Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Morally dodgy, 15 Nov 2011
This review is from: A Clockwork Orange (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book but as many have said, I enjoyed it for dubious reasons. In fact reason doesn't come into it. As someone who has never assaulted anyone and avoids violence as a rule, I have to confess I thrilled to the first half when Alex and chums are running riot, being downright evil.

The more philosophical second half introduces two thought-provoking debates but, really, like most fans of this fine book I fear i enjoyed it for dodgy reasons.

I came away not concerned about what rights the state should and should not have to interfere with the individual; nor about whether a natural organism (orange) can ever be made to behave in a desireable, prescribed way (like clockwork); but I did come away womdering if it would be fun to 'malcheck an old veck' or 'do the old in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out' with his daughter. Dodgy or what? I've never even slapped anyone in my life.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Nov 2011 22:14:24 GMT
Skypie says:
Interesting! I finally got round to reading this last week, and was really surprised, particularly as a pacifist, to find the moments of 'ultra violence' exhilarating rather than vulgar as other reviewers have stated. I'm not sure why this is, maybe because the language used takes a moment to get used to, and there is no reason or plot to the violence, and so we read it in the moment rather than being distracted with moral objections. I'd be interested to know whether you had seen the film before reading the book?

Posted on 18 Nov 2011 11:28:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Nov 2011 11:28:58 GMT
Missy says:
Don't feel too ashamed. I haven't read the book yet but I read an introduction to it written by Burgess himself in which he explains that he wanted to make the violence voyeuristically thrilling rather than outright repellent.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Mar 2012 17:32:56 GMT
Fredthecred says:
I hadn't seen the film which, in my experience, tends to lessen the films chances with you. Maybe this turned out to be the case when I saw it because, although I thought Malcom MacDowell was great, I found the film overall rather so-so. The violence in the book was just that much more intimate, powerful, exhilerating and unsettling. I think you are on to something with that idea of getting sort of lost in the moment, the sheer visceral thrill of the violence. Very seductive.
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