A Clockwork Orange eReader 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 First of all, if you are going to read this book make sure you get the British version as the American copy leaves out the last chapter. The gall of the American publishers is truly insulting—to think that they knew better than a genius (yes, a genius) like Burgess on how to end his own novel. Burgess’s version has 21 chapters, the American 20. As somewhat of an amateur linguist myself I really loved learning the language of nadsat (Russian for “teen”) employed by the narrator. There are only a handful of words to learn and they are mostly in simple context so their meaning is obvious. It is cool that Burgess was so aware on how quickly slang changes that he developed his own slang so that the book wouldn’t ever seem dated. I wrote an essay once comparing how the English of Chaucer had changed less compared to modern English than the rap slang used in the mid 1980’s. I recently listen to an audio version of this during my work-out rides and it was such a joy that I nearly killed myself with the amount of time I spent in the saddle. It was like listening to a seven hour version of the Stanley Kubrick film.
I saw the film before I read the book. Normally, I wouldn't recommend it, and for a lot of readers, that would be the cause of condemnation. Well, for this book I'll make an exception. The movie introduced me to the nadsat language of this book and therefore, when, after months after searching for it, I finally bought it and read it, it was easier to work around the language. The other words not included in the film (for accessibility reasons), I either used context clues or the internet to work around the meaning. The book (and the film, of course)deals with issues: good vs. evil, free will, and the cause of goodness/badness. You can't help but pity Alex (though still be repulsed by his actions in Part One) as he goes through hell during and after the Ludovico Treatment. It begs the question: is it better to have a rapist have free will and choose to rape, or should we take away people's choices and make them, essentially, clockwork oranges? (Hence the title.) I love this book, but I need to warn you; there is some disturbing aspects, including a part where Alex drugs and rapes two ten year olds. Read at your own risk.
Wow. The horrors of this book is the essence of its beauty. Burgess is a genius having written this for only three weeks! Alex, the nadsat anti-hero, being violent in nature ended up in staja, willingly subjected himself to a state experiment with high hopes of freedom. He was forced to viddy a series of ultra-violent sinnies everyday. After the experiment, his free will was paralyzed. He can't act or think or even listen the way he used to, thus making him a victim of other lewdies violence. True, he suffered but not long after, he was back to his starry self. I like how Alex refer to himself as "your humble narrator". I love how Burgess explores the violence in human nature and how it was suppressed by taking away the person's free will. This is quite the same with Huxley's A Brave New World, where people lived in contentment without free will. I guess I agree with this state experiment. How it can solve crime rate, lessen the number of prisoners and how those who got out of prison
will never be back into the society as criminals. I don't mind if this will happen in the real world. Anyway, I like his invented language, Nadsat. It took me quite a while to finish because I have to check on its meaning from the glossary. It's fun though learning all those zvonock, slooshy, podooshka & the obvious in-out in-out (LOL). I'm looking forward reading its British version which has an opposite ending. Hmmm... I wonder where can I get a copy.
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