower afterwards - I'm preparing for a shock to the system...


message 12: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3324 comments Mod
Just finished A Clockwork Orange. Much to recommend it, but not exactly 'enjoyable'. I've seen the film so was aware of what to expect (couldn't get the image of Malcolm McDowell out of my head...)

It took a while to get passed the horrorshow slag which litters every sentence (my copy did not have a glossary as some seem to), but after a few chapters I stopped viddying it.

I expected it to be more shocking somehow - I feel the slang distanced the reader from the 'ultra-violence' - which in hindsight is probably a good thing. It definitely sits on the same shelf as Nineteen Eighty-Four & Brave New World. Would I recommend it? yes, but with reservations...

What's next? American Psycho???!


message 13: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments *Maybe slight SPOILERS here*

I thought the book was more valuable for its ideological question than for its enjoyment. (If that even makes sense?)

It is in the same genre as Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale and Brave New World but I actually liked reading all of those books but I couldn't claim to like A Clockwork Orange very much.

I agree that the language does distance the reader - it slowed me down and held me at arms length, it stopped me from understanding the characters. However, I think as I got more used to the words I felt less removed from events. I still fail to summon up much sympathy for Alex though, even when he's being subjected to awful torture (and I'm not saying I agree with it) but lets face it - he's hard to love!

I do like the ending... I won't say what or why in case anyone is still reading or planning to read it.


message 14: by Dan (new)

Dan Smith | 173 comments Em wrote: "*Maybe slight SPOILERS here*

I thought the book was more valuable for its ideological question than for its enjoyment. (If that even makes sense?)

It is in the same genre as [book:Nineteen E..."


Ooh, just found this post. I was having a bit of a dig around the forums and there it was. I really liked 'Clockwork Orange'. I enjoyed the unusual language although I can understand that people might find it gets in the way. Yes, Alex is hard to love, but he's an interesting character and no one could accuse him of being boring! Actually, the film's pretty good too - though, again, I can imagine why it wouldn't be to everyone's taste. It's funny to think that it was met with such controversy in the '70's but these days we see far worse things on tv.


message 15: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments No certainly not a boring character! Alex is probably one of the most complex, psychologically derranged creations ever imagined.

I know alot of us are de-sensitised to violence being that there is so much of it about in books, on film and TV but for some reason I have minimal resiliance, especially to films (usually can cope with the book!)

I think the crux of my feelings about a Clockwork Orange is that although I admire it and it is a fantastic book to discuss as it raises alot of moral, political and psychological questions - I just didn't love the experience. I wanted to though...


message 16: by Adrienne (last edited Jul 27, 2010 07:32AM) (new)

Adrienne | 265 comments Like many others A Clockwork Orange is a book we've all heard of, I had a look at the blurb, nothing there to convince me to read it, so I read some of the reviews and alas even the 5 star ones couldn't persuade me either. I guess it's because I'm not a fan of futuristic world stories, plus is it still relevant in todays society? I think many things were written at a time when society feared communism and hated fascism, and wanted to severe the feeling of victorian morals which were a sort of hang over for that generation, so by being outlandish we somehow scared the old folks! I think times have moved on so reading this to be a rebel no longer appplies. Some fiction has stood the test of time but has this?


message 17: by Dan (new)

Dan Smith | 173 comments Adrienne wrote: "Like many others A Clockwork Orange is a book we've all heard of, I had a look at the blurb, nothing there to convince me to read it, so I read some of the reviews and alas even the 5 star ones cou..."

I think it does stand the test of time. And while it's set in a future, it's not really a futuristic world as you might imagine it. It's set in a world much like the world we live in today. Maybe it's more relevant now than it's ever been.



message 18: by Dan (new)

Dan Smith | 173 comments Oh, I'm not sure why my last comment was all in italics ... but there it is.


message 19: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 265 comments Thanks Dan, I still need more info though, the level of violence I have to say 'scares' me, I wonder if the inclusion of violence is something I can understand and handle.


message 20: by Dan (new)

Dan Smith | 173 comments Adrienne wrote: "Thanks Dan, I still need more info though, the level of violence I have to say 'scares' me, I wonder if the inclusion of violence is something I can understand and handle."

