In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of "droogs" thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely "redeem" him for society. If we had the power of ...
In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of "droogs" thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely "redeem" him for society. If we had the power of absolute criminal reform, what, the novel asks, would this mean for our ideals of freedom and society? This edition reinstates the final chapter missing from Kubrick's film and , in which Alex is on the verge of starting a family as he reflects on--and completely rejects--his adolescent nastiness. It also includes Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."
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I saw the movie pictures and review in Playboy magazine back when it first came out when I was young. I then saw the movie when I was much older and then wanted to read and see what differences there where in the two. The movie is basically the narration of the book except for the part with the body guard (who is David Prowse [Darth Vader]). It?s hard to understand the slang, so you should print out a copy of the translations too help with it. If you really loved the movie read the book other wise you won?t miss much. Its hard to get into so its not a good idea to start and stop.
Apr 8, 2010
the 21st chapter
I read clockwork Orange years ago and loved the slang gang talk. What I was looking for here was the 21st chapter that was not in any of the U.S. published versions. For those who don't know, Burgess wrote the final chapter after there were reports of copycat gang violence said to be instigated by the book and movie. The final chapter is the personal conversion of Alex after he realizes the errors of his ways without help of drugs or therapy. I think it was more an attempt by Burgess to redeem himself and not Alex and that is how it reads. I recommend this version only if you would like to know more about the conscience of Burgess and not our beloved Droogie, Alex.
Apr 15, 2009
A friend recommended this book to me, and I very much enjoyed it. At first, it was difficult to follow, due to the author's way of telling the story in Nadsat (slang used by teenagers in the novel), but, after I found a glossary of the words, it was a lot easier to read. The story is powerful, perhaps even more so because of the language in which it is told; it is very provocative, and raises many moralistic questions that are prevalent in today's society. A timeless book, and one that would probably be better the second time around.
Mar 7, 2009
A magnificent book
A Clockwork Orange is a frightening and disturbing look at a world that does not yet exist, told by a narrator who speaks in a slang-filled voice. The book grabs hold of you on page one and does not let go. It is a magnificent book.
I suppose it falls under the genre heading of dystopian literature, and certainly comparisons can be drawn between A Clockwork Orange and works like 1984 or Brave New World, but Burgess's story is on a smaller scale. The dystopian society depicted in A Clockwork Orange is really the backdrop for the age old tale of growing up.
It's interesting to think that Burgess might never have written this story, which has become a literary classic, if he hadn't been wrongly diagnosed with a brain tumor. It's a strange world that we live in, perhaps just as strange as the world depicted in A Clockwork Orange.
Oct 21, 2007
Burgess wrote this novel in the slang of the future. The author chose to use a lot of Roma(Gypsy) slang. The distinctive voice of Alex draws the reader in. Alex is cruel and extremely violent. Burgess also did a fine job of turning Alex into a victim. The book is better than the movie. The last chapter is not shown in the movie and that's a shame. In the last chapter Alex comes to the realization that he has wasted his life. He does not want to be a middle aged thug and takes a good hard look at himself. He repents and is determined to change. Redemption and hope are unexpected elements in a novel concerned with violence and revenge. "ClockWork Orange" is a masterpeice.
Its nice that a dictionary is in back. Alex uses a ton of slang and while most of their uses are clear some are confusing. Looking up the words really helps the reader along.
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