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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
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A Clockwork Orange (original 1962; edition 1986)

by Anthony Burgess

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17,162246100 (4.04)575
Member:br13wivan
Title:A Clockwork Orange
Authors:Anthony Burgess
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1986), Paperback, 213 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Ballantine

Work details

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

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    lucyknows: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey may be paired with A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess or The Outsider by Albert Camus. All three novels explore the them of society versus the individual.
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    artturnerjr: Futuristic ultraviolent teenage blues
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    Aeryion: The sub-culture of designer drug use and it's effect on the gritty society within Rubicon call back to A Clockwork Orange like an anesthetized echo. The prevalent use and abuse of the potent designer neurocotic Synth and the language (Illuminese) that the addicts speak amongst themselves is a brilliant homage to Burgess's original genius! This story gave me shivers as I read through the vivid hallucinatory narrative. A must read for every fan of the genre!… (more)
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1960s (15)
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English (230)  Spanish (5)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  All languages (245)
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
tour de force use of language ( )
  clarkland | Aug 28, 2015 |
This takes place in a dystopian future where bands of young men prey on others – robbing, raping, murderous attacks for the joy of watching the blood – krovvy – flow. Our little narrator Alex is the leader of one of these bands, happily smashing in litzos – faces- with his sabogs and having his droogs applaud while doing the old in and out.

Eventually betrayed by his group, Alex ends up in prison where he is the first subject of an experimental model which makes him physically ill if he even thinks of violent acts. Because of his conditioning, he also has the same negative reaction to music which he has always loved and has been one of the few bright points in his life. All of this makes him the darling of the too-much-government-interference crowd.

This is where my summary ends because of spoilers. US editions, alone out of the entire world, left off the final chapter. And the final chapter **was ** hard for me to swallow as I saw Alex as a true conscience-less sociopath.

This is a violent novel with marvelous wordplay in the invention of the Nadsat slang. The book raises very interesting social questions – when is coercing someone to do good OK? And where does that leave our present justice system?

I think a good part of my enjoyment was that I listened to the audio performed/read by Tom Hollander who gave an absolutely brilliant rendition of the slang. I much preferred his reading to that of Anthony Burgess's reading of a few chapters, which was also included with this audiobook.

3.8 stars. Strong cautions for rape and violence - the impact of which is somewhat diluted by the use of the slang. ( )
  streamsong | Jun 22, 2015 |
Tackled it in university off-time, dropped it, read it in past 4 years all through. The preface by Burgess says what he's trying to do. ( )
  ted_newell | Jun 20, 2015 |
The Time Out blurb on the cover stating "Every generation should discover this book." I, however, did not enjoy the discovery. Burgess' book is a dystopian view of youth culture. I found it extremely cumbersome to read with non-common words such as droogs, rassoodocks, mesto, skorry, veshches, moloko, snthemesc, drencrom, and vellocet all appearing in the second paragraph. The book continued to be peppered with these types of terms. If the book had not been short, I would have abandoned it. I probably should have because it's definitely no my type of book. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jun 14, 2015 |
I've to admit that I'm not such a huge fan of this story. I read it in German but it's based on the British edition. This is important because I learned from all Burgess' addenda that there is a major difference. In the US edition there is missing the end which was for Burgess very important and therefore this end is also missing in Stanley Kubricks film adaption.

I didn't like the story itself not due to the language, this wasn't the difficulty, but to all the violence and brainwashing. Burgess said that this was important to him to show the good and the ill. For me it was mostly too brutal.
What I really liked were all his addenda. These were very good insights and helped me to understand his motivation to write this story. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
But all in all, “A Clockwork Orange” is a tour-de-force in nastiness, an inventive primer in total violence, a savage satire on the distortions of the single and collective minds.
 
In A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess has written what looks like a nasty little shocker but is really that rare thing in English letters—a philosophical novel. The point may be overlooked because the hero, a teen-age monster, tells all about everything in nadsat, a weird argot that seems to be all his own. Nadsat is neither gibberish nor a Joycean exercise. It serves to put Alex where he belongs—half in and half out of the human race.
added by Shortride | editTime (Feb 15, 1963)
 

» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burgess, Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buenaventura, RamónPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollander, TomReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelham, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, IrvinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'What's it going to be then, eh?'
Quotations
Goodness comes from within [...] Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.
Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses to be bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?
There is, in fact, not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility of moral transformation, or an increase in wisdom, operating in your chief character or characters.
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Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
A Clockwork Orange (1962) is a dystopian novel by Anthony Burgess.
The title is taken from an old Cockney expression, "as queer as a clockwork orange", and alludes to the prevention of the main character's exercise of his free will through the use of a classical conditioning technique. With this technique, the subject’s emotional responses to violence are systematically paired with a negative stimulation in the form of nausea caused by an emetic medicine administered just before the presentation of films depicting "ultra-violent" situations. Written from the perspective of a seemingly biased and unapologetic protagonist, the novel also contains an experiment in language: Burgess creates a new speech that is the teenage slang of the not-too-distant future.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393312836, Paperback)

The only American edition of the cult classic novel.

A vicious fifteen-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film of the same title. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to "redeem" him—the novel asks, "At what cost?" This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Told through a central character, Alex, the disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism. A modern classic of youthful violence and social redemption set in a dismal dystopia whereby a juvenile deliquent undergoes state-sponsored psychological rehabilitation for his aberrant behavior.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

Legacy Library: Anthony Burgess

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Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182601, 0141037229, 0141192364, 0241951445

 

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