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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In short: wow
It's been quite a while since a book has impressed me so much. I didn't want to read it at first - it is, alongside Kubrick's film, infamous for its depiction of violence and brutality. Not really my sort of thing. But I picked it up idly one day and, once I'd started reading, found I couldn't stop.

The novel is set in a strange, dystopian future and focusses...
Published on 7 Aug 2005 by Kolobok

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't agree more with Mr Satire
Well written, interesting and challenging. But anyone who believes this to be the book of the twentieth century has obviously not being reading very much. A cursory glance at "1984", or "Brighton Rock", or virtually anything else would disavow them of that notion. Still, good work Burgess.
Published on 4 Aug 1999


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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In short: wow, 7 Aug 2005
It's been quite a while since a book has impressed me so much. I didn't want to read it at first - it is, alongside Kubrick's film, infamous for its depiction of violence and brutality. Not really my sort of thing. But I picked it up idly one day and, once I'd started reading, found I couldn't stop.

The novel is set in a strange, dystopian future and focusses on the character of Alex, our 15 year old anti-hero, who spends his free time indulging in ultra-violence, theft, rape and classical music. What's amazing is how Burgess gradually makes the reader become so sympathetic to his 'hero'. Alex is bright, witty, defiant; openly confiding his thoughts and feelings to his audience - his "brothers". When the state locks him up and starts altering him with the morally dodgy "Ludovico Technique" one can't help but side with him against his 'doctors'.

Part of the book's genius is the fact it's so beautifully written and laid out. Burgess's surreal use of language is incredibly ingenious. He creates the wonderful 'nadsat' slang spoken by Alex and his friends (or 'droogs') through a combination of Russian and different styles of English. As a student of Russian, part of the fun was deciphering the words and sentences and every now and then exclaiming 'aha!' as meaning suddenly slotted into place.

Ultimately, this thought-provoking novel left me with lots to muse about. Questions on morality, society and, most importantly, an individual's free choice are brought up and it's left to the reader to ultimately decide what s/he thinks. The book jacket described this novel as 'one that every generation should read'. I really couldn't agree more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't agree more with Mr Satire, 4 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Well written, interesting and challenging. But anyone who believes this to be the book of the twentieth century has obviously not being reading very much. A cursory glance at "1984", or "Brighton Rock", or virtually anything else would disavow them of that notion. Still, good work Burgess.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Horrorshow, my brothers!, 29 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Burgess's masterpiece, and to his own dismay a confirmed cult classic. He never escaped the influence or the infamy of this book, and I doubt he ever will, even in death. Alex, the 'Beethoven-loving' central character maraudes throughout a future dystopia with his three droogs without restraint in a disturbing and gripping tale told through in the language of 'Nadsat'; a bastardized conglomeration of nonsense and English.(The language may seem a little incomprehensible at first, but don't be dissuaded, the book wouldn't be half as good without it; in a way it's what makes it so original and you soon get used to it, or should I say fluent in it. I found myself using Nadsat phraseology in my own conversations while I was reading it, just for fun).That is until he is betrayed by his droogs and imprisoned. The real message of the book then begins to appear however, and all the violence that assaults us in the first part of the book suddenly serves its purpose. While imprisoned Alex agrees to become a guinea pig in an experiment; an experiment to alter his mind, to cure him of all wicked impulses. He agrees in the hope that he will be let out of jail early, and he gets his wish. He is systematically brainwashed with aversion therapy, until he cannot willfully inflict harm on anyone without becoming violently nauseous. And so fully cured, he walks free. Then his troubles really begin, because he no longer has the ability to cope with the dystopia he previously relished for all its anarchy. He gets beaten up by his former droogs, now policemen, and is subjected to a number of encounters in which his former victims are able to take their revenge for his former deeds. Eventually he depairs and tries to kill himself, and in doing so becomes the centre of attention as the politicians try to use him to win their arguments concerning the brainwashing scheme. The book ends on a hopeful and cheery note though, a point many people forget to mention, and by the last page Alex's adventure has almost become a rite of passage.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must read..., 24 Aug 2006
There's so much more to this book than the hype. The underlying theme about morals, violence and the imposition of a civilised society, whether there are people who are truely bad people or whether it is just a phase, whether somethings should just be accepted as part of society, or a same set of values imposed on us all. I found the book a fantastic read. I wont say it was easy, but I needn't have been concerned about not getting it, as it doesn't take long to understand the language used by Alex & co, and it helped immerse the reader (along with Burgess' description of the droogs) into his world.

