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A Clockwork Orange (Penguin Essentials) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 401 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241951445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241951446
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.9 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (401 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A gruesomely witty cautionary tale Time Every generation should discover this book Time Out Not only about man's violent nature and his capacity to choose between good and evil. It is about the excitements and intoxicating effects of language Daily Telegraph I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language...a very funny book -- William S. Burroughs One of the cleverest and most original writers of his generation The Times

Book Description

This classic of post-industrial alienation shocks us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
It is unfair to judge this book and say it is using a made up language as it is not. Burgess uses slang from the world that he created which obviously will make it a challenge however it is worth the challenge to read thid book. I found this edition very helpful due to the inclusion of a glossary for when I was struggling with the language. It truely is a classic in the way it was written I would highly recomend it to anyone studying english however not if you are easily effected by distressing content. Violence and rape is included in this book so don't read it if you can't handle it, although not described in imense super detail Burgess does go through what the boys do. I am very happy I bought this edition as the extara content is interesting and great for helping you further understand the novel, further more it is the nicest feeling book I have ever read and I would recomend buying this just to have a feel of the ridiculously smooth pages.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If Burgess was alive today, I would congratulate him real horrorshow for writing the best novella ever written. In the story he uses a fictional language called nadsat which makes the violence easier to read through. The tale is very well written and easy to read once you get into the peculiar language. A Clockwork Orange is a truly satisfying and memorable novel which deserves way over 5 stars. Enjoy! And all that cal.
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Format: Paperback
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.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't think I quite got this book. Its seen as a classic and has banned because of its graphic violent nature. But to be honest i'm not quite sure why. To reinforce the gang culture (i think) Burgess has made up a new slang language for the character, which lead me to spend a lot of time thinking 'what has he just done?'. The version that I had didn't have a glossary of the slang so I was just left to puzzle it out and I feel that this detracted from the horror/shock factor that the book is known for.
That's not to say that the book could be full of fluffy bunnies and butterflies. The book does portray Alex leading a very violent and brutal life. He is sentenced to prison and then experimented on, in an attempt to make him a 'nice' person. What actually happens is he is conditioned in a way that should be banned against using in all animals and humans.
The book raises many questions and I could see many interesting debates arising. In that respects this is a must read. But it takes effort and brain power. Its not a quick, easy if horrifying book that I thought it may be.
Not sure if I want to watch the film or not, I normally will after reading a book that has been converted. May give it a miss this time.
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