It does have a reputation for violence, but ... well, you can pick up thrillers these days that are far worse. Any of the popular novels about serial killers etc is going to be more graphic. And I think the violence is present in A Clockwork Orange for a reason. Anthony Burgess is trying to say something about violence rather than just tell us a titilating story. The main problem for the book is that it has what is probably an undeserved reputation which largely comes from the furore surrounding the film - which is actually pretty good and isn't much worse than the kind of stuff you see on TV these days. Having said that, if violence in books/films is something that offends you, then A Clockwork Orange probably isn't for you.


message 21: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 265 comments Think I should be ok with that, thanks Dan for your time and input.


message 22: by Timothy (last edited Jul 29, 2010 07:39PM) (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 239 comments Hi Dan,
welcome back, if a clockwork orange frightens some of these members I wouldn't recomend they read 'The Day the Ravens Died'! I suppose it's not that bad as long as you don't start believing it could happen. Have you has a chance to read it yet?
As soon as I've finished 'Joni-Pip' I'll be reading yours, 'Dry Season' certainly looks interesting.
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer:]


message 23: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 265 comments Timothy...I wouldn't necessarily say the violence fightens me, I was under the impression (for some reason) that A clockwork Orange was a homoerotic S/M novel, and if that was the case I needed to know the level of S/M it took the reader to, certain S/M practises are too much for me to read , but others not. HOWEVER I've since been told it's not homoerotic S/M so my original perconception was wrong.


message 24: by Vivian (new)

Vivian Zhang (vylzhang) Still struggling with the second page... :(


message 25: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Is it the language causing you to struggle? I found it took a bit of time to get used to!


message 26: by Vivian (new)

Vivian Zhang (vylzhang) Yeah! I started off trying to search up every word I didn't know, but it took too long and messed up my reading rhythm. So now I sort of read paragraph by paragraph, trying to summarize each before moving on. :P


message 27: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I think you're right, don't try to hard to "translate" it after a few pages the meanings become clear from the context the words are used in. This style certainly slowed me down, which isn't necessarily a bad thing!


message 28: by Andy (new)

Andy Bird | 223 comments i'm a bit late for this discussion, but am new to the group. I read this a few months ago with my book club and didn't like it. I think this is actually one book where the film is better, anyone agree? can anyone think of any books where the film is better?


message 29: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I'm not sure if the film is better than book but I def agree that it did it justice. I thought The English Patient was a great film, based on a great book but in that case I did see the film first and I'm sure that makes a difference to my perception.


message 30: by Andy (new)

Andy Bird | 223 comments i agree that seeing a film before reading the book often gives a better impression of the film, could be because you form an image of the characters/scenarios from a book which are often very different in the film.


message 31: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments It also helps if you're not distracted by nagging thoughts like - that wasn't in the book and didn't think that character looked like that/was supposed to have an American accent or the film leaves out your favourite part of the novel or worse your favourite character! It better for me if I either haven't read the book at all or there has been a lapse in time between reading and watching.


message 32: by Dan (new)

Dan Smith | 173 comments Clockwork Orange was almost spot-on. The book and the film were so similar. But on the 'book or film' debate, what about Lord of the Rings? I really struggled with the books - they were so long and full of incidental histories and hard to remember names. But the films were spectacular.


message 33: by Andy (new)

Andy Bird | 223 comments Unfortunately I fall into the Tolkien is King camp so, although, the films were good, in my opinion they didn’t match the books (I thought they changed the story too much and made them very Hollywood). I have the book of the Blade Runner film (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K Dick) near the top of my reading pile, so I will be interested to see how that compares to the film.


message 34: by Andy (new)

Andy Bird | 223 comments Just finished the Blade Runner book (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K Dick) and must say that the film is far better than the book. In fact the story is very different. Even watched the film again to check and it was still better. Conforms to the whichever watched/read first theory (or is it just expectations!).


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