Althugh I haven't seen the film, the book hasn't made me want to. I've got a vivid enough picture in my mind as to what Burgess was trying to convey, and I think my interpretation is more than enough. The book is fantastic, and stands well on it's own.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly a 20th Century classic, 29 Jun 2006
By 
C. Collins (Austin, TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The strange lingo is called Nadsat and, it's not/never was a secret - it's based on Russian. This book is a massive cultural milestone, as is Kubrick's adaptation for the big screen. It's probably about 15 years since I read, and fell in love with, this book. Haven't actually gotten round to reading it again, but I bought several copies to give to friends, etc. You couldn't claim to be interested in popular culture and not have read this book - even if you don't enjoy it (and the violence is graphic), it's a must-read! I remember how strange the book felt, being written in this weird lingo which, at first, seems to alienate, but then, very quickly, has the effect of drawing you in to the world of Alex and his Droogs. At the time, Kubrick's film was still banned, and I waited several more years, until 1996/7, to see it (on a foreign satellite channel). Great film, better book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars in two words: real horrorshow!!, 6 Nov 2010
A Clockwork Orange - which was the basis for Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece of the same title - is a novel written by Anthony Burgess and released in England in 1962.

This book, which is more like a novella than a novel describes the disturbing life of the 15 years old protagonist 'Alex' and his gang, the so called 'droogs'.
The main topic of 'A Clockwork Orange' is the vision of a horrible near-future with a revolting youth, a corrupt police force, a government unable to govern and the main person's transformation from a merciless offender into a helpless victim.
It all begins with a really detailed insight into Alex's life which only includes things that are - as Alex would say - 'real horrorshow'. Thus it's all about drugs, rape, robbery or punch-ups with enemy gangs without a big significance of money. After the murder of a single and undefended woman, the so called 'Cat Woman'..the drastig change of the act starts:

The consequently arrest of Alex which is due to his gangs' disaffection, leads to a very strict custodial sentence. Despite his situation he's not aware of having done anything wrong.
While his arrest Alex becomes a 'guinea pig' of new methods of reintegration into society.

The most considerable thing of this book is the authenticity owing to the protagonist's personal and subjective view of the act with using a futuristic slang, which consists of neologisms from the Russian and the English language. Because of this slang it might be really hard to read at the beginning and could be really irriating whithout a special glossary but after about 30 or 40 pages you will notice that this language is absolutely necessary for the context, because it contributes to the character of the classic teen anti-hero Alex.
Hence, it's really hard to decide whether he is 'good' or 'bad'. In other words: Alex' pleasant and unique way to play his crimes down makes him more authentic and he appears more like a typical youngster as we all know from our everyday life.

In my opinion, it's the author's aim that we start thinking more about morality and the high importance of common fundamental rights in our today's society. Moreover it shoes the need for a better controlled society and his functions.
This brilliant 'worst case scenario' of our future with many humorous and confusing parts is an absolutely recommendable novel and you don't have to be afraid of the - at first sight - weird looking language ;-)!

All in all it's a must read book, ESPECIALLY IF you're a great fan of ambitious literature which makes you think, otherwise this book will be soon in the last corner of your room!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizzare but wonderful, 10 Oct 2006
By 
Stev White (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
A clockwork orange is in a word: disturbing.

The novel follows a short amount of time in the life of our fifteen year old narrator, Alex. Alex is the leader of a gang in a distopian future, where gangs like his oversee a reign of terror on the streets which the police force is not large enough or powerful enough to control.

