A Clockwork Orange Download eBook by Anthony Burgess Click Here to Download the Book 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".
Reviews I think it’s widely misunderstood. A boy first asked me to see the movie with him, back when I had never heard of it before, because it would shock me. I refused to see the movie with him because he was kind of annoying, but that’s beside the point. What I appreciate in this book isn’t the shock value, nor even the plot - it’s the language. Burgess developed his own language throughout the book and demonstrated to each and every reader that you don’t need a glossary/dictionary to come to understand an unfamiliar dialect. The human mind adapts to such strange new words and begins to attach all sorts of meanings and connotations to each of them. That is the essence of language. That is the backbone of the book. Personally, I feel that if Burgess had written it in ordinary English, the entire story would have dwindled away to a largely unrecognized novella, with no significant impact on modern linguistics. It’s one of those rare cases of the plot being much less important to the story than the style.
This book can mainly be described as "Wow!" Alex, a vicious juvenile delinquent, spends his evenings and nights hanging with his gang, committing mayhem, theft, vandalism, rape, and murder. Eventually, he is caught, sent to jail, and new psychological treatment renders him unable to even stand the idea of violence, theft, destruction, rape, murder, and even his favorite classical music. I will say no more to avoid spoilers, but do note that this version of the book has the 21st chapter included, as the author intended. A big feature of the book is that the youths, including Alex speak in a patois based on various slang words (e.g., "cancer" for "cigarette"), and on many, many Slavic words. The reader needs to work very hard to understand the book because of this. (It can mostly be puzzled out with a lot or work; alternatly, googling a lexicon for the book helps substantially in simplifying the reader's work.) The book is actually rather subversive in a number of subtle ways. To mention just one: Everyone in the book, and I do mean everyone, is cruel and self-centered. There does not seem to be a single genuinely nice person in the book. This true not only of the juvenile delinquents, but also the police, the parents, the politicians, the prison chaplain, the prison wardens, the doctors, and even the character who is loosely portraying the author. The one exception to this might be some old ladies, who remain perennially bribed in return for supplying alibi's for Alex and his gang. The other exception might the prison chaplain, but even he is more interested in preserving his own career than in speaking out against wrongs. The ray of hope in this book is that perhaps people outgrow their viciously violent youth, and settle down to lead a convential life.
A Clockwork Orange has to be, quite simply, one of the most influential novels (well, novella, if you want to get technical) that most people haven't read. Everybody's seen the classic Kubrick film (or at least has heard it's theme song), and many people even know that there is a final chapter in the original version of this book that Stanley Kubrick had never even read. And yet, shockingly, it seems as though A Clockwork Orange is often
overlooked in the midst of other similar contemporary classics, like A Brave New World and 1984. I was lucky enough to read the book before I saw the film (frankly, I read A Clockwork Orange a few years earlier than I probably should have been allowed to do so), so I feel that I can appreciate the novel and the film as two completely separate entities, which is essential to the enjoyment of both. If you're reading this review and you have neither read nor seen A Clockwork Orange, do yourself a favor and read this incredible work of literature before seeing the incredible work of film. Most modern American editions contain the censored chapter from the original British version, but be sure to check beforehand just in case. You won't regret it.
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