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A Clockwork Orange (1962)

by Anthony Burgess

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
23,410359116 (3.99)704
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)
  1. 341
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (wosret)
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    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (lucyknows, Gregorio_Roth, Gregorio_Roth)
    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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    A Boy and His Dog by Harlan Ellison (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Futuristic ultraviolent teenage blues
  8. 20
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    SnootyBaronet: Teddy boys
  9. 20
    Hoppla! 1 2 3 (French Literature) by Gérard Gavarry (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Central character is another criminally violent leader of a gang of youths. Here too the gang use slang terms of the author's devising. Less violence, a less straightforward narration, & to me a more interesting book.
  10. 20
    Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  11. 10
    Rubicon Harvest by C. W. Kesting (Aeryion)
    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)
  12. 77
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (SqueakyChu)
  13. 22
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    A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess (Anonymous user)
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1960s (6)
Read (47)
Teens (7)
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» See also 704 mentions

English (337)  Spanish (6)  French (4)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (358)
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)
I never had much interest in Burgess. He just seemed like a pop fiction writer. & popularity is anathema to everything I stand on one leg for when a fierce wind is blowing. Of course I'd seen the Kubrick film & liked it. When I finally read this I thought it was better than I expected - esp when I realized that it's a parody of adolescence! Something that had completely escaped me before. Anyway, I went on a Burgess spree & liked them all. He's in my top 200 writers - wch I don't mean sarcastically - that's actually pretty good! ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
Siento que este libro llego a mis manos tarde, tal vez en otro momento el resultado seria otro pero en este se queda así. ( )
  MissAlandra | Jan 17, 2022 |
The only word that I can find to adequately describe this book is "phenomenal." ( )
  djlinick | Jan 15, 2022 |
This book was really slow going for me. It often felt like wading through mush, and I really feel that I am more of a fan of the concept of Clockwork Orange than actually reading it. Still, it was oddly compelling. I love that the theme of freedom of choice is shown through the lens of someone we are supposed to find repulsive. It's hard to sympathize with Alex at all, and yet the treatment they use on him is more repulsive still. It really made me think on concepts of being human and punishment and free will in a way that a morally refined character couldn't get me to do. I also enjoyed the last chapter that was apparently left out of early American editions. It doesn't precisely redeem Alex, but it does provide a small window to the possibility of change.

I doubt I'll read this again, but I'm glad I read it once. ( )
  Monj | Jan 7, 2022 |
So in my senior year of AP english we had to read a "classic" novel from this list and then do 20 annotations on it. It was the bane of every senior's existence for 3 months. I was friends with a lot of the kids in the grade above me and remembered that all they would talk about was "annotations this or annotations that" so I was prepared for the suckiness that was to be annotations. For this very reason I chose a short book. It really was nothing more than that. I wanted to not have to spend a lot of time reading cause I knew I would need extra time to write. That, and I sort of hate classic books. (something I am working on changing). So the shorter the better.

I had almost no idea of the contents of this book. I knew it was a dystopian novel about teenage boys and they did some bad stuff. I knew free will was involved.

Holy shit.

Bad stuff, doesn't even begin to cover it. I almost changed books within like the first 10 pages or so. I mean these weirdoes were dressed in idiotic clothing, walking around beating up on old people, stealing, raping 10 year old girls and having themselves a jolly good time. The main character is essentially a shithead. It goes on and he gets caught or something, and they try to "fix" him through these horrible brainwashing techniques that kills his love for classical music (Beethoven I think, its been 4 years since I read it so I don't really remember). I do remember feeling some sympathy for him during the whole brainwashing thing.