During the novel, we see Alex beat up a number of people, including ripping an innocent man's teeth out, we see him steal, we see him lead a gang rape on a woman and we see him murder an old lady in her home, all from his persepctive. He is eventually arrested and put in prison, where he kills again and is put through a rigorous, experimental proccess to 'cure' him of the badness in him.

As you might expect from this little synopsis, it is a very disturbing read, especially when you consider the character committing all these atrocities is only fifteen years old. However, the fact that the story is told from Alex's view is one of the most intersting parts of this book, as first of all you'll notice he speaks in a futuristic slang, which at first is rather confusing but eventually becomes pretty easy to understand as you work out what word means what, and the language should by no means put you off buying it, indeed it should be one of the main reasons for you buying it. But also intersting is how Alex speaks in such a way of his activities as to make them sound sort of incidental, and play them down, and also when he has been arrested and feels he is being mistreated, it is written in a way as to make us feel sorry for him even though we know we shouldn't because he is a serial criminal.

The image painted of the future by Burgess is a highly disturbing one and does really make you think. The most powerful concept he raises is how far we're willing to go to enforce law and make people 'good,' and whether or not it is right to remove the choice involved in being good or bad, and how much of an infringement on a humans rights it is, no matter how bad a person they are.

Overall, it is a highly evocative, thought provoking and imaginitive piece of literature, the book is written like nothing I have ever read before and is a piece of wonderful innovation, the image of the future Burgess paints is disturbing, but fascinating at the same time, the same can be said of our 'hero' Alex, and also the issues raised are ones that are still relevant today and will truly make you think. I urge you not to be put off by the bizzare writing, which at first glance my look complex, but once you get the hang of it, it makes perfect sense and adds greatly to the book. I highly recommend this as a brilliant, innovative work of genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 30 Oct 2012
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I love this book! Gripping the whole way through and the plot is brilliant. Initially the language was confusing, however you get into it and even find yourself thinking is nadsat when you're thinking about the book. Brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 17 Nov 2010
By 
This review is from: A Clockwork Orange (Paperback)
I loved this book. It was thought provoking and very interesting.
The way that Burgess created language at first confused me but as you continue reading you start to pick up on the language, which I found very strange but interesting. The reason I picked up this book in the first place was because a friend of mine recommended it but also because we were talking about it in one of my psychology lessons. The reason was that this book is to do with behaviorism. You wouldn't, perhaps, have thought this when first reading the back of the book but it was very thought provoking and definetely made me think.
I would definetely reccommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly individual and very Horrorshow, O My Brothers., 4 Nov 2008
By 
Mark Slattery (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Anthony Burgess was a literary giant. Despite his wishes, this remains the work for which he is best remembered. Most will know it through the film, with which he had scant involvement but which he defended after Stanley Kubrick became fainthearted. Yet few will have read the novel.

The prose is first person, confessional, in a consistent voice, our narrator the chief protagonist, Alex. The vocabulary is a mixture of English and a language called nadsat, an invented language based primarily on Russian but also German, French, and schoolboy terminology. The idea is you work it out for yourself but around a third of it is not intuitive. (The lazy can use the nadsat dictionary.)

The story is set in a not too distant future, with a terrifyingly bleak and broken down society in the grip of a classic liberal-reactionary struggle. It could well be today if you are a pessimist. The violence and sex is handled adroitly, even imperceptibly, and not at all crudely despite its evident brutality. It translates to screen with rather less subtlety. The scene with two ten year olds would be unfilmable or inflammatory.

The first person narration brings you closer to Alex and somehow you can be both horrified and sympathetic. The treatment he is given is arguably worse than the affliction. It both saves and dooms him, looking after his mind but not his soul. An ironic twist: he can't even read the Bible without feeling sick, and is deprived equally of the means both to offend and to defend. Burgess delivers a very modern parable, shot through with arsenic.

Viddy it carefully, O My Brothers; it's real horrorshow.
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A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Hardcover - 31 Dec 1996)
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