The only reason I have some appreciation for this book is because I had to do 20 fucking annotations on it. For a stupid short book about sociopathic teenage boys, it has a lot of articles written about free will and a ton of other stuff that after turning my annotations in, I blocked out of my memory forever. I remember being interested in the topics and things other people had to say about the book. But I also remember hating the book. So, the second star is for you Mrs. Schmitt, you and the horrid annotation project. ( )
  banrions | Dec 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)
Mr. Burgess, whenever we remeet him in a literary setting, seems to be standing kneedeep in the shavings of new methods, grimed with the metallic filings of bright ideas. A Clockwork Orange, for example, was a book which no one could take seriously for what was supposed to happen in it-its plot and "meaning" were the merest pretenses-but which contained a number of lively notions, as when his delinquents use Russian slang and become murderous on Mozart and Beethoven. In a work by Burgess nothing is connected necessarily or organically with anything else but is strung together with wires and pulleys as we go.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe New York Times, John Bayley
 
Burgess’s 1962 novel is set in a vaguely Socialist future (roughly, the late seventies or early eighties)—a dreary, routinized England that roving gangs of teenage thugs terrorize at night. In perceiving the amoral destructive potential of youth gangs, Burgess’s ironic fable differs from Orwell’s 1984 in a way that already seems prophetically accurate. The novel is narrated by the leader of one of these gangs-—Alex, a conscienceless schoolboy sadist—and, in a witty, extraordinarily sustained literary conceit, narrated in his own slang (Nadsat, the teenagers’ special dialect). The book is a fast read; Burgess, a composer turned novelist, has an ebullient, musical sense of language, and you pick up the meanings of the strange words as the prose rhythms speed you along.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe New Yorker, Pauline Kael
 
A Clockwork Orange, the book for which Burgess — to his understandable dismay — is best known. A handy transitional primer for anyone learning Russian, in other respects it is a bit thin. Burgess makes a good ethical point when he says that the state has no right to extirpate the impulse towards violence. But it is hard to see why he is so determined to link the impulse towards violence with the aesthetic impulse, unless he suffers, as so many other writers do, from the delusion that the arts are really rather a dangerous occupation. Presumably the connection in the hero’s head between mayhem and music was what led Stanley Kubrick to find the text such an inspiration. Hence the world was regaled with profound images of Malcolm McDowell jumping up and down on people’s chests to the accompaniment of an invisible orchestra.

It is a moot point whether Burgess is saying much about human psychology when he so connects the destructive element with the creative impulse. What is certain is that he is not saying much about politics. Nothing in A Clockwork Orange is very fully worked out. There is only half a paragraph of blurred hints to tell you why the young marauders speak a mixture of English and Russian. Has Britain been invaded recently? Apparently not. Something called ‘propaganda’, presumably of the left-wing variety, is vaguely gestured towards as being responsible for this hybrid speech. But even when we leave the possible causes aside, and just examine the language itself, how could so basic a word as ‘thing’ have been replaced by the Russian word without other, equally basic, words being replaced as well?
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew York Review of Books, Clive James
 
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 (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burgess, Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, MartinPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Šenkyřík, LadislavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
信一郎, 乾翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Üstel, AzizTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Belmont, GeorgesTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biswell, AndrewEditor and Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blumenbach, UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bossi, FlorianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brumm, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh, W.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buenaventura, RamónPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chabrier, HortenseTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Csejdy, AndrásAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dagys, SauliusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Damsma, HarmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fančović, MarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, FábioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunn, JamesPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollander, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horváth, László, Gy.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hyman, Stanley EdgarAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kořínek, OtakarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körpe, DostTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konttinen, Moog(käänt.)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krege, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leal Fernández, AníbalTraductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melchior, ClausEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miedema, NiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mikkin, DanKujundaja.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, RonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrison, BlakeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelham, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pelham, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quijada, AnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rawlinson, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rogde, IsakOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Self, WillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinz, PieterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stiller, RobertTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trengrove, BarryJacket Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Uibo, UdoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vieira, José LuandinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsh, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, IrvinePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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'What's it going to be then, eh?'
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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.
It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.
Then I noticed, in all my pain and sickness, what music it was that like crackled and boomed on the sound-track, and it was Ludwig van, the last movement of the Fifth Symphony, and I creeched like bezoomny at that. ‘Stop!’ I creeched. ‘Stop, you grahzny disgusting sods. It’s a sin, that’s what it is, a filthy unforgivable sin, you bratchnies!’
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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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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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